Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I Should CoCo

The rip-offs of popular songs in advertisement campaigns are manifold. Iggy Pop, Radiohead, Blur, Bowie - slightly altered, twisted, but the lyrics and tunes strangely recognizable. Cheap copies of the original songs, presumably changed just enough to duck claims of copyright infringement. But still the catchy and (subconsciously) familiar tunes that make a good commercial.

The Britpop band and personal favourite Supergrass have become the latest victims of this practice. The song Alright of their 1995 album I Should Coco has been morphed by "composer" John Tanner for a new ad campaign of the Wisconsin Tourist Department. The ad tune is called Life is Good, and is nothing but a banal translation of the original song's message. Tanner has offered to write a new ad tune, but the Tourism Board will only take him up to it if the controversy deepens. Initially Tanner did not even think there was anything to consider: "In this case we are clearly not on shaky ground. Our music is simply a fun, upbeat, pop-rock track. Crafted musically and lyrically for our particular purpose."

Yes, crafted by taking Alright apart and recomposing this "fun, upbeat, pop-rock track" to the "fun, upbeat, pop-rock track" that is the musically inferior but commercially exploitable Life is Good. Supergrass' label has this far not filed any complaint, maybe because nobody who considers to go to Wisconsin will ever listen to Supergrass. In the meantime, judge for yourself:

Supergrass' Alright (from some obscure Russian MP3 site)

Wisconsin Advertisement rip-off
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