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Crash (Gwen Stefani song)

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Single by Gwen Stefani
from the album Love. Angel. Music. Baby.
Released January 24, 2006 (2006-01-24)
Recorded 2004; Kingsbury Studios
(Los Feliz, California)
Genre Electroclash[1]
Length 4:06
Label Interscope
Producer(s) Tony Kanal
Gwen Stefani singles chronology
"Wind It Up"

"Crash" is a song by American singer and songwriter Gwen Stefani from her debut solo studio album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (2004). Written by Stefani and No Doubt bandmate Tony Kanal, the song uses automobile metaphors to describe a relationship,[2] and it received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Not originally planned as a single, the song was released as the album's sixth and final single on January 24, 2006 during Stefani's pregnancy.

Background and writing[edit]

Stefani had been working on her solo project with Linda Perry. The two penned several songs, including lead single "What You Waiting For?", but Stefani found the process difficult, commenting, "It's humiliating and intimidating even if they're sweet and excited, because you're drowning in their creativity."[3] When the two began working on a song about a deceased friend of Stefani's, Perry began writing the lyrics and Stefani, feeling that Perry was encroaching on her territory, broke down and left.[3]

Stefani's No Doubt bandmate Tony Kanal invited her to his house so that the two could go out with friends.[4] When she arrived, however, Kanal surprised her by playing some tracks on which he had been working and revealed that he had prepared some for Stefani.[4] Though Stefani had wanted to work with Kanal, she was concerned that his work would not fit with her dance-oriented album; however, she called it her "favorite track that [she had] written so far", and the two worked on the track, modeling it after hip hop trio Salt-n-Pepa.[3][4]

Critical reception[edit]

"Crash" received mixed reviews from critics. In a review for The New York Times, Kelefa Sanneh noted that the track "successfully conjure[s] up the infectious spirit of early Madonna."[5] David Browne of Entertainment Weekly called the song "a pricey retro fashion blurb" on which Stefani appears as "an old-school, gold-chained rapper".[6] Krissi Murison of the NME disagreed, calling it one of "the best bits of the decade of decadence" and referring to it as "Salt-N-Pepa's cartoon rap".[7] Jason Shawhan of stated that the song's "great Narada Michael Walden bleepy synth noises [...] pop out of the mix like the car stereo just decided to sing along",[8] and Jennifer Nine of Yahoo! Music commented that the track had "icy-cool schoolyard sass".[9] Eric Greenwood of Drawer B argued that the track "carelessly revisits Stefani's blatant fondness for 80's pop, but not even [...] Tony Kanal can save her from lifeless retreads like these."[10] The Washington Post reviewer Sean Daly compared it to Salt-n-Pepa's 1987 single "Push It" and added that Stefani "pushes it real good".[11] PopMatters's Jason Damas gave it a very strong review, stating that "Stefani nails all the vocal mannerisms" and that Kanal "reveals a major mainstream pop jones here, especially in the way he layers the cut [...] with dozens of orchestra hits [...] which have been absent from almost all pop albums for a decade or more now."[12] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine gave the song a mixed review, stating that it "features some near-fatal car metaphors" but that Stefani "maintains her signature sass throughout".[2]

Release and commercial performance[edit]

Stefani (far right) performing "Crash" accompanied by her Harajuku Girls and b-boys

"Crash" had originally not been planned as a major single release from Love. Angel. Music. Baby.[13] In late 2005 Stefani announced that she was pregnant (while performing the song on tour in Fort Lauderdale, Florida) and would be delaying her second solo album,[14] and the song was announced as the sixth single in January 2006.[15] The song impacted US contemporary hit radio and rhythmic contemporary radio stations in the US on January 24, 2006.[16][17] Because "Crash" was released as the sixth single, success was very limited since many consumers had already purchased the album, which at the time had been certified triple platinum in both the US and Canada.[18][19] It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 on February 11, 2006 at number 95.[20] It reached number 45 for two weeks and remained on the chart for a total of eight weeks.[21] The single was somewhat more successful on the pop charts, reaching number 20 on the Top 40 Mainstream and number 28 on the Pop 100, and had some crossover success, reaching number 38 on the Rhythmic Top 40.[22]

Stefani wore a L.A.M.B. racecar-style tracksuit for performances of "Crash" on the Harajuku Lovers Tour[23]

"Crash" was the only single from Love. Angel. Music. Baby. that did not receive a CD single solicitation in Canada; in addition, the track experienced minimal radio success, peaking at number 87 on the BDS Airplay Chart in March 2006.[24]

Due to Stefani's pregnancy, a live music video was released instead of a narrative video.[25] The video was directed by Sophie Muller at a performance in Anaheim, California during Stefani's Harajuku Lovers Tour.[25]

Track listings[edit]

  • US 12" promotional single[26]
A1. "Crash" (Album Version) – 4:06
B1. "Crash" (Instrumental) – 4:05
B2. "Crash" (A Cappella) – 4:06
  • European promotional CD single[27]
  1. "Crash" (Album Version) – 4:06

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Love. Angel. Music. Baby.[28]

  • Gwen Stefani – lead vocals, songwriting
  • Brian "Big Bass" Gardner – mastering
  • Lee Groves – keyboards, mix programming
  • Rob Haggett – second assistant engineer
  • Tony Kanal – keyboards, production, programming, songwriting, synthesizers
  • Colin "Dog" Mitchell – recording
  • Mark "Spike" Stent – mixing
  • David Treahearn – assistant engineering


Chart (2006) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[21] 49
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[29] 20
US Pop 100 (Billboard)[22] 28
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[30] 38

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
United States January 24, 2006 Contemporary hit radio Interscope [16]
Rhythmic contemporary radio [17]


  1. ^ Usinger, Mike (November 25, 2004). "Gwen Stefani – Love. Angel. Music. Baby.". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Cinquemani, Sal (November 20, 2004). "Gwen Stefani: Love. Angel. Music. Baby.". Slant Magazine. Retrieved March 3, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c Vineyard, Jennifer. "Gwen Stefani: Scared Solo". MTV. Retrieved March 3, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b c Vineyard, Jennifer; Pak, SuChin (December 6, 2004). "Gwen Stefani Turns To Bandmate For Aid After Freak-Out". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved March 3, 2007. 
  5. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa (November 22, 2004). "Critic's Choice: New CD's". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  6. ^ Browne, David (November 23, 2004). "Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (2004)". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved March 3, 2007. 
  7. ^ Murison, Krissi (December 10, 2004). "Gwen Stefani : Love Angel Music Baby". NME. Time Inc. UK. Retrieved June 1, 2007. 
  8. ^ Shawhan, Jason (November 23, 2004). "Gwen Stefani – Love, Angel, Music, Baby". The New York Times Company. Retrieved March 6, 2007. 
  9. ^ Nine, Jennifer (November 25, 2004). "Gwen Stefani – Love, Angel, Music, Baby". Yahoo! Music. Archived from the original on March 12, 2005. Retrieved March 6, 2007. 
  10. ^ Greenwood, Eric (January 19, 2005). "Gwen Stefani – Love Angel Music Baby (Interscope)". Drawer B. Archived from the original on October 20, 2006. Retrieved March 3, 2007. 
  11. ^ Daly, Sean (November 24, 2004). "No Doubt About It". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 1, 2007. 
  12. ^ Damas, Jason (November 29, 2004). "Gwen Stefani: Love.Angel.Music.Baby.". PopMatters. Retrieved March 3, 2007. 
  13. ^ Moss, Corey (November 1, 2005). "For Gwen Stefani, Egyptian Cotton Is Something Like Love". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved March 17, 2007. 
  14. ^ Vineyard, Jennifer (December 24, 2005). "Gwen Stefani Confirms Pregnancy While Onstage In Florida". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved April 12, 2007. 
  15. ^ "For The Record: Quick News On Eminem, Beyonce, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Cam'ron, Jamie Foxx, Coldplay & More". MTV News. Viacom. January 11, 2006. Retrieved April 12, 2007. 
  16. ^ a b "CHR/Top 40 – Week Of: January 24, 2006". R&R. Retrieved November 6, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "Rhythmic – Week Of: January 24, 2006". R&R. Retrieved November 28, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Gold & Platinum: Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America. December 14, 2005. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Canadian certifications – Gwen Stefani – Love Angel Music Baby". Music Canada. June 9, 2005. Retrieved November 28, 2015. 
  20. ^ "The Hot 100: The Week of February 11, 2006". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 28, 2015. 
  21. ^ a b "Gwen Stefani – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Gwen Stefani. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  22. ^ a b "Love.Angel.Music.Baby. – Gwen Stefani | Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  23. ^ Sitt, Pamela (2005). "Gwen Stefani gives it up for the girls". The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times Company. Retrieved June 1, 2007. 
  24. ^ "The Hits Charts (Airplay) : Top 100 singles". Jam!. March 2, 2006. Archived from the original on March 2, 2006. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  25. ^ a b "For The Record: Quick News On Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, 50 Cent, Gwen Stefani, Nick Lachey & More". MTV News. Viacom. February 28, 2006. Retrieved April 6, 2007. 
  26. ^ "Gwen Stefani – Crash (12", Promo)". Discogs. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Gwen Stefani – Crash (CD, Promo)". Discogs. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  28. ^ Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (CD liner notes). Gwen Stefani. Interscope Records. 2004. B0003469-02. 
  29. ^ "Gwen Stefani – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Gwen Stefani. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  30. ^ "Gwen Stefani – Chart history" Billboard Rhythmic Songs for Gwen Stefani. Retrieved November 6, 2015.

External links[edit]