Robin Thicke Was Wasted During “Blurred Lines” Recording, Lied About Writing It
Whew, lots to take in, here. Newly released court documents reveal Robin Thicke was intoxicated when he recorded 2013's massive hit "Blurred Lines," and that the entirety of the song was written by Pharrell despite Thicke being credited as one of the co-writers. Doesn't sound so exciting until you get to the specifics, though.
The revelations come from transcripts from the April depositions of Thicke and Pharrell as part of the lawsuit they've brought against Marvin Gaye's household. (Quick background: The Gaye estate threatened to sue the writers of "Blurred Lines" for its similarities to "Got to Give It Up," so Pharrell, Thicke, and T.I. preemptively sued Gaye's children.) During the testimony, Thicke admitted he was "high on vicodin and alcohol" when he got to the studio to record the 2013 smash.
Q: Were you present during the creation of 'Blurred Lines'?
Thicke: I was present. Obviously, I sang it. I had to be there.
Q: When the rhythm track was being created, were you there with Pharrell?
Thicke: To be honest, that's the only part where — I was high on vicodin and alcohol when I showed up at the studio. So my recollection is when we made the song, I thought I wanted — I — I wanted to be more involved than I actually was by the time, nine months later, it became a huge hit and I wanted credit. So I started kind of convincing myself that I was a little more part of it than I was and I — because I didn't want him — I wanted some credit for this big hit. But the reality is, is that Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song.
This, of course, contrasts with Thicke's prior GQ interview in which he specifically chronicles hitting the studio with Skateboard P with the goal of creating a song inspired by Gaye's "Got to Give It Up." "I was jealous and I wanted some of the credit," Thicke said. "I tried to take credit for it later because [Williams] wrote the whole thing pretty much by himself and I was envious of that."
In fact, the singer admits that he made up that whole Gaye angle, partly to boost sales, and partly because he was wasted for most of 2013, claiming he "had a drug and alcohol problem for the year" and "didn't do a sober interview" last year. Maybe that explains this. On the plus side, the Insecure, Drugged-Out Worm strategy can't do any worse than his Groveling Ex shtick.
For what it's worth, Pharrell corroborated Thicke's account, saying the "Blurred Lines" words were "mine." As for why he let Thicke coast along with a co-writing credit, he explained: "This is what happens every day in our industry. People are made to look like they have much more authorship in the situation than they actually do. So that's where the embellishment comes in."
Fudging the numbers when it comes to songwriting credits is nothing new, as Pharrell mentioned, but this is a rare look at the ugly gears inside the pop music machine. And this was how it worked between two people who (presumably) like each other! Imagine the contentiousness and complications when you have five, ten writers on a song, or top secret sessions like Beyoncé's.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]