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The most egregious use of a song in a commercial/movie/tv series?
December 9, 2004 8:26 AM   Subscribe

(1) what do you think is the most egregious use of a song in a commercial/movie/tv series, i.e., Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door" during a commercial for J.C. Penney's, and (2) take a product and think of the worst possible song that could be used in an advertisement for it.
posted by lola to Media & Arts (72 answers total)
 
When Elvis Costello sang

"Anacin, because that pain is killing me, Anacin, my pain in through..."

Hasn't happened yet, but I scared you, didn't I?
posted by ParisParamus at 8:30 AM on December 9, 2004


A while back one of the consumer electronics companies was using a cover of the Beatles "Getter Better", and they always stopped right before the lines "Can't get much worse"
posted by alan at 8:31 AM on December 9, 2004


The answer is:

Janis Joplin's "Mecedes Benz" being used in a...Mercedes Benz commercial. I can't even excuse it in on the (highly unlikely) grounds that maybe it was meant to be ironic, or MetaAdvertising.

Second place: "Ring of Fire" by Johnny and June Carter Cash being used to shill for Sizzlers or Appleby's or some similar joint. It was a song they wrote about risking eternal damnation (they were both devout Christians) to pursue their attraction to each other while they were both still married to other people.
posted by availablelight at 8:31 AM on December 9, 2004


Didn't Bob Dylan do a skit for a lingerie commercial? He must've needed the money, or something.
posted by veedubya at 8:38 AM on December 9, 2004


Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life" for some cruise line ads, The Clash's "London Calling" for a Jaguar ad, Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" for Wrangler jeans ads and seen on a MeFi link just today, REM's "It's the End of the World As We Know It" during the trailer for Disney's latest cartoon.
posted by picea at 8:41 AM on December 9, 2004


Claritin ruined "Blue Skies" for me for a long time. Ditto for the Gershwin used by that airline (Delta?), overplayed constantly on TV adverts.

It PISSES ME OFF when a company takes a cool song and grinds one little section of it into the ground by constant airplay, also effectively linking the product with the song in your mind.

Companies should be strung up for that. Mostly, companies should just be strung up anyway for the multitude of heinous sins required just for them to exist
;-)
posted by Shane at 8:41 AM on December 9, 2004


What availablelight said too. Ring of Fire is an ultracool song with a great story behind it. It shouldn't be abused.
posted by Shane at 8:43 AM on December 9, 2004


Ring of Fire has also been used to sell hemorrhoid remedies.
posted by blueshammer at 8:44 AM on December 9, 2004


Sadly, Shane, unless the music is out of their hands somehow, blame the artists you love for letting their work get despoiled for some easy money, and not the companies. That's what really gets to me. Michael Stipe, do you really need another ivory backscratcher?!
posted by picea at 8:45 AM on December 9, 2004


Iggy Pop's "Lust For LIfe" being used for a cruise line. It's a song about drug addiction, isn't it?
posted by bondcliff at 8:49 AM on December 9, 2004


Zep for Cadillac, "Dream On" for Buick, and picea already mentioned "Fortunate Son." I guess no one at the ad agency said "Hey, guys, that one's just a little angry."
posted by sageleaf at 8:50 AM on December 9, 2004


Off the top of my head: The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" in Nike ads. The ad includes the first few lines of the song, which are:

"Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
Trying to make ends meet
You're a slave to money then you die."

Whatever you may think of Nike or the Verve as social commentators, there was something brutally ironic about Nike using these lyrics to sell incredibly overpriced shoes to people who couldn't afford them - and which were, at the time, manufactured by people who were, in a very real sense, "slaves to money."

BTW, the story is particularly juicy, because the Rolling Stones' manager liscensed the song to Nike as a way of retaliating against the Verve for sampling their song "The Last Time." Said Verve singer Richard Ashcroft: "The last thing I ever wanted was for my music to be used in a commercial. I'm still sick about it." More here.
posted by googly at 8:51 AM on December 9, 2004


Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" being used in a...Mercedes Benz commercial.

Definitely. I always wonder whether they were being ironic, or if they were just clueless about what the song was about.
posted by unreason at 8:52 AM on December 9, 2004


This thread lowers my opinion of advertisers, if that's possible. There's always the quintisessential bad advertising shill, Nike's use of Revolution (thanks a lot, Michael Jackson, you dick). There are some other good examples in that link.

Rolling Stones, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" -- Snickers candy bars
Lou Reed -- Honda motorbike
William S. Burroughs -- Nike
Bob Marley, "Get Up, Stand Up" -- Timberland boots
The Buzzcocks, "What do I get?" -- Cars
The Who, "Baba O'Riley" and "Bargain" -- More cars
David Bowie, "Changes" -- Microsoft
Iggy Pop, "Lust for Life" -- Heineken beer
Devo, "It's a Beautiful World" -- Target superstores
Devo, "Whip It" -- Pringles
Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Fortunate Son" -- Wrangler jeans
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:56 AM on December 9, 2004


The Cure's "Pictures of You" on those Kodak (I think) commercials.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:57 AM on December 9, 2004


A FOCUS AND A DELL, A FOCUS AND A DELL, BUY A CAR AND YOU'LL GO FAR WITH A FOCUS AND A DELL!!!!
posted by brownpau at 8:59 AM on December 9, 2004


"Carry on My Wayward Son" would be a great song for selling small items of luggage.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:00 AM on December 9, 2004


Sadly, Shane, unless the music is out of their hands somehow, blame the artists you love for letting their work get despoiled for some easy money, and not the companies.

Eh, blame 'em both. There's no shortage of blame to go around :-)
posted by Shane at 9:00 AM on December 9, 2004


Devo

Mark Mothersbaugh has been working in advertising for years (decades?) now, and probably sees something subversive in licensing these songs.

And wasn't it Bowie's "Heroes" that was used in MS ads?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:02 AM on December 9, 2004


I always thought Beatles' "Revolution" being used to sell Nike products was a little shameless (as c_d notes above, on preview). The Fab 3 & Yoko condemned Michael Jackson's allowing the ad at the time, but then this year Yoko signed off on using an image of John to promote Converse sneakers, which are of course owned by Nike. (Her putting John's bloody glasses on a posthumous album cover seemed cheeky at the time but in hindsight was just an early effort of DeadBeatle Marketing, Inc.

Also, I'm pretty certain that blame for any use of Creedence music can't be laid to John Fogerty, as he famously lost control of his catalog to Saul "Can't Dance" Zaentz in the 70s.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:04 AM on December 9, 2004


A pr-Devo, ad-copywriter Mark Mothersbaugh wrote a line for a Rust-O-Leum print piece that he later began chanting during a Neil Young session. Neil liked the line so much he incorporated it into the song, which we today know as "Comin' Apart at Every Nail." Kidding: it was "Rust Never Sleeps." Probably one of the few examples of a pop song that stole from the ad world, rather than vice-versa.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:12 AM on December 9, 2004


Devo again (sorry, remembered another tidbit): they've also as a group shilled Pioneer laser disc players and Honda scooters. Lou Reed did the scooter campaign too. While "Walk on the Wildside" played in the background.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:12 AM on December 9, 2004


That Janis Joplan song is my number one WTF.

Not in that vein but the song-ad link that used to drive me crazy was Ford's use of "Mercury Blues" to sell Fords not Mercs. Used to grate on me like salt in a cut.

Related subject: Anyone remember what the song that Microsoft originally wanted instead of "Start me up" in their windows ads? I remember the band turned down an obscene amount of money because they have a strict no advertising policy.
posted by Mitheral at 9:22 AM on December 9, 2004


"New York, New York" for Philadelphia cream cheese.

Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" for the Hyundai Sonata. I mean, I like my Hyundai, and I like Tull, but WTF?
posted by kindall at 9:35 AM on December 9, 2004


Yes, blame the artists for selling out. Also blame the labels - including indie labels like Astralwerks, who introduced Fatboy Slim to millions of TV-ad viewers - for seeing this as a convenient opportunity for advertising synergy.

BTW, if this thread has whetted your appetite for some good music, have no fear! You can buy a CD that features "Lust for Life" and other nuggets from Nick Drake, Sarah Vaughan, The Orb, and others at Amazon: "As Seen on TV: Songs from Commercials."
posted by googly at 9:35 AM on December 9, 2004


Devo also quoted "Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, etc" in Too Much Paranoia. And "I'm stroft" in Pink Pussycat - either Scott or Charmin's slogan (strong+soft) for their tissue.

And, yes, that is Mark singing the "Swiff it" song. I thought that was pretty damn funny, but not terribly subversive.
posted by O9scar at 9:41 AM on December 9, 2004


Rolling Stones "Start Me UP" for Windows 95. I still can't look at my start button without hearing that hook in my head.

Christ.
posted by Quartermass at 9:47 AM on December 9, 2004


Aerosmith's "Dream On" for the current Buick campaign makes me scratch my head every time I see it. Because people dream for a Buick?

And of course, Janis Joplin "Mercedes Benz" ad, the "Lust for Life" cruise line ad, and "Revolution."

Ring of Fire has also been used to sell hemorrhoid remedies.

Actually, it wasn't -- the Cash family (rightly) refused permission.

And y'know, I don't really mind it too much when indie musicians license songs to ads -- that money can mean a lot. There was an interesting NYT article a few years ago about the Apples in Stereo and how they evaluated offers to use their music in ads, and how it was easier for them to make ends meet as a result of taking some of those offers.
posted by Vidiot at 9:54 AM on December 9, 2004


*Mac The Knife-- MacDonald’s
Best use of a song about a knife-fighing pimp to shill Big Macs ever. Granted, they did change the lyrics to "It's Mac Tonight."
*The Times They Are A’Changin’-- MBanx
Yes, Bob Dylan was really thinking about online banking services when he wrote that song.
*Holiday In Cambodia-- Levi’s
Here's one for all the kids in the sweatshop.
*Search & Destroy-- Nike
WTF?
*In The Air Tonight-- Miller Lite
Nothing says 'Drink Beer' like someone drowning.
*Goin' Up The Country-- Tide Clean Breeze
And nothing says fresh & clean like The Viet Nam War.
*Foxy Lady-- M&Ms
The theme song for the Green 'female' M&M-- the “Sexy” candy-- The Jessica Rabbit of hard-shelled chocolate.
*Born In The USA-- Ronald Reagan
Reagan's campaign song (used against Bruce Springstein's wishes)
"Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
'Til you spend half your life just covering up"
You Go, Ronnie!
*Soul Man-- Bob Dole
Bob Dole's campaign song. Soul Man. Bob Dole. Soul Man. Bob Dole.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 10:00 AM on December 9, 2004


stupidsexyFlanders ... "stronger than dirt or milking the turkey" from the grateful dead's blues for allah has a title and a musical theme that seem to have been taken from an old ajax commercial
posted by pyramid termite at 10:02 AM on December 9, 2004


You can always check out this database of songs used in commercials. It's UK based however.

Apparently a Velvet Underground song was used for a Hyundai commercial and won some award for best use of music in a commercial. That should tell you much about our day and age.
posted by jeremias at 10:05 AM on December 9, 2004


I found the use of Jewel's "Intuition" selling Intuition razors pretty interesting, considering the lyrics about cashing in, etc.
posted by Hankins at 10:07 AM on December 9, 2004


All my personal peeves have already been mentioned. But it makes me so sad and old to have to explain to my nieces and nephews that rock and roll is that background music you hear in car commercials.
posted by TimeFactor at 10:14 AM on December 9, 2004


HP is using the Kinks "Picture Book" in a current ad campain for digital photo equiptment. Its sort of an odd choice because it's a pretty obscure song that I've never heard on the radio. I don't mind the ads becuase it's such a cool song and you never hear the kinks anymore. I'm not sure how well they work though since I had to google to remind myself what computer company was running the ads.
posted by octothorpe at 10:19 AM on December 9, 2004


Just to stir the pot...

How about good uses of popular music? For instance, while some Nick Drake fans probably cringed when the VW ad came out, I thought it was one of the best done, tasteful uses of contemporary music in a commercial that I've seen in a while. Perhaps it's because not a lot of people really appreciate the guy.

Also, because whe people think of convertables, they think "ooh, sunny days," but actually it's the night-time drives that are really special.

Ok, I suck.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:27 AM on December 9, 2004


Well, I can thank Volkswagon's ad agency for introducing me to Nick Drake, via the "Pink Moon" Cabriolet commercial (wherein they drive through a beautiful starry country night, only to end up at a noisy, raucous party...and then all agree to move along right away). I suppose pure fans might rightly get uptight, but once you get past the fact that it's trying to sell you something, the commercial is actually a lovely little piece.

More recently, I've spotted Cat Power's cover of "Sea of Love" and an old (80s!) Feelies song ("Hold On"?), both in commercials for some life insurance company.
posted by lodurr at 10:36 AM on December 9, 2004


Since the original question asked about movies, too, I'd have to go with The Go-Gos' "Vacation" in FAHRENHEIT 9/11, which was used to accompany ... images of GWB on vacation. Very clever, Michael.

also: pyramid termite: I'm pretty sure "stronger than dirt" is the old Borax slogan. (It's also what Jim Morrison sings/chants at the very end of "Touch Me," for some reason.")
posted by Dr. Wu at 10:53 AM on December 9, 2004


I thought using "Mr. Roboto" in that Volkswagen ad was cute.
posted by squidlarkin at 11:04 AM on December 9, 2004


Aerosmith's "Dream On" for the current Buick campaign makes me scratch my head every time I see it. Because people dream for a Buick?

Me too, also because the song seems to be about mortality, futility, hopelessness...
posted by Shane at 11:06 AM on December 9, 2004


octothorpe: You must not live in NH or MA. The only edgy radio station has started playing "Picture Book" recently. Took me a second to remember why it sounded familiar to me. Gross; that's supposed to work the other way around.
posted by suchatreat at 11:16 AM on December 9, 2004


I can't believe no one's mentioned Richard Buckner's Touareg ad. Sheesh.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:32 AM on December 9, 2004


I thought it was entertaining when Radio Shack used Moby's "We Are All Made of Stars" and (rather conspicuously) edited the "people they fall apart" line from the chorus. Way to go! (and way to go Moby, I guess.)
posted by neckro23 at 11:54 AM on December 9, 2004


The Shins' "New Slang" was used in a MacDonald's commercial. Pretty odd when you consider that it has a line referring to "the dirt in your fries." Also, Nissan (--or was it Saturn?) used Modest Mouse's "Gravity Rides Everything" which seems to me to be about the inevitablilty of death and decomposition. Dirges don't sell cars for me. The Buzzcocks do.
posted by mds35 at 11:57 AM on December 9, 2004


Civil_Disobedient, I was one of probably millions of people who had never heard of Nick Drake prior to that VW commercial. I didn't buy a Volkswagen, but that's something else entirely.

I have to admit I was saddened to hear The Clash on a commercial.
posted by tommasz at 12:38 PM on December 9, 2004


I thought it took a lot of editing to make "Fortunate Son" into a PATRIOTIC song, which was like this huge "WTF??" moment for me.

Just having a good song advertising a mediocre/overpriced/unrelated product doesn't strike me as that odd or wrong, especially since many of the bands/artists aren't particularly political (Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin).

The use of "Mac the Knife" amuses me, though, but then, I've yet to hear an accurate translation of Mac the Knife performed by a popular artist. So, while it's millions of miles away from Mackie Messer... not that far from Bobby Darin.
posted by dagnyscott at 12:53 PM on December 9, 2004


a) I thank the Gap for opening me up to Bill Withers back in their Khaki days

b) God forbid we allow a band who makes pennies on each album sold, to make some money by licensing songs that dont get airplay anymore (no comment on the Zep and Beatles usage). I bet half of you would sell a song to Nike if they offered you $5 million for it...especially if it currently nets you $0.

c)Let's not forget the kids pitching these ad concepts are young...and therefore more willing to put the bands they like in their ad work.
posted by Dantien at 1:09 PM on December 9, 2004


"Blitzkrieg Bop" used to sell Coors Light was pretty bad.
posted by norm at 1:10 PM on December 9, 2004


dagnyscott, try the Nick Cave version. This disc also has a version of Mack The Knife sung in the original German by none other than Bertolt Brecht himself.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 1:12 PM on December 9, 2004


And here's another great database of songs used in commercials.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 1:35 PM on December 9, 2004


"Happy Jack" in the Hummer ad was a great ad for a not-so-great (in fact the opposite of great) truck.

As for Devo, Mothersbaugh found it funny to remake "Whip it" into "Swiff it" if I recall reading that correctly once. He didn't just license it, he actually re-recorded it.

At least it was him that did it. Kohl's (I think) butchered "Always something there to remind me" to "...excite me" many a time when they commissioned the remake. There was an allergy commercial that did much of the same thing with another song. If you don't like the lyrics, why not use a different song, Madison Avenue?

On a slightly unrelated note, the Cadillac commercial that's floating around now, the holiday one, seems to me to be ripping off the annual Coca-Cola trucks-and-Santa ads, visually and musically, at least until the now-very-tired Zeppelin riff kicks in.

A much older example that gets me every time is some Chevy dealership (if not the whole corporation) using Fluke's "Atom Bomb" to advertise it's trucks and more tank-like cars such as the not-nimble Impala. I'm assuming they use it for its Wipeout XL associations, though how superfast, superlight hovering racers match up with suburban has-beens and also-rans match up is well beyond me.

I also am pretty sure I heard Chumbawamba's "Amnesia" used in a mattress commercial long ago.

As for the whole "Mercedes Benz" and "Fortunate son" conversations, I'd wager that ad agencies use those songs because 90% of people just sing along to the lyrics they like or remember and don't care about what they mean, if they can decipher them at all. I'd like to think that somebody in the know throws that stuff in, or okays it, as an ironic nod to people like us who do notice such things.

We are talking about the commercials, after all...
posted by codger at 1:36 PM on December 9, 2004


Though I don't believe the song was in the movie, Disney used Fishbone's Party at Ground Zero for Jungle to Jungle.

Iggy Pop's Real Wild Child in an ad for a flower delivery service struck me as odd.

As for good music, another VW ad used Charlie Mingus's II B.S. from the excellently titled album, Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus.
posted by Monk at 1:56 PM on December 9, 2004


A recent article on Mothersbaugh's art says he apologizes for the Swiffer ad. '"I didn't think it would suck that bad," he laments.'
posted by kindall at 2:08 PM on December 9, 2004


Here comes Johnny Yen again. With the Viagra. And the Corona Light. He's worth a million in stock options. Hey man where'd you get that 60SPF lotion?
posted by idontlikewords at 2:08 PM on December 9, 2004


My Ford Mustang came with a tape of Mustang-related music, including "Mustang Sally." Worked for me.

No one's answered Mitheral's question yet? Here you go: "Rumor has it that Mick Jagger quoted the $12M price just to make the MS guys go away--and wasn't quite prepared for the "Do you want that in cash or check?" response." The Rolling Stones were the very ones who tried to turn down Microsoft's offer.
posted by equipoise at 2:27 PM on December 9, 2004


MrMoonPie, that Buckner ad made me cry almost.

Has anyone mentioned the "Tainted Love" ad? I kinda dug it.
posted by ifjuly at 2:47 PM on December 9, 2004


Oh I forgot: Psychic TV's "Roman P", a song about the Manson family killings and Polanski's penchant for younger ladies, being used to sell cars (VWs?). Inapproprilicious!
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 3:01 PM on December 9, 2004


Thanks equipoise for that good tidbit however putting electrons to wire knocked something loose in my brain (this has been bugging me for years) and a google search including a band name provides the answer: R.E.M. for "It's the end of the World as we know it"

The FAQ doesn't state how much they turned down but ya got to think if MS's first offer to the stones was 12 Mil they must have been willing to go higher for their first choice.

... contemplates 12+Million for selling out and not doing so ...

Head asplodes
posted by Mitheral at 3:06 PM on December 9, 2004


I liked "Anticipation" in the ketchup ad where they show how slow the dang stuff is to come out. Heh.
posted by GaelFC at 5:01 PM on December 9, 2004


The Dylan song for Victoria's Secret is Love Sick, a great tune, great vocal performance. In a 1965 interview, Dylan was asked if he could imagine anything causing him to 'sell out' and he replied, inimitably, "Ladies' underwear." Knowing that makes me feel a little bit better when the song cues up in the commercial.
posted by thinkpiece at 5:43 PM on December 9, 2004


Ooh, can I extend the question to classical music? I was always astounded by Microsoft's use of the Dies Irae from Mozart's Requiem (I don't remember what product it was for):

Dies irae, dies illa
solvet saeclum in favilla


Loosely translated, that's "On the day of wrath, the world will be reduced to ashes." Yes, let's sell software by singing about the end of the world.

Then there was a commercial (don't remember who, but I think it was for a car) a few years back that used the Dies Irae from Verdi's Requiem (same lyrics, different music).
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:07 PM on December 9, 2004


As I recall, sometime in the eighties, Devo's "Whip It" was used to advertise hair gel (Whip It! Into Shape!). In fact, whenever I hear the song nowadays, I think of that commercial.

And while I was also horrified at the flag waving "Fortunate Son" travesty, my vote for the most distressing use of music in a television commercial is hereby cast for the Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 ad in which the little girl sings "My Country 'Tis of Thee" while people murder one another. No joke: this was the most effective thirty second anti-war spot I've ever seen.
posted by Clay201 at 7:15 PM on December 9, 2004


A recent article on Mothersbaugh's art says he apologizes for the Swiffer ad. '"I didn't think it would suck that bad," he laments.'

Wow, no way! I thought you were kidding...

Oh, I just remembered perhaps the most irritating pop-music song that's in, like, every other commercial:

Hey now! You're a rock star! Get your game on! Go... plaaaay!

At least they're gettin' paid.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:13 PM on December 9, 2004


Rolling Stones "Start Me Up" for Windows 95

I laughed when I heard that, because the chorus goes, "You make a grown man cry." Now that's subversive.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:34 AM on December 10, 2004


Hyundai used to have an ad for their SUV that featured Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Chile. It opens with a shot of the SUV, then pans to a shot of a pine-forested hillside. Just at the point in the song where he says "I stand up next to a mountain," a giant red carpet falls out of the sky and rolls down the hillside to the bottom (flattening a path through the trees) and then the SUV starts to drive up the red carpet to the top of the hill.

It used to be on a lot during Star Trek. Cruel world.
posted by scarabic at 9:51 AM on December 10, 2004


The La's There She Goes Again (ostensibly about heroin) being used in a birth control pill commercial. Although admittedly the version used in the ad was the Sixpence None the Richer version, so presumably that make the song more spiritual and less about smack.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 10:17 AM on December 10, 2004


I figure if I have to listen to a commercial, it might as well be something I like. I have no problem with ads using pop music. Better that than really inane pop marketing schlock crap shit.
posted by Doohickie at 11:04 AM on December 10, 2004


You know what is most interesting about this? The fact that so many of you guys commenting here admit to not being sure of which product is using which song! Maybe agencies should look at this thread when they think about licensing something. Maybe save a few bucks as well as employ some amazing spot composers!

Though I think "Rubberband Man" for OfficeMax is a great example of licensed music in a spot. Because the agency (DDB) went to the trouble of creating a character and a situation, and used the music to complement it, rather than taking some product shots and dropping a track over it.
posted by macadamiaranch at 11:11 AM on December 10, 2004


My favorite thing is watching as generations age, the music in TV ads change. Take the Led Zeppelin for Cadallac. Remember the music they used ten or so years ago? Now they are trying to get "hip guys" with some Led Zep. In 15 years they'll be using crap on the radio today.

The one I hate on right now is that Buick one with the Aerosmith song. The woman is much too young to be pining over a Buick so the "oldies" song is appealing to guys. The other thing is the Buick theme line is "Dream Up", not "Dream On". Both don't really fit the brand. And what does dream up mean? If I'm dreaming up, I'm dreaming of a Porsche or Audi S8, not a Buick.

It will be pest when the boomers hit old age needing Depend undergarments and arthritis medicine.
posted by birdherder at 11:43 AM on December 10, 2004


... an accurate translation of Mac the Knife...

Don't the first lines translate more or less directly as "A shark has teeth / and it wears them in its face / MacHeath has a knife / And you don't see that"? I don't actually know the German line, but that's what I heard given as the translation once; I had to agree with the person giving it, that there was a certain minimalistic elegance to the simpler version...

birdherder: Stick with the Porsche. All the high-end Audis are going to have that bizarro joystick monstrosity instead of switches, knobs and buttons.
posted by lodurr at 12:51 PM on December 10, 2004


Hyundai used to have an ad for their SUV that featured Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Chile. It opens with a shot of the SUV, then pans to a shot of a pine-forested hillside. Just at the point in the song where he says "I stand up next to a mountain," a giant red carpet falls out of the sky and rolls down the hillside to the bottom (flattening a path through the trees) and then the SUV starts to drive up the red carpet to the top of the hill.

It used to be on a lot during Star Trek. Cruel world.
posted by scarabic at 9:51 AM PST on December 10


Indeed. This came on once when I was watching TV with my then 16 year old son, who subsequently had to endure a quick and high intensity lecture on just who Jimi Hendrix was, why he was great, and why Mom shrieked in agony when the commercial started playing.
posted by jokeefe at 5:47 PM on December 10, 2004


*Goin' Up The Country-- Tide Clean Breeze
And nothing says fresh & clean like The Viet Nam War.


If that Goin' Up The Country is the song by Canned Heat, it was originally entitled Bulldoze Blues when it was recorded by Henry Thomas in 1928. He played quills--small panpipes mounted on a rack--on the recording, playing the same line the flute plays on Canned Heat's version. Other than being on the radio for a time at the time or for the later version appearing on various movie soundtracks from Woodstock on, neither recording of the song has or had squat to do with Vietnam. Not in anyone's mind at the time. Zero, zip, nada. Nothing says ironic in the context of this thread like associating a song with a historical event because it was on some much later movie soundtrack or another.
posted by y2karl at 7:56 PM on December 10, 2004


y2karl: Interesting comment interchange. I remember hearing "The Letter" (Alex Chilton w/ The Boxtops, for you youngungs) on the radio in 1984 and having the (completely incorrect) epiphany that it was a war song. I can't even remember why I thought that, now, but I did, and very strongly.

I mentioned the notion to a friend who was old enough to have been at risk of going to Vietnam; he laughed at me. That was very educational.
posted by lodurr at 7:03 AM on December 12, 2004


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