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Baby, won't you sell my car? - rock music Chumbawamba - Brief Article

Oh-What-a-Feeling is out. Oh-What-a-Soundtrack is in. Car commercials, long home to cloying corporate jingles, are increasingly leaving the music to the professionals. From Sting to Geggy Tah, rockers have eagerly licensed their tunes to automakers--both for up-front cash and the boon of steady airplay on the small screen. But the marriage of song and sedan isn't always one of sales and synergy. Off-color lyrics can clash with the corporate pitch, and occasionally a band insists on selling out in style: Witness Chumbawamba, who sold a song to Pontiac for $100,000 but gave the cash to activists bent on exposing GM's environmental record. Here, a snap assessment of recent auto spots, judging just how well the music sells the motorcar.
ARTIST/SONG   CAR         WHAT GOES ON   WHAT THE          HOW THEY
                          IN THE AD      SONG'S ABOUT      WORK
                                                           TOGETHER

CHUMBAWAMBA   PONTIAC     Main Street    Finding despair   The anti-
"PASS IT                  Americans win  on the Internet:  Microsoft
ALONG"                    keys to a      "Shut out the     lyrics
                          Pontiac to go  world. It's       should have
                          on a reality-  getting worse.    alarmed
                          TV-style road  Save yourself,    someone in
                          trip. After a  don't leave       Detroit. No
                          week with the  the house. Aaah,  in-house
                          car, they      where do you      jingle
                          "pass it       want to go        could
                          along" to      today?"           be worse
                          the next, er,                    than this.
                          winner.                          D-

GEGGY TAH     MERCEDES    Scruffy, dot-  A random act of   A driving
"WHOEVER      C-COUPE     com-wun-       kindness: "All I  song that
YOU ARE"                  derkind type   wanna do is to    drives home
                          cruises in     thank you even    the
                          his coupe,     though I don't    message.
                          groovin' to    know who you      Hum-it-in-
                          the stereo,    are. You let me   the-fast-
                          windows down,  chaaange lanes    lane
                          plastic bag    while I was       infectious.
                          swirling       driving in my     A
                          American       car."
                          Beauty-like
                          in the
                          backseat.

NICK DRAKE    VOLKSWAGEN  Hipper-than-   We're not sure,   Nothing
"PINK MOON"   CABRIO      thou college   but it's more     says
                          kids take a    creepy than       Fahrvergnu-
                          moonlit, top-  good: "I saw it   gen like
                          down drive     written and I     the signa-
                          to a party.    saw it said: A    ture tune
                          The kegger is  pink moon is on   of a
                          unappealing    its way."         forlorn
                          after the                        folkster
                          spiritual                        most famous
                          cruising, so                     for OD-ing
                          they pop it                      on anti-
                          in reverse                       depressants
                          and drive off                    at age 26.
                          after the                        C-
                          moon.

LED ZEPPELIN  CADILLAC    Restyled       An extended sex   Given that
"ROCK AND                 Caddies with   drought: "Been a  the average
ROLL"                     grotesque      long time since   age of a
                          angular        I rock and        Caddy buyer
                          headlights     rolled. Been a    is 63, we
                          zip and zoom   long time since   suspect
                          to the         I took that       it's been
                          strains of     stroll.... Been   a long time
                          this '71       a long lonely,    indeed.
                          heavy-metal    lonely, lonely,   Actual
                          classic.       lone-ly time."    synergy: D
                                                           Unintended
                                                           ironic
                                                           synergy: A+

COPYRIGHT 2002 Foundation for National Progress
COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

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