Stan Bush is a Derivative Hack

As anyone whose taken the Metro to Bethesda knows, the walk up the escalator is tantamount to scaling Kilimanjaro, or at least a lesser Himalayan. This is especially true when alcohol is introduced to the equation. You can therefore understand the gumption trap I faced last night when returning home from a night of drinking tequila and inhaling second (not to mention first) hand smoke. The bottom line: some inspiration was required, and Stan Bush was ready to provide it, but halfway up my plodding ascent my heart was broken.

“Stan Bush”, I thought to myself, “how could you betray me like this, and totally rip off Van Halen’s “Jump”? I mean shit, down to the suspended ninth played on the synth in the opening! My faith in the Transformers: The Movie soundtrack had been shaken.

“Jump”, which was the second track on Van Halen’s 1984 (released in January of the same year) and the band’s only song to top the Billboard’s singles chart, preceded the Transformers movie by a scant two years. Obviously, the soundtrack was written well in advance of the August 8, 1986 release date of the movie, which makes Stan Bush’s copping of “Jump” all the more likely. But why take my peerless erudition for it?

Things to note, other than the basically identical chord and song structure:

  1. The minor key –> major key resolve pre-chorus is nearly identical (00:51 in “The Touch”, 00:59 in “Jump”)
  2. Chorus — “Might as well jump” and “You’ve got the touch” are completely interchangeable (1:00 in “The Touch”, 1:14 in “Jump”)
  3. Solo (sans Eddie’s signature tapping) is basically the same pentatonic wanking (2:53 in “The Touch”, 2:16 in “Jump”)
  4. Oh, and I’m willing to concede that Stan Bush didn’t rip off the keyboard solo, but that’s only because he waited until “Dare” to do that.

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