A word from our sponsors
December 28, 2010
Perhaps 5 or 10 years ago there was a time when I got the impression that most of the people responsible for the incidental music in adverts or documentaries were about the same age as me. Short extracts or instrumental breaks from 50s/60s/70s pop songs would appear in the most unexpected or inappropriate places. I would exclaim to the bafflement of those around me “That music is from Skinhead Moonstomp/Kites/Soft Machine Six” or whatever. Those days have passed now as more hippety hop music is used by a younger generation of admen.
There is one piece of music that continues to be (over)used. It comes from an LP I love recorded (and released) in 1977 . Although it featured reasonably high in the UK album charts and scraped in at the bottom of the USA album charts it never got much radio play and my friends at the time and the world in general showed a marked lack of interest. By 1978 the record had been forgotten by all but the singer’s loyal fans. The title track from this LP should have been a single. What was wrong with the marketing dept ?? It would have been massive. I refer in particular to the insistent drum-dominated instrumental break/riff that begins track one side one before the vocals.
So, although this song disappeared in 1978 after virtually no radio airplay it suddenly re-appeared about 10 years ago on the TV. It was used on a number of adverts or programme trailers and as a background to car chases or fast moving sporting events. It would crop up in science programmes on the Discovery Channel. Our local news programme used it regularly. I even heard it once on the BBC News Channel. The whole song was belatedly used in a couple of popular films you probably saw in the 1990s. Also this piece of music was often messed around with. Sometimes looped and extended, sometimes slowed down, sometimes speeded up. Sometimes it sounded like the original. Invariably it sounded like it had been re-recorded by someone else. There is even an orchestral version. In all cases the music fades just before the moment when the vocal begins (or they start the instrumental again from the beginning).
I’m sure you’ve guessed which tune I’m on about by now haven’t you ?