Adele's "Hello" just set a record for being the first song to sell a million downloads in a week. It's climbed to the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 list. The video has dethroned Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood," racking up more views in its first 24 hours. So, why are people so unhappy? NME reports that some fans are accusing the British singer of copying the 1973 Tom Waits tune, "Martha." Like "Hello," "Martha" is a lyrical phone conversation with an old flame. "Hello, hello there, is this Martha?" Waits sings. "This is old Tom Frost, and I'm calling long distance. Don't worry 'bout the cost / Cause it's been 40 years or more, now Martha please recall / Meet me out for coffee, where we'll talk about it all." Fans of the original song have taken to social media to note the similarities.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Adele producer and songwriter Greg Kurstin noted that Waits had been an inspiration. From the sound of it, however, the similarity is merely thematic. This isn't a Sam Smith/Tom Petty situation, and if there were rules against singing about something another artist already had, the entire music industry would grind to a halt. That said, "Martha" is a lovely song. If nothing else, take a moment to check it out below.
OPENER PHOTO: Beretta/Sims/REX Shutterstock.