Britney Spears’ new single “Hold it Against Me,” which he feels rips off the title of the Bellamy Brothers’ 1979 No. 1 country hit, “If I Said You Have a Beautiful Body Would You Hold it Against Me,” which he penned. Spears’ track, produced by Max Martin and Dr. Luke, hit the Internet Monday, and Bellamy’s son called him from Nashville to tell him it was using “pretty much the same title.”“It’s not every day you get in the middle of a Britney Spears brawl,” David Bellamy tells EW, laughing. True. But that’s where he finds himself today after taking issue with
He hasn’t heard from anyone in Spears’ camp (a rep for the singer declined to comment), and he’s not making a decision about whether to take legal action until he learns more about the laws involved. “I just have to see what the intent was,” he says. “I just kind of found it unoriginal, and I guess it makes us realize how old we are, because they’re recycling our titles already.” This May, the Bellamy Brothers will celebrate the 35th anniversary of their first No. 1, “Let Your Love Flow,” and have already released a two-volume anthology to commemorate it. They’ll be doing 180 shows this year.
Bellamy concedes that a lot of people use the “If I said you have a beautiful body…” line. The first time he remembers hearing it was when he was watching reruns of You Bet Your Life in the ’70s, and Groucho Marx said it to a buxom blonde one night. “Of course, this was back when you could say that to a buxom blonde, before everything was PC,” he says. “It was just really funny, and I thought, Well, that’d make a really good song title.” He also knows a lot of people use the same titles of songs now, and it’s really not that surprising. “But this particular title is kinda hard to disguise, because the title is the song. It’s not like saying, ‘I love you, baby.’ I think songwriters have become watered down. This makes me sound like an old man again, but I find that songwriters now are not as strong as they used to be in the ‘60 or ’70s. I naturally gravitate to that. I like singer-songwriters, strong hooks, old rock, and old country. I’m not really a big fan of the Euro dance mixes, but I think there’s just more original stuff out there to do than just rehashing old titles.”
That leads us to our final question: If Spears were to rip off another Bellamy Brothers track, which would he recommend? “Well, we’ve got plenty of tracks if she wants suggestive titles. We’ve got ‘Do You Love As Good As You Look’ and ‘Lovers Live Longer.’ We’ve even got a song called ‘My Wife Left Me For My Girlfriend,’” he says, chuckling again. “Britney, she could get away with singing those. We can’t, because they would call us dirty old men at this point. I guess that’s why she’s doing it, ‘cause she can get away with it…. Maybe she’ll come over and we’ll do a duet or something.”