The Pretenders vs. the White Stripes – Song Parallels
How many different ways can you sing “oh oh oh oh”? A bunch, probably, but when it came time to write ‘Middle of the Road’ and ‘Fell in Love with a Girl,’ Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders and the White Stripes‘ Jack White settled on a pretty similar melodic progression.
In terms of lyrical content, the songs aren’t similar at all; ‘Middle of the Road,’ originally released on the Pretenders’ 1983 LP ‘Learning to Crawl,’ is a series of pensive observations about getting older and noticing class divisions in ’80s England, while the White Stripes’ ‘Fell in Love with a Girl’ is about … well, falling in love with a girl. Simple, but it bears repeating. Released nearly 20 years later, on the Stripes’ ‘White Blood Cells’ album, ‘Fell in Love’ ramps up the distortion and buries the hook in a bed of angry guitars, but you can still hear the obvious similarities between the two melodies. Lucky accident, or intentional tip of the hat from one rocker to another?
Listen to the Pretenders, ‘Middle of the Road’
Listen to the White Stripes, ‘Fell in Love with a Girl’