It looks like this Material Girl may be striking a guilty pose sometime in the near future. Executives over at VMG — a company based out of Delaware — filed suit on Wednesday against Madonna and her record label over the 1990 hit song "Vogue," claiming the pop icon stole portions of a composition called "Chicago Bus Stop (Ooh, I Love It) (Love Break)," which was released around 1977. And since the single went on to become one of her biggest profit earners, naturally they're looking to get a slice of that very big pie.
According to E! Online, the lawsuit claims, "The portions of "Love Break, which have been copied into 'Vogue' and all its various 'mixes,' 'remixes,' videos, YouTube versions, etc. are numerous but intentionally hidden. The horn and strings in 'Vogue' are intentionally sampled from 'Love Break' throughout." Music producer Richard "Shep" Pettibone had a hand in both "Love Break" and "Vogue," so his name is also mentioned in the suit, with the company claiming he "intentionally disguised the sampling he did in ‘Vogue.'"
So why has it taken so long for the company to say something about this alleged thievery? "The unauthorized sampling was deliberately hidden by [Madonna] within "Vogue" so as to avoid detection," VMG states. "It was only when VMG specifically looked for the sample, with the technology available to it in 2011, that the sampling could be confirmed." The company also claims it gave WB Records and Madonna a notice of copyright infringement in July 2011 and again in February 2012. They are currently seeking damages "in addition to [Madonna's] profits that are attributable to the copyrighted material."
And while there are a few broad similarities between the two songs, it seems a little far-fetched to call it a rip-off. In this day and age, it'd be hard not to find very basic similarities in different songs just because of the sheer mass of music out there. But "Vogue" became a huge music sensation not only because of the song's content, but also because of who was doing the singing.
Personally, this all seems to be a little bit of a stretch, although you can't help but get a kick out of the irony of it all. Not even two months ago, Madonna was taking jabs at Lady Gaga in a song mash-up, implicating that "Born This Way" is very similar to "Express Yourself." Gotta love that karma.
Madonna's reps have not yet responded to requests for comment.
Check out the two songs below and see if you can notice the similarity:
[Photo credit: Wenn.com]