Cat Stevens says Coldplay song similar

Singer Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, performs during the Live Earth concert at the soccer arena in Hamburg, northern Germany, July 7, 2007. REUTERS/Christian Charisius

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Singer-songwriter Cat Stevens agreed on Monday that the Coldplay song, “Viva La Vida,” sounds like one of his 1973 songs, but he stopped short of saying he would sue for plagiarism.

“My son brought it to my attention and said: ‘Doesn’t that sound like ‘Foreigner Suite?’” the musician, now known as Yusuf Islam, told Reuters.

“The song definitely sounds like it,” he said of his song. “It has such logical chords and the melody has to be what it is...”

Asked during a telephone interview from London whether he would pursue the issue legally, Islam, 60, said “it depends on how well Satriani does.”

U.S. guitarist Joe Satriani has sued Coldplay, accusing the band of copyright infringement. He claims substantial original portions of his song “If I Could Fly” are recycled in “Viva La Vida” and is seeking damages.

Islam, whose new album “Roadsinger,” comes out on Tuesday (May 5), was unable to perform at a New York concert on Sunday because of “work permit” issues. The singer, a Muslim convert, said the problem was unrelated to his being denied entry into the United States five years ago because his name was on a government no-fly list.

“It’s just been delayed by a week,” he said of his trip to the United States to promote the album. “The day I was scheduled to go to the (U.S.) embassy they had implemented a new system. There were gremlins in the works, but they (U.S. officials) were all so nice.”

Islam is scheduled to play one show in Los Angeles next week and appear on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” on May 13.

Editing by Bob Tourtellotte