Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Current adventures in pop music: You're going to reap just what you sow... and you may not like what that is.

Aside from some interesting choices in hair and spectacle fashion [you may have realised I notice these things], Lou Reed is a pretty cool guy. Heck, I'll go so far as to say it's a given. If nothing else, he's earned his place amongst the list of rock stars who somehow managed to live through 70's. However, he does like to test the friendship it seems.

In 1997 Reed approved the use of his song Perfect Day for use in a campaign by the BBC to promote the diversity of their music programming across their various radio and television stations. This took shape in the form of a cover of said track with various musicans and performers being enlisted to perform various segments, with Lou opening and closing the number . Apparently it was quite successful, so much so that a single was released, which hit the number one spot in the UK for two weeks. The proceeds of the single were donated to the BBC charity event Children In Need [possibly in line with Reed's belief that the BBC requested to use the song for charity purposes, as opposed to self promotion].

As tends to be the case, my interest lies with the video. Originally designed to be screened in cinemas and on television, the clip became a music video in its own right due to the popularity of the advertisement. While the wikipedia article on Perfect Day contains the full list of who appears, the little details one may notice if they take the chance can provide minutes of amusements. Should you choose to look, you will find:
  1. Lou Reed wearing a leather jacket that doesn't quite fit him.
  2. Bono, circa U2's album Pop along with the well trimmed haircut that came with it, looking immensly soulful.
  3. David Bowie in a white room, in a white suit, looking thin [get it, get it?] and experimenting with designer earings.
  4. Boyzone playing the "we're what the kids are in to" card.
  5. Opera singers performing the lines "I'm glad I spent it with you" and "You just keep me hanging on" with the intent of re-contextualising them to a level of contemporary relevance, but just looking humourously juxtaposed.
  6. Huey from the Fun Lovin' Criminals being only trusted with two words, and being unable to contain the urge to stick the word "Yeah" on the end.
  7. Brett Anderson from Suede doing what he once knew how to do really well and look sleazy, as opposed to just desperate.
  8. Tom Jones putting in way too much effort. This might not seem like much of an oddity, but you kind of have to see it to get the true scope of it.
Use this list as merely a starting point. If the weather turns grey on you one dreary afternoon, formulate your own compilation of cynicism to pass the time. Much amusement to be had, I promise. The weird thing of it all is that somehow through all this the song is somehow strangely compelling, as big a car crash as it is. I'm going to credit Reed with this more than anything else, though maybe on some level it's because it reaffirms my theory that the 90's were worse than the 80's. I can't prove this of course; you're just going to have to go with me on that one.

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