It should come as no surprise that The Eagles, Warner Music Group and/or Don Henley are threatening to sue Frank Ocean over his tune “American Wedding.” Although it’s unclear who exactly is bringing the legal heat, one (or all) of the three feels that the Nostalgia, Ultra track is a direct rip of The Eagles’ timeless, midlife-crisis-rock ode, “Hotel California.”
They have a point; “American Wedding” is almost the exact same tune. Here’s the band’s point of view, via their spokesman, Larry Solters.
“Frank Ocean did not merely ‘sample’ a portion of the Eagles’ Hotel California; he took the whole master track, plus the song’s existing melody, and replaced the lyrics with his own. This is not creative, let alone ‘intimidating.’ It’s illegal. For the record, Don Henley has not threatened or instituted any legal action against Frank Ocean, although the Eagles are now considering whether they should.”
Per Spin, Ocean maintains that he created his rendition out of love for “Don Henley… The Eagles… and John Walsh’s immaculate guitar playing :).” which seems fair enough, and the New Orleans crooner can point to the fact that he gave away Nostalgia, Ultra for free. However, don’t think that’s going to stop anyone from crying foul over copyright infringement, as Drizzy and Playboy can attest.
And since every upload of “American Wedding” has the audio disabled by YouTube, here’s “Hotel California” for reference purposes.