Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill Is Now A Commercial Jingle

I had the tv on the other day while watching the news and getting dinner ready when I suddenly heard Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel being used in a commercial for a cell phone or wireless company. I really didn't catch which one it was and frankly I don't care I was, to say the least, very disappointed and a little shocked. I don't quite get what a metaphorical song about leaving the band you were in has to do with selling much of anything at all. What's next are they going to use Moribund The Burgermeister for a German beer commercial? I never thought Gabriel would end up selling his song as a jingle for a commercial but he can now add his name to a growing list of musicians/groups who have already taken this path.

Rolling Stones
Led Zeppelin
The Who
Bob Seger
Bob Dylan

Peter Gabriel

I don't count dead people who aren't around to have a say in this so Nick Drake gets a pass.

We know Tom Waits and John Densmore of The Doors refuse to sell their songs as a jingle and Neil Young with his song and video for This Notes For You has made his feelings well known on the subject.

I just did a search online and came up with this from an article last October in the L.A. times

"In 1991, another revival was stirred by Oliver Stone's movie "The Doors." Since that film's release, 14 million Doors albums have been sold in the United States alone.Those album sales combine with the money generated by radio airplay, merchandising and the other royalty streams to put steady deposits into the bank accounts of the surviving members and the Morrison estate."

I had read in the 90's that the band was selling a million records a year in the U.S. so this sounds about right. They aren't the only ones selling this much back catalog either, bands like the Eagles and Led Zeppelin have sold that many copies of their catalog a year also. At one point in the late 90's I also read that Guns N' Roses Appetite For Destruction was selling 500,000 copies a year in the U.S. as well.

Imagine having one album you did a decade before going gold every year? It really is amazing. I guess Pink Floyd could probably relate to it with how much Dark Side Of The Moon has sold over the years.

Millions of dollars is being dangled in front of these groups and some can't seem to say no to the amount of money offered. Many have grabbed it but it will be interesting to see which ones cave in and which do not.

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