'Compositionally, purely compositionally, I don't think they should have lost that case,' the Chic musician argues
Earlier this month, a US jury decided that Thicke’s song copied Gaye’s hit. It was ruled that Thicke and Pharrell Williams – who helped write the track – must pay $7.3m (£4.8m) to Gaye’s family.
Now, Rodgers has offered Williams and Thicke. Speaking to Associated Press, he said that the two tracks “didn’t really sound alike”, adding: “Compositionally, purely compositionally, I don’t think they should have lost that case. ‘Got to Give it Up’ is clearly a blues structure, [‘Blurred Lines’] isn’t at all.”
The lawsuit was brought by Gaye’s children Nona, Frankie and Marvin Gaye III, who inherited the copyright to the soul legend’s music following his death in 1984. The trial came as a result of a pre-emptive August 2013 lawsuit filed by Thicke and Williams who, fearing the Gayes would be litigious, sought to affirm that ‘Blurred Lines’ is “strikingly different” to ‘Got to Give It Up’.
During the trial, which began on February 25, Williams spent more than an hour describing his musical process and he how he came to write ‘Blurred Lines’, which took him about one hour in 2012. Though he admitted a similarity between the track and ‘Got To Give It Up’, he said the Gaye song never entered his head during the writing process, merely that he was “channelling… that late-’70s feeling”.
Singer Thicke performed a medley of songs in court as evidence that many tracks share similar chords and melodies without necessarily copying one another. His performance included tracks by artists including U2, Bob Marley and The Beatles.
It is thought that Pharrell and Thicke have earned over $5m (£3m) each from the profits of the Grammy-winning single. Total profits from the single are estimated to exceed $16m (£10.8), and it has sold well over one million copies in the UK, taking the title of 2013’s biggest selling single.
Meanwhile, Chic recently released their first song for 23 years. ‘I’ll Be There’ was revealed on Facebook earlier this week (March 20) with a video starring US super-model Karlie Kloss.
Describing the new track, Rodgers posted that ‘I’ll Be There’ was “a moving concept for me about decisions we make in life”. Speaking of the video he continued: “Karlie Kloss connects the past and present. She sees the original group (who plays this track) on Soul Train. She, visualises the past looking at old school vinyl – then gets dressed and goes out to a current party to meet up with Stephen Galloway and the current #CHIC line-up happens to be playing live.”