Currently there’s a thread up on a board I frequent where people are sharing music via the wonder of YouTube. While perusing said thread I came across this piece by Nick Drake (who’s Nick Drake? Shame on you!)
While listening to it I couldn’t help thinking it sounded familiar. Then I realised why…
Now, maybe it’s just my tin ear. And maybe it’s difficult to construct a melancholy song around a descending scale without sounding like every other melancholy song constructed around a descending scale. And maybe it’s a tribute from Sarah Blasko to Nick Drake. But it really does seem a bit too close to me.
There are two ads that are really annoying me at the moment. Not because of the products they’re advertising (although car ads, as these are, annoy me anyway), and not because of the inane claims they make about said cars (because you really need a racing pedigree engine to run down to the shops), but because of their music.
Both adds use absolutely blatent soundalikes.
A soundalike is what you get when an advertising executive decides they want to use a particular song in their ad but are refused permission by the artist, or simply don’t want to pay for the rights. So they hire some poor schlob to write and record a song that’s close enough to the orignal to sound like it while being just different enough to avoid lawsuits.
Basically it’s a legal way of bastardising a song for commercial purposes.
The songs ripped off in these two ads are Disarm by the Smashing Pumpkins, and Packing Blankets by the Eels. Disarm – being a fine example of the Pumpkins’ bleak milieu – may seem like an odd choice for advertising anything apart from selective seretonin reuptake inhibitors, but they’ve ripped off the power chords and matched them with moody shots of their pestilential vehicle while a serious voice over person makes pretentious statements about how seriously awesome it is. The Packing Blankets add is full of shots of happy families driving to the beach and having picnics and things, with the car front and centre in each shot.
Both ads drive me to distraction. I find myself yelling “PAY FOR THE BLOODY SONG YOU BASTARDS!” at the TV every time they come on.
It’s my problem. I’ll have to deal with it.
Later: OK, the ad that rips off the Eels is actually for a land development up at Alkimos. Shows how well it held my attention doesn’t it?