Earlier this month, in the hours after the release of “Solar Power” — the title track from Lorde’s forthcoming third album, due in August — the two songs people kept mentioning as possible inspirations were George Michael’s “Freedom 90” and “Loaded” by British rockers Primal Scream.
In an interview shortly after the song dropped, Lorde said Primal Scream had given their blessing to the song. “I reached out to Bobby [Gillespie, the group’s frontman] and he was so lovely about it — he was like, ‘These things happen, you caught a vibe that we caught years ago.’ And he gave us his blessing. So let the record state: ‘Loaded’ is 100% the original blueprint for this, but we arrived at it organically. And I’m glad we did.”
Late last week, George Michael’s estate weighed in with similar praise on the late singer’s website, likewise playing down any negative comparisons and stating that Michael “would have been flattered.”
“We are aware that many people are making a connection between ‘Freedom ’90’ by George Michael and ‘Solar Power’ by Lorde which George would have been flattered to hear, so on behalf of one great artist to a fellow artist, we wish her every success with the single,” the short statement from Michael’s estate reads.
Michael’s “Freedom 90” was originally released on his “Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1” album several months after “Loaded.” It shares a similar chorus, piano hook and chord progression that was remarked upon at the time but apparently never verged into legal terrain, although such matters are often settled quietly.
Hear all three songs (and a fan-made mashup) below.