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How similar is 'Sweet Child O Mine' to a 1981 Australian Crawl song?

UPDATE: Watch a comparison video above.

With all the legal battles regarding copyright flying around at the moment, we've been alerted to a more dormant claim of alleged plagiarism, regarding an almost-three-decade-old rock classic.

Under an article regarding Slash's recent comments on a possible future band reunion, MAX reader Jimmy Gray pointed out the similarities between Guns N' Roses' most enduring song - 1987's 'Sweet Child O' Mine' - and Australian Crawl's 1981 song 'Unpublished Critics', from their #1 album Sirocco. We checked it out, and wow it does it sound similar: the same chugging chord progression, a similarly-sweeping lead break, the verse melody, and the elongated one-syllable vocal in the chorus.

We sincerely doubt co-writer James Reyne has never heard of the Gunners track, nor noticed the common themes. Compare the two below.

::APPARENTLY MICHAEL JACKSON STARTED AXL AND SLASH'S FEUD

::SLASH IS OPEN TO A GUNNERS REUNION: "NEVER SAY NEVER"

::DUFF MCKAGAN RECRUITS IZZY STRADLIN AND JERRY CANTRELL FOR NEW EP

 

Slash's MAX Sessions performance from a few years back was one of the most popular ever. Here he is performing 'Sweet Child O' Mine' at the intimate show with Myles Kennedy.

 

Nathan Jolly

Nathan Jolly is a music writer who led the Chicago Bulls to three championships in the early '90s.

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