Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hit songs that started out as commercials

1. The Undertones - Mars Bars

A punk classic that recites the lines directly from the original ad, word for word: "It helps me - makes me! - work, rest, and play!"

Mars first used the slogan, "A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play" in 1959 and recently brought it back to tap into the hunger for chocolate, nostalgia - and mosh pits?

2. The New Seekers - I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (in Perfect Harmony)

Originally a Coca-Cola jingle in 1971 - the one with the creepy people on the hilltop - the New Seekers' full-length song version dropped the words "Coca-Cola" and rocketed up the charts to #1 in the UK and #7 in the US. It became a hit all over again - the same year - for a group called the Hillside Singers.

3. The Kingsmen - The Jolly Green Giant

Everyone's favorite giant is reborn as a giant dude hungry for some ho, ho, hos.
"Well, he ain't no prize/And there's no women his size/And that's why the cat's so mean."

4. The Monotones - The Book of Love

Who wrote the book of love? Pepsodent. In the 50s.

The ad: "Wonder where the yellow went?" The song:

5. The T-Bones - No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)

An instrumental hit that was originally a 60s jingle for - you guessed it - Alka-Seltzer.

6. The Clash - Koka Kola

"I get good advice from the advertising world!"

Ever! The Clash's song - about the corporate world's reliance on cocaine - is notable for cribbing Coke's 70s themeline - "Coke adds life!" (TV commercial) - and harking back to the (mostly) urban legend that Coca-Cola is rife with cocainey goodness.

1 comment:

  1. There's glucose for energy
    Caramel for strength
    The chocolate's only there
    To keep it the right length

    Big fan of the Undertones, that's good stuff.


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