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Monday, September 13, 2010

Top Six Most Inappropriate Uses of a Song on TV, Ever

Posted By on Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 7:28 AM

Having heard the news that Lou Reed reportedly refused to let Susan Boyle perform "Perfect Day" on America's Got Talent last week (resulting in her apparently fleeing the country in floods of tears; Reed says legal issues were to blame), we couldn't help but start thinking about the variety of songs that have been misused on television over the years simply because no one intervened quickly enough.

Here then, for your delectation, are the top six most inappropriate uses of a songs on TV, ever:

6. "Perfect Day" by Lou Reed & Various Artists
Now, this version of the song is actually pretty cool, featuring, as it does, the likes of Shane MacGowan, David Bowie, Evan Dando and -- praise Jesus! -- Tom Jones. The wildly inappropriate thing about it though is that, while it was originally put together to promote BBC Radio in the UK, it ended up being used to raise money for prominent British kids' charity, Children In Need. So, to summarize: that's a song about having an awesome day because you're smacked out of your mind on heroin, being used to raise money for at risk children. Uh-huh. We don't mind too much though because it raised almost four million dollars for the kids -- and that's nice. Weird, but nice.

5. Any Nick Drake Song Being Used as a Promotional Tool 
The sound of Nick Drake's tortured vocals are so exquisite, so intensely lovely, so special, that it sounds like actual little pieces of his soul coming out of his mouth. He died of an overdose, aged 26, largely unrecognized, suffering from manic depression and living as a virtual hermit. Therefore, it's safe to conclude that when he wrote "From The Morning," he wasn't secretly hoping to one day have it used by AT&T to sell phones (phones with notoriously shoddy reception, no less), and we're pretty darn sure he didn't write "Pink Moon" to promote Volkswagon bastard Cabrios. Hearing these songs used so flippantly makes us want to chop our own ears off and throw them off one of the tall monuments being draped in orange fabric in that AT&T commercial.

4. Reality Television's Rampant Overuse of "Fix You," by Coldplay 

Let's get this straight, people. "Fix You" is about being in the midst of the most excruciating degree of mourning known to mankind (rumor has it that Chris Martin wrote this for his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, following the death of her father). It is not -- we repeat, not -- about losing a gameshow, not getting through to the next round of American Idol, or leaving So You Think You Can Dance early. "Fix You" was recently dragged out on the Australian version of The Biggest Loser too, which is doubly bad because it also implies that pudgy folk need "fixing." Stop it, reality TV producers. You're cheapening a beautiful song. And making fat people feel bad about themselves. And that's just mean.

3. Sheena Easton's "Morning Train (Nine To Five)" as Covered by The Mini-Pops 

Unless you're a British person who was a child in the early '80s, you probably have no idea who The Mini Pops were. If you do happen to fall into that demographic however, then you already know that The Mini Pops was a TV show in which small children got dressed up, slapped a lot of make-up on and performed the hits of the day. It was intended as a bit of harmless fun, but got into all sorts of trouble because of a variety of inappropriate covers, including this ode to suburban drudgery. You won't believe it unless we show you, but yes, the following clip shows a six-year-old girl singing about waiting for her man to get home from work so they can "make love". Warning: the shuddering you're about to experience may continue for more than 24 hours. Did we mention that this was prime-time television back then?


2. Nike's Use of The Beatles' "Revolution" and John Lennon's "Instant Karma" 

Oh screaming irony! If Nike had known anything about karma, it probably wouldn't have gotten embroiled in all that business with the sweat shops. And if all those people in the sweat shops had been able to empower themselves at all, they might have forged their own revolution against the company! John Lennon was, and remains, a symbol of peace, love and world harmony -- not footballs made by children or engaging in challenging training regimes. Oh, and Nike: when Lennon sang about "the human race", he wasn't actually talking about a running competition. Heathens.


1. Ronald Reagan Using Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The USA" in the 1984 Presidential Campaign 
With all those staffers on hand, you'd think somebody in Reagan's camp might have listened to the song past the big rousing chorus part. You know, all those other less convenient bits about the hardships of being a working class American and the trauma foisted upon an entire generation by the Vietnam War -- that sort of thing. This remains one of the most hilarious examples of the levels of cluelessness some politicians are capable of. Oh, and Springsteen was pissed. Which is yet another reason to love him.

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