So, a brief follow-up to yesterday’s rant. As if we were ever in any doubt, considering the fact that he stopped A Tribe Called Quest making any money from their most successful track, it seems that Lou Reed was also willing to sample his own work for ads.
Not only that, he even starred in an ad. And it’s really quite good.
Apparently, according to a book quoted in AdAge, this Lou Reed ad was to lead, ultimately, to W&K winning the Nike Michael Jordan business…
[W&K] came up with something quite original, an offbeat, grainy commercial showing Lou Reed on his Honda, cut to his song “Walk on the Wild Side.” It was tough to say whether it was shot by the most skilled professional or the rankest amateur, but it was hip and oddly compelling, in part because the scooter message was pitched only at the last minute.
And that led to this..
Which, one could argue, helped set both companies on the trajectory to where they are today. Not a bad achievement for Reed, to rank alongisde the (actually quite reasonable claim) that he was responsible for the most influential album in rock history:
it’s hard to think of another record that altered the sound and vocabulary of rock so dramatically, that shifted its parameters so far at a stroke.
Because it was a totally left-field cover for Faith No More, probably the biggest alternative rock band around when they released it (the Red Hot Chili Peppers of their day, even though the Chilis were around at the time.)
Because the original version of Easy, by Lionel Richie’s Commodores, was used in an ad for a bank in the 80s (below) which made me want to live in a loft, with a cat. Quite possibly the only cool bank ad ever made.
I first heard of Big Star when every music journalist in the UK was using them as the barometer to describe the direction that Teenage Fanclub took with Bandwagonesque (which beat Nirvana’s Nevermind& Primal Scream’s Screamadelica in many end of year best-of lists). At the time I hadn’t a clue who Big Star were, and never bothered to find out till a few years ago.
Thirteen is the title track off of Big Star’s debut album, and if you’ve never heard it, boy have you got a treat in store. My favourite line from the song is this one:
Won’t you tell your dad, “Get off my back”
Tell him what we said ’bout ‘Paint It Black’
As to why the song is so wonderful, I’ll leave it to the more eloquent souls at Rolling Stonbe and Allmusic, who had this to say about it, respectively:
[Thirteen is] one of rock’s most beautiful celebrations of adolescence.
There are few songs that capture the aching innocence of adolescence as well. [It is a] perfect melancholy ballad
So, a new year, another attempt to get more out of my blog. A while back I went for playing shuffle on the iPod. This time I’m taking my direction from start-up This Is My Jam which, though a service I like, I don’t really click with totally.
You’re only meant took use it once a week and it creates yet another social profile (see the unofficial title of this blog). Anyway, that’s why I’m going to try to post a jam, or marmalade, every day. Probably without much commentary, to make it likelier that I actually do it.
To start, Suede b-side My Dark Star; I’m having one of my frequent 90s indie nostalgia sessions at the moment.
Photo by iglooo101 on flickr
The ad, for Sky Sports, set to the Rolling Stones classic You Can’t Always Get What You Want, is made up of (what I assume is) real footage of fans at grounds around the country. As the intro, sung by the London Bach Choir (the Stones wanted to do an English version of the kind of gospel choirs that feature in a lot of songs, if I remember the anecdote from Keith Richards’ autobiography correctly), comes to an end, with that immortal like, “but if you try sometimes, you’ll get what you need“, the fans all start going mad following a goal being scored.
Whilst there’s a lot of talk about how the Olympics means that people won’t be as interested in watching overpaid, arrogant footballers, this ad is a pretty good way of showing that, with the best will in the world, that’s a pretty naive hope. Because, as the ad says, for lots and lots of people, every goal does matter.
I was out last night and saw a chap wearing a Senseless Things t-shirt, which made me think about a band I haven’t listened to, or even thought about, for years. And so, courtesy of our friends at YouTube, I found myself watching this clip of them playing Easy To Smile which was probably their biggest (or only?) hit. I’m pretty saw it when it was first broadcast too.
Easy To Smile was a lovely little slice of power-pop of a type that was pretty common-place in the early 90s; like many of their records, it featured a Jamie Hewlitt illustration mon the cover, pre-dating Gorillaz by a fair few years. Easy To Smile is similar to the sort of thing that also used to be put out by Mega City Four, another band I had a soft-spot for at the time. They looked like they’d not showered for years but their singer had the voice of an angel and their harmonies were to die for. I think I can feel an iTunes binge coming on.