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Gwen’s Sweet Escape… from Jail? For theft? | The Blog of Kendall

The Blog of Kendall

Observations and Interests of Kendall Schoenrock - Web 2.0, Startups, Technology, & Other Fun Stuff


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July 20, 2007

Gwen’s Sweet Escape… from Jail? For theft?

Written by
Kendall Schoenrock

Wallhogs partnered with Gwen Stefani and we built out this rocking page for her custom wall prints. I purchased her new album from iTunes a while back, but recently I stumbled upon something rather interesting about the intro to one of her new songs “The Sweet Escape.” I listened to the song and it reminded me of a German song that came out in 1986. The name of the German song is “Sweet Sweet Gwendoline” by Die Ärzte. This is just a crazy coincidence, right? The Sweet Escape and Sweet Gwendoline?

Bild:Emblem Die Ärzte.svg

Listen to the first 10 seconds of this song and compare them to the following video of Gwen Stefani. I am by no means a musical savant so I thought I would pose my theory to the group. Do you think Gwen or her helpers took inspiration from Die Ärzte? I think these intros are VERY similar. Perhaps they searched for “Sweet Gwen” and came up with the German song and used it as a launchpad? Am I crazy? Please post a comment with what you think! Did Gwen steal the intro to her hit song?

[audio:Sweet_Sweet_Gwendoline.mp3] **I apolgize to anyone who speaks German. I realize this is not a very politically correct song.

Oh, and no matter what you should buy a Gwen Stefani Wallhog!

13 comments for this post.

  1. Comment from
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    Carmina Platt on
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    July 22nd, 2007
    :

    Hey, KMS, I like this song. It is bouncy and even though I can’t always hear the words, it is peppy and sounds like it is something that would make you stand up and dance!!!!

  2. Comment from
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    Kendall on
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    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/17/d255175190/htdocs/public_html/blog/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
    July 22nd, 2007
    :

    Both are very catchy. Perhaps I am way off here on my theory, but I’m glad you enjoyed the songs. Thanks for speaking up! :) -Kendall

  3. Comment from
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    pretzel on
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    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/17/d255175190/htdocs/public_html/blog/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
    July 22nd, 2007
    :

    Kenny,

    seems too me that you are right. That said - maybe there is something even older than the song by Die Aerzte?

    Maybe they copied from someone?! I guess they did, since usually they don’t use English titles? Why would they in this case?

    Anyway, interesting thought! Very observing.

  4. Comment from
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    Kendall on
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    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/17/d255175190/htdocs/public_html/blog/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

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    July 23rd, 2007
    :

    To the best of my knowledge, Die Aerzte wrote a song about Sweet Gwendoline who is the “main female character in the works of bondage artist John Willie and possibly the most famous bondage icon after Bettie Page.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_Gwendoline] Die Aerzte, with their song, introduced this sub culture to a large group of people who may never have known about it. That is something that Die Aerzte would have done and it actually adds yet another layer to my theory. An interesting idea would be to find out if Gwen Stefani had previous knowledge about the book and if that could have influenced their search practice. Might you know of someone who has the studio version of the song? I think that would be a better comparison. It is on their AB 18 album.

    Thanks for your contribution.

    -Kendall

  5. Comment from
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    Chris on
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    July 23rd, 2007
    :

    Kendall,

    Good comparison some coincidence. The huge similarity to the song is the guitar. It is the same in the manner of it’s unique sound, but a different pace or BPM and is very distinguishable in any song. Regardless,(musical savant or not)just goes to show you are listening and not just hearing the music. I believe both really have nothing to do with the other as far as influence or copied.

    Christopher

  6. Comment from
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    Chris on
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    July 23rd, 2007
    :

    Kendall,

    I would like to put something together and see how close I could get these two together. I would like to get the song by Die Aerzte. If you have a link or what not.

    Christopher

  7. Comment from
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    Kendall on
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    July 23rd, 2007
    :

    Hey Chris. I’ll email you with info on the mp3 and you can help do a direct comparison if you’d like. If not, don’t worry about it. I’m starting to think that Quoc is right and that this is all for not :). Perhaps there are just so many ways music can be played to sound good.

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    Quoc on
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    July 23rd, 2007
    :

    Its hard to imagine, but there is a limit to music. There are only so many chord progressions, notes, and melodies that can be put together and sound pleasing to listeners. Songs that sound alike isn’t anything new and more prevalent with bands “sampling.” I don’t know whether or not Sweet Escape samples Sweet Sweet Gwendoline (music credits?) but its not uncommon for songs to sound alike. Avril Lavigne is in the middle of this with her song, “Girlfiend” (Cyndi Lauper rip-off?) and last year, The Red Hot Chili Peppers had to explain how their song “Dani California” sounded like “Last Dance With Mary Jane” by Tom Petty. I still remember Vanilla Ice’s laughable explanation of how the beat for his song “Ice Ice Baby” was different from “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie.

  9. Comment from
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    Kendall on
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    July 23rd, 2007
    :

    Great feedback Q. Perhaps you’re right. Perhaps the entire thing is a huge coincidence, but I hope you don’t think I’m too crazy to point it out. :) I agree with your logic on sampling.

  10. Comment from
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    Julie on
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    July 23rd, 2007
    :

    Kendall,
    I agree that they do sound similar especially in the middle part. The melody and some of the notes sound similar, but they tend to switch off. The part in one song that is played or slower is played faster in the other song and vice versa. Liked both of the songs though. If she did take her inspiration from that song I liked how she spiced it up a bit. Cool stuff and very observant of you to notice the similarities.

  11. Comment from
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    Kendall on
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    July 23rd, 2007
    :

    Hi Julie! Thanks for your feedback. It seems as though we’re coming to a consensus that it’s just a big coincidence. :) In any event thanks for participating in my online study and for leaving a comment!

    Cheers,
    Kendall

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    Qwen on
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    August 8th, 2007
    :

    I was listening to this and I think that they sound very much alike…
    I think something should be done about it because something was done to Avril lavigne with the song “Girlfriend” that she “stole” from a song “i wanna be your boyfriend”… I like Gwen Stefani but I really think she should get in trouble because this is no different then Avril Lavigne!
    If nothing is done to Gwen… I dont think anything should have been done to Avril Lavigne!
    If you agree with me please tell me by an e-mail…
    [email removed for privacy by Kendall]

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    Kendall on
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    August 9th, 2007
    :

    Hi Qwen thanks for your feedback!

    The key question here is who needs to read this post or review these two chunks of music to be able to make a decision if one is based off of the other? I don’t follow music enough to know who’s in charge of spearheading an analysis of Gwen’s music or her sources of inspiration. Another point is that Die Ärzte is relatively unknown in America. Perhaps their song is obscure enough that only a handful of people could have possibly known about it and / or been in a position to bring it to the masses.

    I think if someone is serious about moving on this item they should tell their friends and family to checkout this post and leave a comment. Let’s build a discussion here as I’m not sure if my hunch is correct or not. Let’s let the community decide. If I am correct that I think Gwen took her inspiration from the German song then the community will speak out and this will get the coverage it needs to put pressure on Gwen to cite and embrace her influences.

    Thanks for your input!
    -Kendall

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