Britpop band Shed Seven are back in the headlines after accusing Harry Styles of imitating the cover of their 1994 single, Ocean Pie, for his debut solo album.

The One Direction star, who will release the as yet untitled album on May 12, delighted fans last week when he released its cover image – a shot of the 23-year-old with his head bent and a naked back.

But Shed Seven lead singer Rick Witter, 44, told The Mirror  that he believes the cover photo choice is an ‘imitation’ of theirs and comes ‘very close to the mark’.

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Album covers: Britpop band Shed Seven have accused Harry Styles of imitating the cover of their 1994 single, Ocean Pie,

Witter told the paper: 'When I first saw (Harry's cover image) I genuinely thought, 'Are you ripping us off? It's very close to the mark.'

Witter told the paper: 'When I first saw (Harry's cover image) I genuinely thought, 'Are you ripping us off? It's very close to the mark.'

Album covers: Britpop band Shed Seven have accused Harry Styles (left) of imitating the cover of their 1994 single, Ocean Pie, (right) for his debut solo album, according to The Mirror

Witter told the paper: ‘When I first saw (Harry’s cover image) I genuinely thought, ‘Are you ripping us off? It’s very close to the mark.’

Both pictures show the naked male figure with their head bent down into their arms, and both figures have wet, tousled, short dark hair. 

Harry’s album cover shows the figure in a bath,  however, while the Ocean Pie single cover shows the man bent over a sink. 

The highly anticipated One Directioner’s sleeve cover figure also wears a necklace. 

Excuse me? Witter said: 'When I first saw (Harry's cover image) I genuinely thought, 'Are you ripping us off? It's very close to the mark.'

Excuse me? Witter said: 'When I first saw (Harry's cover image) I genuinely thought, 'Are you ripping us off? It's very close to the mark.'

Excuse me? Witter said: ‘When I first saw (Harry’s cover image) I genuinely thought, ‘Are you ripping us off? It’s very close to the mark.’

And there will not be a lengthy lawsuit coming the star’s way as he embarks on his new indie-tinged solo career. 

The band apparently see the ‘imitation’ of their artwork as ‘flattering’.  

Rick told the paper: ‘They really do say imitation is the biggest form of flattery. 

Flattered: There will not be a lengthy lawsuit coming Harry's way as he embarks on his new indie-tinged solo career

Flattered: There will not be a lengthy lawsuit coming Harry's way as he embarks on his new indie-tinged solo career

Flattered: There will not be a lengthy lawsuit coming Harry’s way as he embarks on his new indie-tinged solo career

Returning to the airwaves: The band, who formed in York in 1990 and achieved success before breaking up in 2003, are about to release a fifth album

Returning to the airwaves: The band, who formed in York in 1990 and achieved success before breaking up in 2003, are about to release a fifth album

Returning to the airwaves: The band, who formed in York in 1990 and achieved success before breaking up in 2003, are about to release a fifth album

‘Good luck to the lad. I’m not going to get lawyers involved.’ 

The band, who formed in York in 1990 and achieved success before breaking up in 2003, are about to release a fifth album.

The four-man band reformed for a greatest hits tour in 2007 and are apparently not as bothered about Harry’s alleged ‘imitation’, as it brings them publicity at a good time. 

MailOnline have contacted a representative for Harry for comment. 

Leading man: Harry announced on Friday that he will be going on a world tour to accompany his first solo album

Leading man: Harry announced on Friday that he will be going on a world tour to accompany his first solo album

Leading man: Harry announced on Friday that he will be going on a world tour to accompany his first solo album

The allegations came a day after Harry announced on Friday that he will be going on a world tour to accompany his first solo album.

He took to Twitter to confirm the 29-date run to his fans, which includes two performances in London as well as visits to the US, Australia and Japan.

In a dramatic promo shot, the long-haired hunk is seen lying on his back in a denim jacket and jeans with his eyes closed, as water soaks him through.

The tour kicks off in San Francisco, and travels around the States before venturing across the pond to France, Germany, the UK, Sweden and Italy – and eventually finishing in Singapore, Australasia and Japan.

Exciting: The singer, 23, took to Twitter to confirm the 29-date run to his fans, which includes two performances in London as well as visits to the US, Australia and Japan

Exciting: The singer, 23, took to Twitter to confirm the 29-date run to his fans, which includes two performances in London as well as visits to the US, Australia and Japan

Exciting: The singer, 23, took to Twitter to confirm the 29-date run to his fans, which includes two performances in London as well as visits to the US, Australia and Japan

During his set he will perform a number of songs from his 10-track LP, including Ever Since New York, which is thought to be about his ex Taylor Swift, and hit single Sign Of The Times.

His first solo track debuted on BBC Radio 1 earlier this month, and landed the top spot on the charts that week with a whopping 40,000 downloads, and selling 3,000 copies more than the previous number one, Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You.

Proving to have stormed the States too, the hotly-anticipated rock ballad then reached number four on the US Billboard chart – although the sales figures themselves failed to reach that of his former bandmate Zayn Malik.

Dramatic: He simply wrote beside the announcement: 'SEE.YOU.SOON' 

Dramatic: He simply wrote beside the announcement: 'SEE.YOU.SOON' 

Dramatic: He simply wrote beside the announcement: ‘SEE.YOU.SOON’ 

Sultry: In the dramatic promo shot, the long-haired hunk is seen lying on his back in a denim jacket and jeans with his eyes closed, as water soaks him through

Sultry: In the dramatic promo shot, the long-haired hunk is seen lying on his back in a denim jacket and jeans with his eyes closed, as water soaks him through

Sultry: In the dramatic promo shot, the long-haired hunk is seen lying on his back in a denim jacket and jeans with his eyes closed, as water soaks him through

 



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