Wham! vs. Kool & the Gang (and more)


“Joanna” (Kool & the Gang, 1983)

“Last Christmas” (Wham!, 1984)

Suggested by Tom (email)

This one’s interesting, because Wham! (but not K&TG) were actually sued by the writers of Barry Manilow’s “Can’t Smile Without You.” It sounds more like “Joanna” to me, but they’re all pretty similar. You be the judge:

“Can’t Smile Without You” (Barry Manilow, 1978)

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the mental health effects of getting any of these three songs stuck in your head. Especially if you were to listen to the even schmalzier pre-Barry versions of “Can’t Smile” by Andy Williams and the Carpenters. You’re on your own there.


3 Responses to “Wham! vs. Kool & the Gang (and more)”

  1. “Can’t Smile Without You” < "Last Christmas" < "Joanna" < 99.8% of all songs ever written by anyone, ever.

  2. 2 Jen

    Barry Manilow 4lyfe.

  3. 3 Poiu

    They are not really that close or similar other then in the typical 80’s sound. Obviously they use the same instruments that were available at that time, but to get sued for this is pretty lame. They were inspired by the songs, but they are not really close enough in the structure. Anybody can use chords. The melodies are not the same. It also depends on what legalsystem the country have, and how much they worked the jury etc. Barry Manilow is boring and uncool, and Wham and The Kool & The Gang is not. No wonder they sued as the other artist’s songs did better.

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