Did Coldplay copy Joe Satriani?

Is Chris Martin a closet Satriani fan?
Is Chris Martin a closet Satriani fan?

Poor Chris Martin. He's been sitting pretty at the top of album and singles charts the world over in recent weeks, and yet he's still suffering accusations from inventive YouTubers suggesting his best-selling songs are rip-offs.

First came a fine piece of self-publicity by Brooklyn indie band Creaky Boards, who suggested Martin had come to see them and copied their song The Songs I Didn't Write for Coldplay's Number 1 single Viva La Vida.

No one quite believed Creaky Boards, as it soon emerged that Coldplay had demo'd Viva La Vida by the time Martin went to the Creaky Boards gig.

But now things get stranger. Now some wag is suggesting Coldplay's real source of inspiration might be shaven-headed rock guitar instrumentalist Joe Satriani, and that Viva La Vida copies Satriani track If I Could Fly. At least this track was released in 2004, way before Martin and co would have written Viva La Vida. But does anyone really believe Chris Martin even listens to Joe Satriani? Or maybe it's Creaky Boards who are the closet Satriani fans, and they're the culprits?

There's a mashup of Coldplay and Satriani doing the rounds already, and while it seems preposterous the two are related by anything other than coincidence - neither tune is the most melodically unusual, after all - songs have ended up in lawyers' hands for less.

After all, where there's a hit there's a writ…

5 December update: Joe Satriani sues Coldplay.