Seal will release his new album in November. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Seal has issues a slap down to Sam Smith for using parts of Tom Petty's 'Won't Back Down' on his biggest single 'Stay With Me' without giving the late American musician a credit before releasing it.

The gospel-inspired ballad was released in 2014 and became a hit all over the world.

Sam wrote the track with his frequent collaborator James Napier and William Phillips but the trio had to give the late Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne co-writer credits - a 12.5 per cent share of royalties - due to the song's similarity to Petty's 1989 single 'I Won't Back Down'.

Seal was asked by ShortList magazine to rate a handful of modern pop smashes from the current crop of British chart-toppers, including Smith, Rag 'N' Bone Man, Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran and Adele.

But the 'Kiss from a Rose' singer gave a huge thumbs down to Sam for borrowing from Petty's track.

Seal said: "Well it wasn't even his song, was it? He got a slap on the wrist for it. We all have influences, but there are certain rules you follow. Do I like it? I like Tom Petty's song. That's all I say."

The 54-year-old British music legend was also disparaging of One Direction member turned solo star Harry's song 'Sign of the Times'.

Giving his appraisal of the guitar track, he said: "It's alright. There other songs on his album that I like more. There's something uneventful about the chorus - it's the same as the verse, isn't it? I'm bored by it."

Seal singled out Ed for his praise, describing his single 'Thinking Out Loud' as "one of the greatest songs ever written".

Bigging up Ed for his track - which he wrote with regular songwriting partner Amy Wadge - he said: "As much as it pains me to say it, this is one of the greatest songs ever written. Yes, ever. I wish I'd written it. Every single part of it is instantly memorable. It is perfect." 

Seal is due to release his 10th studio album 'Standards' on 10 November featuring covers of timeless tunes made famous by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone. 

He will be touring the new album and performing his greatest hits on the 'Standards UK' tour which starts in February 2018.