Dire Traits

Wifey and I used to live in a flat above a chap who was a baker. He'd be off out to work really early every morning - depending on my shift I'd sometimes pass him getting into/out-of is old Vauxhall van. For the two years we were there he had the same cassette tape in the car and it was wired in with the ignition - Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms. It was as though this album had become part of the car's general sound and that it couldn't run without it any less than it could its tappet or exhaust noises.

I loved this album at first but after two years of this 4am abuse it became like white noise to me. It does nothing for me any more. I suppose this is why (when I did a recent audit of my CD collection) I didn't care one jot when I found the only one missing from its CD case was Brothers in Arms.

Like my once beloved Queen played endlessly on R2 - and on furniture adverts - very good music can be ruined through over playing it. So my new CDs are staying out of my car where they tend to get left and ruined in the same way. (I think we can all be guilty of it.)


  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,953Member
    edited January 2017
    Good post Kevin. I can quite understand how you feel re Brothers In Arms - hearing that every morning for years would do that to me certainly. Actually, that was never my favourite bit of Dire Straits anyway - for me they'd got a bit overly earnest and big production-ish at that point. I could probably listen to the first album again and enjoy it though - I listened to it a fair bit back in the day, but not to excess I guess. Sadly, I did go through a heavy Beatles phase in my teens, with the result that even now, decades later, I never put a Beatles album on - undeniably great though the Beatles were.

    Adverts - yes, you're spot on there. The way music is used in adverts, I find deeply annoying - it's not being used for it's artistic merit, but instead to attempt to manipulate the viewer/listener. I know that's the whole point of adverts, but it often sours the impact of the music for me.

    Like you, I have certain favourite artists, and many times that harks back to a particular time in my life. There probably is a certain thing about music we discover when young that doesn't leave us. But keep searching for new stuff, and keep an open mind I think - it helps with the not listening to the same old things too much problem. I'm determined not to fall into that "music was better in my day" old fart mentality.

    The other day, I was driving (to a rehearsal, to play old fart jazz music :D ) and just scanning around the radio to find something to listen to. In the end I went for Radio One - it was the evening Annie Mac show - and this came on (feel free to dislike it, it's just an example) and it sounded pretty great to me:

    Is it throw away stuff that I won't be at all bothered about in 10 years? - maybe, I don't know. But I like it now, which seems the main thing to me.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,566Member, Moderator
    You two are funny!

    I too have a friend who to this has a cassette player in his car with only one cassette of children's songs. Like Kevin's baker friend it seems to be wired to the ignition and I am sure he doesn't know it is playing. It drives me mad.

    When I was a younger lad I got my first ever cassette recorder and with it came a 6 minute demo tape. I recorded Elton John's Rocket Man from the radio onto it and played that until I couldn't bear to hear it any more. I have just listened to it and find it a great song once again.

    Fortunately I didn't have a TV when I was in the UK so I haven't suffered as you two have with songs being used in TV programmes or adverts. I just read an interesting BBC article today on that topic.

    Megi, old fart music: my dad used to complain that what I listened to wasn't music. He was a big fan of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra who were, I have to admit, quite different from the pop music of the '70s. When dad died I inherited his music and I now like and listen to Bing and Frank and appreciate them far more than I did as a teenager. Nowadays I hear computerised club music and am reminded of my dad's condemnation of my music. I am fast becoming an old fart!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,953Member
    Interesting article Lester - I hadn't considered that use of music in adverts can be a source of income for those involved in producing it, and indeed a way of promoting music, and that does have to be a positive thing. Doesn't tend to work with me, but maybe I am a bit of an old fart in that respect, despite my efforts not to be one.

    But please resist creeping old fart syndrome Lester! I'm serious! :D Take computerised club music for example - I guess my example above may have been in your mind when you mentioned that. But why shouldn't music be made with computers? Or indeed be made to play in clubs? Neither of those things seem intrinsically wrong to me. Too easy to make such assumptions, without realising we're doing it. I listen to that track, and it has some great sounding atmospheric harmonies, cool snappy rhythms, and seems very skillfully and artfully put together in general.

    Saying the above, I'm sure you're a fairly open-minded chap, and I'm just working from your post to make a point really - and I'm glad you're now able to enjoy Rocket Man again - I like that one, and hopefully I'll rediscover the Beatles again one day myself. :)
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 774Member
    I went to see Richard Digence play a few months ago. He was saying that he now makes most of his income from acoustic guitar pieces to be used in programmes like Floggit. He was saying he gets 78p every time one of his pieces is used, and it can be used any number of times in each programme.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,984Member
    edited January 2017
    78p ...

    It sounds like he's on something similar to John Cleese's Alimony Tour ... without the benefit of having been married before getting shafted.

    Anyway, chaps. What do your cars sound like ?

    Mine was a bit Don't Fear the Reaper this morning, before it got warmed up and then went more Shake it Off (R2 again.)
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator
    Mine was Ken Bruce, then as soon as he was done, Cliff Richard, Just... "Fabulous Rock ʻnʼ Roll". Brilliant session guitar work.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,266Member
    Fortunately my obscure tastes in favourite music groups means their back catalogues have not been sullied in my mind by adverts. Difficult to imagine an advertising agency opting for a Van Der Graaf Generator or Riverside recording!

    Or maybe they do opt for those - I auto hit mute on the TV handset when ads come on so I wouldn't know what music there is. I mute if only to avoid that volume hike where the adverts play so much louder than the programmes.

    My car would have an identity crisis if it tried to judge what it was by the music that's played in it. Various electric folk, acoustic guitar, prog and prog-metal, Blues, and Kraut Rock in recent times. Most recently John Mayall / Peter Green.

    Interesting article that Lester about the income source for artists from ads. It's good that someone is getting something positive from the adverts. :smile:
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,984Member
    edited January 2017
    My car runs like Cocoa the Clown's jallopy.
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 774Member
    It seems that artists nowadays often allow a version of the song with no vocal on to be used on TV. I often notice that the background music for a programme is the backing track of a current song but just with no vocals.

    I love it when something of a curved ball is thrown though. I've noticed Nick Drake being used a bit recently ....
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