'Pants on the Ground': Did Larry Platt borrow a riff from Moby?

I have no desire to take away from Larry Platt’s fearless originality of songcraft during the Atlanta auditions for American Idol. But am I the only one who, upon hearing “Pants on the Ground,” was instantly reminded of the great Moby song “Flower”? The track isn’t nearly as famous as some of Moby’s others, because it was created during the sessions that produced Play but appeared only on the soundtrack for the 2000 Nicolas Cage-Jerry Bruckheimer remake of Gone in 60 Seconds; it’s heard over the film’s opening credits. (It was then released four years later on Play: The B Sides.) Influence or coincidence? You decide.

Here’s Moby’s “Flower”:

…and “Pants on the Ground”:


Comments (47 total) Add your comment
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  • CineCzarina

    Sorry, Ow-G, I think you are reaching with this one.

    • movieloversmatch

      I love Moby!

    • ceegee

      Dang, Owen! You are sooooooo reaching!!! That so called “riff” that Platt supposedly “borrowed” from Moby, has been sang, chanted and danced to on every African American playground for decades!!! I played “patty cake” to it and skipped “double dutch” with it when I was a kid, and I’m a grown-assed woman in my forties, dawg!

    • MultiPass

      Oh good lord, Owen. Go review a movie, sweetie, you are musically clueless. A chanted refrain as such is a very common audio hook. the whole point of The General’s “song” is driven by his distaste for saggers. There’s no stylistic or musical plagiarism here, that is entirely beside the point.

      But at least you got a post up that will buy you some Idol comment log volume! Make sure to tell the editor-in-chief how many pageviews you brought in!

  • Nate

    Yes Owen, you are the only one.

  • Ceballos

    Since I have a feeling that OG isn’t being entirely serious with this post, I’m just smiling at the idea of Gen. Platt spinning some Moby in his leisure time and debating the merits of “Play” vs. “18” with his fellow veterans.

    • crispy

      Play is far superior to 18, and if General Platt doesn’t agree he knows nothing about house music.

  • Bobby

    It sounds pretty obvious to me,but it’s still funny.

  • Hutchy

    This may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read on EW. Yeah, The General was spinning some obscure Moby in his spare time and concocted a master plan to achieve fame by ripping off that song, which itself incorporates samples from other songs. Yeah.

  • crispy

    Wasn’t the point of Play that Moby incorporated American folk melodies with modern house music? So it’s entirely conceivable that both Moby and Larry Platt “borrowed” the riff from the same source.

  • ryan

    It’s “Green Sally, Up”, an old southern song.

  • Sina

    Yeah sorry but Moby got this song from an old southern album Sounds of the south. I don’t think this man was copying off of Moby but he may have been copying off of the ORIGINAL song that was out in the late 50’s

    • Anne

      I totally agree with you. That makes alot more sense than a 62 year old southern black man listening to Moby of all people.

      • Dee

        Sorry Anne, but I’ a 41 year-old black woman whose 75 year-old black father listens to Moby….and Linkin Park and The Dead Milkmen, too. We’re not all interchangeable, you know. Heard any good Lawrence Welk albums lately? If you’re sick of your dad’s, maybe I can talk my dad into lending him some of his Devo collection.

    • crispy

      Sina’s right. Moby sampled “Green Sally Up” from an archive of old southern folk music called Sounds of the South: A Musical Journey From the Georgia Sea Islands to the Mississippi Delta, which was recorded in the field by Alan Lomax in the summer of 1959. The liner notes attribute it to Jessie Pratcher, Mattie Gardner & Mary Gardner.

  • April

    Hmmm…me thinks Platt’s never heard of Moby…

    • Vivi

      I’m with you on this one. Can’t just picture the General on a beautiful Saturday morning, rocking on his porch chair, jamming to some Moby in the background.

  • wendy

    Its SO FUNNY! Who cares?! I’m sure not Moby! Let’s all lighten’ up! Jeez!

  • pj

    Good gawd …. leave this man alone.

    What he did sing on AI is true. Young morons with their ass/undies hanging out. Who da hell wants to see that?

    • insomniac

      It’s true!

  • wope

    wow, this is a stretch

  • Fred

    No – wrong – not even close. You analyze music like an amateur. Besides, why ruin the General’s 15 minutes Owen?

  • LanieB

    What an incredibly stupid blog post

  • LiLa

    Doesn’t matter what inspired Pants. It was hilarious!

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