Elvis Costello defends Olivia Rodrigo from claims she ripped off his song 'Pump It Up'

29 June 2021, 14:28 | Updated: 14 September 2023, 22:36

Elvis Costello and Olivia Rodrigo
Elvis Costello and Olivia Rodrigo. Picture: Getty

By Mayer Nissim

"It’s how rock and roll works," says Elvis about claims that Olivia lifted from his song 'Pump It Up' for her 'Brutal'.

Elvis Costello has come to the defence of Olivia Rodrigo after it was claimed that she had ripped off one of his songs.

Quoting a news article reporting on allegations that Rodrigo had plagiarised style and image elements from Hole and Pom Pom Squad for her Sour campaign, Billy Edwards said "No shit. First song on the album is a pretty much direct lift from Elvis Costello."

But Costello defended Rodrigo's right to be inspired by his work, directly responding: "This is fine by me, Billy.

"It’s how rock and roll works. You take the broken pieces of another thrill and make a brand new toy. That’s what I did. #subterreaneanhomesickblues #toomuchmonkeybusiness"

Edwards had been suggesting that 'Brutal', the opening track on Rodrigo's debut Sour album released last month, had borrowed from Costello's 1978 single 'Pump It Up', which featured on his This Year's Model album.

Olivia Rodrigo - brutal (Lyric Video)

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Pump It Up (Official Music Video)

With his hashtags, Costello made it obvious that he'd been inspired by Bob Dylan's 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' and Chuck Berry's 'Too Much Monkey Business' writing his own song.

Earlier this month, Courtney Love complained on Instagram and Facebook that Rodrigo seemingly took inspiration from the cover of Hole's Live Through This in artwork to promote Sour.

"I’ve asked her for flowers and a note," Love said among other comments on Facebook.

"It’s rude not to be asked. I know [Live Through This photographer] Ellen von unwerth isn’t amused.

"My cover was my original idea . A thing you maybe have to actually live life to acquire ? I don’t know . Anyway . Disney ? Yes it’s rude . X"

Read more: Elvis Costello is awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list

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