Gwen Stefani gave the world many fun pop songs. However, one of her songs initially “freaked out” a lot of the people who heard it. Here’s a look at why the track bothered people so much — and what its producer, Pharrell, thought of it.
One of Gwen Stefani’s songs was inspired by her love of a classic movie
While Stefani is a very different singer than Julie Andrews, The Sound of Music had a huge impact on her life. ”I’m like a Trekkie, but for The Sound of Music,” Stefani told Entertainment Weekly. ”The first time I ever went on stage, at a high school talent show, the dress that I wore was the dress that Maria wears when she sings ‘I Have Confidence.’ The drop-waist tweed dress. I had that dress. I made it.”
She later sampled one of the lesser-known songs from The Sound of Music — “The Lonely Goatherd” — for her track “Wind It Up.” ”When I heard [‘Wind It Up’] for the first time, I was in tears,” Stefani recalled. “I was, like, That is the craziest sh*t I’ve ever heard! It’s bizarre how that movie has followed my life.”
Interestingly, the music video for “Wind It Up” includes its own references to The Sound of Music. The video starts with Stefani dressed as a nun — an allusion to Maria von Trapp, who was a nun at the start of The Sound of Music. At another point in the video, Stefani and her dancers recreate the “My Favorite Things” sequence from the movie.
Why Pharrell and others had problems with the song
However, Stefani’s decision to yodel in the song had its detractors. “Some people are freaked out by that yodel,” Stefani told Elle. “Either they get it or they don’t. But I’ve always had the fantasy of putting The Sound of Music to a beat. I used to quote all the songs like a geek!”
Pharrell was not very enthused. “I just rolled with her,” he admitted. “I wanted her to be happy.”
Why Gwen Stefani didn’t reference ‘The Sound of Music’ on the cover of ‘Wind It Up”s parent album
While “Wind It Up” and its music video reference The Sound of Music, Stefani decided to reference Scarface on the cover of the song’s parent album, The Sweet Escape. Stefani told Entertainment Weekly she decided to dress as Michelle Pfeiffer’s bombshell character from Scarface on the album cover rather than Maria von Trapp. Stefani revealed this was because she wanted to do something “naughty.”
How the public reacted to Gwen Stefani’s ‘Wind It Up’
“Wind It Up” wasn’t a favorite of Pharrell’s — but the American public seemed to embrace the track. The track peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for 18 weeks. The song’s parent album, The Sweet Escape, was a bigger success, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and remaining on the chart for 51 weeks. Pop stars rarely sample movie musicals, however, Stefani found success doing just that.