Music Reviews

As Seen On TV

Various Sellouts


This is a collection of music used in television commercials. Scoff if you want, but I’d like to point out that as of late, TV commercials seem to have “broken” more worthwhile music than radio, and this is a very solid and diverse collection, despite the flimsy premise that binds the whole thing together. The heavy hitters are the car commercials, which require enormous amounts of energy and catchiness in order to make you abandon your perfectly good vehicle in favor of one that’s shinier and even more difficult to repair. Volkswagen is represented by Nick Drake, The Orb and Trio, not to mention Styx. Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” (Mitsubishi), Propellerheads’ “History Repeating” (Jaguar), and The Buzzcocks’ “What Do I Get?” (Toyota) also represent the auto industry. Also notable are Handsome Boy Modelling School (shilling for the NFL) and equally-recognizable tracks from Cat Stevens, T. Rex, The Cult, Groove Armada, Red House Painters and more.

As Seen On TV clearly highlights the love-hate relationship between fans, their music, and the TV commercials that expose it as thoughtlessly as a tour guide kicking over a log to reveal brightly-jewelled insects. Sure, you hate to hear “Lust for Life” tunelessly sounding from the bag-boy’s breath, especially when you realize that Iggy Pop had already peaked and troughed a couple of times before the lad was even born and all the stuffer can think of when he hears the song is car tunnels and a hot chippy on the bucket seat beside him. I’ll still take that over any of the inbred pop sensations that periodically sweep through the nations’ teens like outbreaks of encephalitis.


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