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Norwegian band Vamp copies Malvina Reynolds’ Little boxes but gives her no credit

8.26.2012 | My Blog

the members of Vamp

I was listening to Norwegian radio station P3 today, and heard the band Vamp’s new single “Liten fuggel”. I immediately recognized it as “Little boxes” by Malvina Reynolds. The two were so close that I had to look up both songs online. Again, the similarity was striking! So I got curious how Vamp recognized this fact, and I did a little checking around:

What I found was several news articles (like this one from local newspaper Haugesund Avis, English translation here) about the band and the single. But even though Vamp pretty much has copied the melody straight off the original, and based the (Norwegian) lyrics on the song, they claim to have written text and melody themselves, and there is not mention of Malvina Reynolds.

I have made a video that compare the two songs:

Unfortunately, due to copyright law I could only use a short sample of each song, so the similarities in this video are not that obvious. But you can check out the full songs here:

I am a believer in copying and combining old music to create something new, as long as the original artist is given credit. But Vamp does nothing to that sort. Quite the contrary, they claim they are the original. And that’s pretty shitty.

The orginal song is now most known as the title song for the TV-series Weeds, where a multitude of artists made their own versions of the song, all of which gave credit to Malvina Reynolds. Check out a compilation of the versions.

Same text as above, in Norwegian:

Hørte akkurat Vamp’s “Liten fuggel” på P3 og kjente den umiddelbart igjen som Melvina Reynolds’ “Little boxes”. Sjekka sidene og albumet til Vamp, og flere avisartikler om det, men Melvina Reynolds og Little boxes er ikke nevnt med et ord. Er alltid for deling, kopiering og remixing, men da bør orginal-artisten krediteres. Vamp påstår selv at de har skrevet både melodi og tekst, og det har åpenbart ikke. Dårlige greier.

Hør selv:

Vamp – Liten fuggel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cE7RmeC9Ftc

Melvina Reynolds – Little boxes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_2lGkEU4Xs

Little boxes er forøvrig mes kjent som kjenningsmelodien til TV-serien Weeds, der mange artister har laget sin egen versjon av låten: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVyVp0qMpOk&feature=fvwrel

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