When Paul Weller 'stole' a riff from the Electric Light Orchestra

When Paul Weller 'stole' a riff from the Electric Light Orchestra

One of the best episodes of his solo career Paul Weller it is undoubtedly the third album of 1995 “Stanley Road”which owes its title to the street where the now 65-year-old English musician grew up in Woking.

The first song on the album's tracklist, “The Changing Man”, hides a backstory. The opening riff of the song is in fact identical to that of the first single Electric Light Orchestra “10538 Overture” included on the 1971 album “The Electric Light Orchestra”. We're not talking about a simple similarity, the riffs are exactly identical.

It is curious that Weller may have sampled a riff from a band not exactly in line with his musical background, but it seems that the person responsible for this “theft” is not him, but rather the producer and co-author of the song, Brendan Lynch. In fact, it was the producer who made the decision to sample that ELO riff without asking for permission Jeff Lynnethe band leader and author of “10538 Overture”. It could have led to a costly legal battle, but Lynch said the settlement would be for his share of the royalties, not Weller's.

During an interview granted to the journalist and writer

Paul Hewittpublished in the book published in 2008 'Paul Weller: The Changing Man'Weller distanced himself from the sample: “I think the riff was Brendan's idea, because he was using a lot of samples, we did an edit and the melody came from there. I already had the melody and wrote some lyrics, we put the two things together.”