Project Hammer Time - Der Super Kommissar

Lately everything has been somewhat serious, so to lighten up the mood, some fun from the 80's.

The other day my friend was singing this 80's song in German, I recognised it and it reminded me of an American song. We set out to find out WTF is the deal.. It turns out I was thinking of MC Hammer's U Can't Touch This and she thought she was singing Der Kommissar (she had all the words wrong).

None of those pages mention each other yet the base of the songs are the same. However it is mentioned that MC Hammer did get sued by Rick James for having copied Super Freak. This must have been the best moment in time ever to be a music copyright lawyer.

The weirdest thing is that there is almost nothing to be found on the Internet except this old Usenet thread that brings Falco's Der Kommissar and Rick James' Super Freak in the same conversation ! And then it gets even stranger as both songs were released in 1981. So who copied who ? Or who highly inspired who ? And why is nobody talking about this ?

To try to figure this out I did a sloppy montage of images from both clips Der Kommissar and Super Freak (and bonus semi subliminal stuff) using the soundtrack from Falco's version. You might notice that Rick James is almost in sync with Der Kommissar's lyrics. It's not arranged, I superposed both clips, aligned them to the right as Der Kommissar is longer due to the intro and simply flipped from one song to the other.

Anyway, here goes:

This video is not under any copyright in it's current status. It's probably even illegal for me to do this even though it is just for fun and I am not making any profits from this.. Au contraire. Anyway, they all copied each other, I'm just mixing them together. :]

Update: I must note that if MC Hammer had not "stolen" music from Super Freak, Rick James would have never won a Grammy in his life. Indeed, the only Grammy he got was as a result for having co-written U Can't Touch This.

Update 2: I just found this remix done a few years ago, the soundtrack mixes both Der Kommissar and Super Freak.



Nice montage! I somehow like the song better now (having listened to it during 2 days!).

And concerning the lyrics, when an austrian says "drah di net um", a german like me understands just "da di del dum" :)

manu -

You might still hear it for a few days more. I think that by playing this over and over again and studying every move they each make, and every reference too, it will help us understand the truth behind the origin of this song. ..

Sebastian Weiland -

As the german Wikipedia states, Falcos Manager came up with the song and Falco wrote the text to it. However Falco released Der Komissar in the fall of 1981 and it takes some time to write a whole new text to the song, so I guess Rick James was first.

Pam Burrows

While MC Hammer is a steal (I thought he ripped off Der Kommissar). I think both Super Freak and Der Kommissar were in the ether waiting for both artists. Just like the phone was invented at the same time in several places around the world. Or how comedians will come up with the same joke for something in the news. It's just there in the collective consciousness. When Paul McCarthy heard "Yesterday" in his head, he was certain it was an already existing song. If Falco & Rick James had been old enough, there might have been 3 different versions of Yesterday coming out at the same time. {^_~}
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