Feel Bad for April 2015 – Songs Used in Commercials

Man, you guys really hated this theme this month! Hahaha! Only 13 of you submitted tracks, and my goal is for 25 submitters every month. Thankfully, several of you submitted two songs, and I rounded out the list with a few of my own. Lesson learned for me – don’t pick such hard themes! Although I honestly didn’t think this one was difficult since we are bombarded with advertising all of the time, and advertisers are usually too lazy to come up with their own music. Oh well, less work for me! But we still got a wide variety of submissions, ranging from 1949-2007, and all over the place in genre. I tried to incorporate the YouTube video of the ad using the song, if I could find the video (I didn’t put a lot of effort into video hunting). I also love all of the submissions from England! I tried to find The Old 97’s version of “Question” sung in French for the Quebec ad market which was used in EA Sports NHL2K6 (I think?) hockey video game, but failed.

And I want to apologize for this mix being late. In addition to putting my taxes off to the last minute (but I only owed The Man $48!), I got a horrid case of bronchitis which knocked me out for a few days. I’m still hacking up lung chunks. Anyhoo, thanks to Popa2unes for the artwork. Keep up the great discussions on the music. Are any of these artists sell-outs? Discuss.

cover

Download

1. “Send me on My Way”
Rusted Root
When I Woke (1994)
Submitted By: Rockstar_Aimz
Comments: This song is the inspiration for this theme. When I first heard in in 1994 I thought it was the Talking Heads. Now I hear it every damn day on Enterprise car rental ads. I wonder if it’s gotten more air time from Enterprise than it ever did from radio play back in the 90s.

2. “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays”
Buzzcocks
Singles Going Steady (1979)
Submitted By: @annieTUFF
Comments: As soon as I got the theme for a song in a commercial I had an idea about what I was going to choose. So I decided to send in my pick right away vs. over-thinking it and freezing up on my pick (choosing just one song a month is HARD!). Also, when is a Buzzcocks song on a mixtape a bad thing?
Edit: Nothing says the Buzzcocks like the AARP (2007 video)!

3. “You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record)”
Dead or Alive
Youthquake (1985)
Submitted By: @tincanman2010
Comments: Catchy, if dated. But who saw the 1985 video and thought, “Gosh I wish I knew where to find a family fun park”? Butlins 2010 advert pushed the nostalgia button with parents…who also remembered androgynous lead singer Pete Burns’s cross-dressing solo career. Course it was all an act, and by 2010 Pete was a Dad. No idea if Butlins paid in park passes.
Edit: For those of us who don’t know, Butlins is a “is a chain of large holiday camps in the United Kingdom.” Yes, I had to google it. :P

4. “Pink Moon”
Nick Drake
Fruit Tree (1986)
Submitted By: @BoogieStudio22
Comments: This Nick Drake song is the first that came to mind when Amy mentioned the theme. The only time a commercial turned me on to an artist.
Edit: Totally agree with Boogie Studio on this one. I saw the commercial in 1999 and I had to know who the artist was. Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t this commercial basically give a second life to Nick Drake’s music? Unlike most of these submissions, the ad is actually very good.

5. “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)”
Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians
Decca Records Single (1949)
Submitted By: @philnorman
Comments: Nothing immediately came to mind for the theme, so I cheated and googled a list of songs used in commercials. I heard this one recently on a big-band era broadcast and smiled, so it jumped out at me to include. Apparently it was in a Mercedes commercial during the 2000 Olympics. I thought about using the Todd Snider cover, but I like the original…
Edit: The only video I could find was a ska version, but I think it’s the right one. Todd Snider didn’t write this song? Huh.

6. “Theme from Harry’s Game”
Clannad
Magical Ring (1983)
Submitted by: April
Comments: When the subject of songs used in commercials comes up, this is always the song I think of first. Hearing this song in some car commercial in the ’90s was the first time I remember stopping and thinking, “I need to know what that song is,” during a commercial. It must have been a strange boost for Clannad – the Irish group that spawned Enya and her ubiquitous “Orinoco Flow” – who had written the song back in the ’80s for a television mini-series set during The Troubles in Northern Ireland. I’m betting the commercial sold more copies of Clannad albums than it did of whatever vehicle it had been advertising (it’s telling that I can’t recall what vehicle it was).
Edit: Googled and found it was in a Volkswagen commercial in 1992 to coincide with the movie Patriot Games, where Jack Ryan kicks some IRA ass and Sean Bean’s character dies. Man, Volkswagen is ahead of the curve on advertising music! Couldn’t find the video though.

7. “The Snake”
Al Wilson
Searching for the Dolphins (1968) and too many compilations to mention including, The Best Northern Soul All-Nighter (2012), Paul Weller’s Vinyl Classics Vol.2 (2001) and the recent Move on Up – the Best of Northern Soul (2015)
@simon2307
Comments: Great theme deserves the greatest Northern Soul track ever and one of my all-time favourite songs – get dancing.
The good – when an Ad revives a great tune (my pick this month).
The bad – when a great track is butchered to fit the Ad narrative.

The ugly – when the great track is paired to a crap product (back to my pick this month).

And for fun http://youtu.be/XfCAejc35GQ
Edit: Banned in the USA! Dammit. Bastards. “This video contains content from SME, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”

8. “I’ve Been Everywhere”
Hayes Carll
Bootleg from Cheatham Street Warehouse, November 30, 2006
Submitted By: toomuchcountry
Comments: Choice Hotels took liberties with Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” as part of an ad campaign. Hayes Carll also put a spin on the timeless song. Big difference is I’m always inclined to listen to more Hayes, but rarely moved to stay at a Comfort Inn.

9. “Another Girl, Another Planet” (used in an ad for Vodaphone in 2006)
The Only Ones
The Only Ones (1978)
Submitted By: hoosier buddy
Comments: Peter Perrett, lead guitarist for The Only Ones, wrote this refreshing pop song. Lyrics include “I always flirt with death – I could kill, but I don’t care about it- I can face your threats – Stand up tall and scream and shout about it — I think I’m on another world with you, I’m on another planet with you.” So not a terribly serious song, but it takes the emotional impact of young love pretty seriously. Must have had some impact on Paul Westerberg, which leads us to this ‘Mats cover version…

10. “Another Girl, Another Planet”
The Replacements
Shit, Shower & Shave (1989 bootleg)
Submitted By: hoosier buddy
Comments: Killer live version recorded in Bristol, Connecticut, on 31 August, 1989. Until this month, this was the only version I’d ever heard. The ‘Mats bring rock credibility to this song, along with a dose of intense insanity that makes the lyrics more real and heartfelt. And I love the way Westerberg pegs on “Planet” at the end.

11. “Ooh La La”
Faces
Ooh La La (1973)
Submitted By: @Popa2unes
Comments: Mitsubishi used this in commercials for their 2001 Galant. When this album came out in ’73 I wore it out, constantly playing it, and it’s still one of my favorite albums and this is one of my favorite songs… It was Ronnie Wood, not Rod Stewart or Ronnie Lane, who sang the lead vocal for this song. Lane and Stewart were at odds at the time. Stewart did not think the song was up to his standards although both he and Lane recorded lead vocals for it. Their producer suggested Wood give it a try, and that’s the version that was used for the album, which was Faces last studio album. Lane left the group after Ooh La La was released and The Faces disbanded after their 1974 tour. This song was used in the final scene of the 1998 movie Rushmore. It was also used in the opening scene of the 2004 movie Without a Paddle.

12. “White Room”
Cream
Wheels of Fire (1968)
Submitted By: @Popa2unes
Comments: In 2000, Apple Computer used this in commercials for their white iMacs which is strange as it’s about depression and hopelessness, but the setting is an empty apartment, I guess with your iMac. As a wee lad I had this 45 in my treasured collection the B side was “Those Were the Days.” It is now in the possession of one of my boys. It was released as a single after Cream had broken up.

13. “Bohemian Like You”
The Dandy Warhols
Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia (2000)
Submitted By: Blabber’n’Smoke
Comments: Used in a 2001 Vodafone commercial and chosen purely because that fact is plastered all over the cover via a sticker.
Edit: This is the only video where you have to watch a commercial to see a commercial. Thanks Vodafone! I seem to remember from the documentary Dig! that this commercial made The Dandy Warhols super popular in the UK.

14. “Grounds for Divorce”
Elbow
The Seldom Seen Kid (2008)
Submitted By: @magearwig
Comments: Elbow’s crowning achievement, both song and album. And that guitar riff!
Edit: (Per Wikipedia) “Grounds for Divorce” was also featured in the 8th episode for the 5th season, and promos for the 6th season of the American TV-show House MD.

15. “A Chicken with It’s Head Cut Off”
Magnetic Fields
69 Love Songs (1999)
Submitted By: @scratchedsoul
Comments: I vaguely remember this and had my aging-brain’s thoughts confirmed by the lovely internet which is clearly never wrong. I’m not sure why JC Penney’s would go this way for an ad campaign, but that’s probably why I’m not in advertising. I’m guessing the executive who OKed this is not in advertising either. Incredibly catchy song (as most Magnetic Fields songs are), just not one to inspire shopping.
Edit: It’s a 2013 “Back to School” video, but I can’t find it.

16. “Underwear”
Magnetic Fields
69 Love Songs (1999)
Submitted By: @scratchedsoul
Comments: While looking to confirm my thoughts that the other Magnetic Fields song was indeed in a commercial, I also stumbled upon learning that this song was used for a 2009 Puma campaign. Why a footwear company would choose a song called “Underwear” to sell shoes is beyond me.
Edit: Found this one! And it’s another video where you have to watch a commercial to see a commercial. Thanks PUMA!

17. “Dueling Banjos”
Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell
Dueling Banjos: From The Original Soundtrack Deliverance (1972)
Submitted By: Gorrck
Comments: Saw this used in a Kentucky Fried Panda Express commercial for PORK RIBS. WTF?

18. “Gigantic”
Pixies
Surfer Rosa (1988)
Submitted By: @magearwig
Comments: 26 years after its release and less than a year after Kim Deal left the band, the Pixies’ “Gigantic” was co-opted by Apple to promote the iPhone 5S, thus verifying the sentiment that the band’s 2004 return was all about the money.

19. “Love Sick”
Bob Dylan
Time Out of Mind (1997)
Submitted By: Rockstar_Aimz
Comments: Remember our collective “What the fuck?” when Bob Dylan started shilling for Victoria’s Secret in 2004? It’s not like he needs the money. Maybe he was trying to introduce his music to a younger audience? Whatever. Bob works in mysterious ways.

20. “The Thanks I Get”
Wilco
A bonus internet download to purchasers of Sky Blue Sky (2007) and also on the box set Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014 (2014)
Submitted By: Rockstar_Aimz
Comments: Wilco licensed half of Sky Blue Sky for advertising by Volkswagen. At the time I was somewhat offended that Wilco sold out (and equally offended that Sky Blue Sky sucked), but, unlike the Dylan and Buzzcocks fiascoes above, I can actually see Jeff Tweedy driving a Volkswagen.

Bonus! I thought of this one after I uploaded the mix and didn’t feel like re-uploading it.

“Revolution”
The Beatles
The Beatles: 1967-1970 (1973)
Submitted By: Rockstar_Aimz
Comments: The hard rock version was released as the B-side of the “Hey Jude,” as opposed to the slower and experimental versions (“Revolution 1″ and “9”) on the white album. See below for the download. From Wikipedia:

In 1987, “Revolution” became the first Beatles recording to be licensed for use in a television commercial. Nike paid $500,000 for the right to use the song for one year, split between recording owner Capitol-EMI and song publisher ATV Music Publishing (owned by Michael Jackson). Commercials using the song started airing in March 1987.

The three surviving Beatles, through their record company Apple, filed a lawsuit in July 1987 objecting to Nike’s use of the song. The suit was aimed at Nike, its advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, and Capitol-EMI Records. Capitol-EMI said the lawsuit was groundless because they had licensed the use of “Revolution” with the “active support and encouragement of Yoko Ono Lennon, a shareholder and director of Apple.” Ono had expressed approval when the commercial was released, saying the commercial “is making John’s music accessible to a new generation.”

The “Revolution” lawsuit and others involving the Beatles and EMI were settled out of court in November 1989, with the terms kept secret. The financial website TheStreet.com included the Nike “Revolution” advertisement campaign in its list of the 100 key business events of the 20th century, as it helped “commodify dissent.”

Commodify dissent indeed. Thanks Yoko! Interesting write-up by the ad agency on the Vimeo page.