Saturday, January 21, 2012

Where is my mind?

Who would have thought it eh? The last big television advertising campaign of 2011 and the first major campaign of 2012 featuring songs originally written and recorded by The Smiths and The Pixies respectively.

Just as Slow Moving Millie reworked "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want," for the John Lewis Christmas holiday so we have Guy Farley reworking The Pixies classic "Where is my mind?" for the Thomson 'Time for a holiday' advert.

The song has been covered by everybody from Kings of Leon to Placebo to James Blunt (whose version is actually very good), there have been piano versions, versions by female solo artists and now we have an artist called Sunday Girl. Cover versions usually work best when they present the song in a new version or at least add to it, well that's my opinion, and I think this one does. And as Nigel Tufnell said in Spinal Tap after playing "Lick My Love Pump," there's something about songs in the minor keys that get you just there.

I know it's easy to knock television advertising but the full ninety second version of the Thomson advert is unashamedly aimed at the heartstrings. Its message, that we don't spend enough time with those we love and hold dear, is as subtle as one of those "Happy Birthday," banners you see from time to time at the roadside.

Pixies fans appear to be divided but I don't suppose Black Francis is bothering too much as he cries all the way to the bank, he might not even own a television set!


Span Ows said...

Nice. I am very wary of covers that change too much, or completely change the feel but this is a rare exception that is very good; not that some others aren't good, it's just that many are complete pants, or as you say, they change nothing and so are just cashing in - especially when the yoof don't realise it's a cover!

A Northern Bloke said...

I've always though that a good song will always be capable of being arranged in different ways without losing any of its original quality.

How many people have done decent versions of, say, Dylan songs?

Paul said...

I agree Span although Joe Cocker's version of 'With A Little Help" is possibly the exception. Apart from The Byrds and Hendrix very few Shy.

I have edited the post to reflect that it should have been 2011 and 2012 not 2010 and 2011.

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