This year we’ve been celebrating ten years of the TV Ad Music website. To commemorate this, in a special feature, we’re counting down the best adverts and tracks from 2001 to 2011, based on a combination of requests, pageviews and downloads. In Part 1 we countdown numbers 20 to 11. The top 10 can be found in Part 2, and there’s also a huge 50-track Spotify playlist for your enjoyment.
#20: The Dandy Warhols – Bohemian Like You
From the Vodafone – How Are You? ads (from 2001)
Our countdown starts with a track that became a huge international hit after being featured in a TV ad in the year that the TV Ad Music Website was born. Bohemian Like You, from the album Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia, failed to bother the UK top 40 on its initial release in 2000. However, after Vodafone began to use the track, it soared in popularity and hit number 5 in the charts in 2001.
#19: Ellie Goulding – Your Song
From the John Lewis – Christmas 2010 ad (2010)
This John Lewis Christmas ad from 2010 featured a popular cover of Elton John’s Your Song performed by Ellie Goulding. The BRIT Award winner worked on the track with Ben Lovett from Mumford and Sons. It was a hit single, and appeared on a re-released edition of Goulding’s Lights album, renamed Bright Lights. This track highlighted a trend of mellow female cover versions of pop and rock hits used in ads, particularly by John Lewis.
#18: Leftfield – Phat Planet
From the Guinness – Surfer / White Horses ad (2001)
This classic advert (considered by some to be the best ever made) pre-dates the TV Ad Music website, but it was still being aired when we started the site in 2001, and Phat Planet was one of the most popular tracks we posted in that first year. It was actually used in the ad before it was commercially released, on Leftfield’s 1999 album Rhythm and Stealth.
#17: Gene Kelly & Mint Royale – Singin’ In The Rain
From the VW Golf GTi ad (2005)
Singin’ In The Rain was written back in the 1920s, but is best known as the title track of the 1952 MGM musical starring Gene Kelly. This 2005 Volkswagen ad remixed Kelly’s famous dance routine from that musical, and remixed the song – the new track created by Mint Royale. It reached number 20 in the UK charts in 2005, but shot to number 1 in 2008 after being feature in the TV show Britain’s Got Talent.
#16: Elvis vs JXL – A Little Less Conversation
From the Nike Cage World cup ad (2002)
A Little Less Conversation was one of Elvis Presley’s minor hits, featuring in the 1968 movie Live a Little, Love a Little. However, this remix by Tom Holkenborg, or Junkie XL /JXL, was a UK number one after being featured in the movie Ocean’s 11 in 2001 and then this Nike ad in 2002. Holkenborg was the first person to be given permission to remix an Elvis track by the Presley Estate.
#15: The Polyphonic Spree – Light & Day
From the Sainsbury’s – Try Something Different ads (from 2006)
According to a PRS For Music survey, this 2003 track by The Polyphonic Spree has been the number one most used song in TV advertising in recent years, cropping up in a series of Sainsbury’s ads, most featuring TV chef Jamie Oliver. The Polyphonic Spree was formed by Tim DeLaughter in Dallas, Texas. The multi-instrument and vocals band has up to 21 members at a time.
#14: Annie Little – Fly Me Away
From the Amazon Kindle – Seaside ad (2010)
Annie Little’s solo piano version of this song first appeared as an ‘Amazon Exclusive’ download in the US in 2009 when a version of this ad for the Amazon e-reader was shown over there. Oddly, the track wasn’t made available over here. However, a full version of the song, by Annie’s band Little & Ashley (Annie Little and Marcus Ashley) was subsequently released on the Stole My Heart EP. Funnily enough, Stole My Heart featured in a subsequent Kindle ad. Annie Little appears in both ads.
#13: The Gotan Project – Epoca
From the Finish Dishwasher Tablets adverts (from 2006)
This track from French band the Gotan Project’s 2001 album La Revancha del Tango has been used in various Finish ads over the last few years (and a Boots ad) and is another of the most profitable songs used in adverts, according to PRS for Music.
#12: Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra with Jane Sheldon – Eliza Aria (Composer: Elena Cats-Cherin)
From the Lloyds TSB – For The Journey ads (from 2007)
Eliza Aria is a classical piece from the ballet Wild Swans, written by Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin, and performed here by soprano Jane Sheldon with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. First used in the animated For The Journey ad, it has reappeared several times to promote Lloyds TSB, most recently with a slightly different arrangement for an Olympics-themed ad.
#11: Nina Simone – Ain’t Got No/I Got Life
From various Müller ads (from 2006)
The popularity of this track is demonstrated by the fact that it was still being used by Müller in 2011, five years after it was first used in the Lead a Müller Life campaign. Ain’t Got No/I Got Life is a medley of two songs from the musical Hair, and it appeared on Nina Simone’s 1969 album Nuff Said. Müller have used various tweaked and remixed versions of the track, including a Groovefinder Remix, which took the song into the UK charts.
That’s the first part of our best of run-down. Tune in on Friday for part 2, revealing the top ten and the number one. UPDATE: Part 2 is now online here.