TV Adverts’ Greatest Hits, Channel 4

by | Jun 25, 2005 | All, Reviews


• The countdown of the Top 30 hit records spawned by TV ads was topped by I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing by the New Seekers – one of our all-time fave songs. Group member Lyn Paul cracked up when she recalled the opening lyric “I’d like to build the world a home and furnish it with love.” But she wasn’t laughing when she revealed she’d only earned a £2000 session fee from the global hit.

• A clip of the fantastic Finger Of Fudge jingle – why wasn’t that ever released as a single? We’d have bought it.

• The presence of Matt ‘Aqualung’ Hales’ who achieved a little bit of success, thanks to a VW ad

• The hunks featured in commercials for Diet Coke and Levis, notably Eddie Kidd

• Paul Morley’s carefully crafted phrase – “the ads and the ads nots” – to describe artists who’ve taken the advertisers’ shilling and those who’ve refused (The Verve, Radiohead etc). Among “the ads” were radical band Chumbawumba whose Alice Nutter gave a convoluted, unconvincing explanation of how supporting capitalism somehow also undermined capitalism.

• Laughing at Predeep Sall, the editor of Trace (what’s that then???), an Ali G-type caricature in a country gentleman’s outfit whose observations included: “The tune was sick. The bassline was phatter than gluttony.” (He was talking about Cold As Ice by MOP!)

• Laughing at the description of The 441 as “Britain’s raunchy hip-hop Supremes”.

• Laughing at the description of Ooh La La by Wiseguys as “a defining record for its era.”

• The irony of the massive Etta Jones performing a song used on the Diet Coke ads.

• Some good tunes, notably Drinking In LA, Stand By Me, Brimful of Asha, The Joker, Freak Like Me, Make Love

• Perez Prado’s crazed wiggling to Guaglione

• Vertigo by U2 who, in recent times, we have started liking again. Which probably isn’t healthy or sane.

• The news that a record company got its fingers badly burned by offering a mega-money album deal to Stiltskin on the strength of metal mess Inside

• Spaceman by Babylon Zoo. Yes, we know it was pretentious rubbish like its performer Jas Mann, but we really loved it at the time and used to love making those distorted vocal sounds to annoy our friends

Lowlights of Advertising’s Greatest Hits, Channel 4, Saturday

• Nina Sosanya’s astonished, Eurotrashy narration

• Sell-out indie boys Dandy Warhols and the banal Bohemian Like You which was boosted by the Vodaphone ad. Ex-Smash Hits editor/regular talking head Emma Jones actually said something sensible for once:” It became almost as annoying as a mobile phone ringtone.”

• The use of the word “recontextualise” by an ad agency man with bad hair to describe MOP’s reworking of Foreigner’s Cold As Ice to advertise toothpaste.

• Norman ‘Fatboy Slim’ Cook waving those bloody hands in the air and making a fortune thanks to ads for jeans.

• Percy Sledge’s hairstyle horrors throughout history

• Stephen Armstrong’s declaration that “the moment punk finally sold out” came when Should I Say Or Should I Go by The Clash was used in a jeans ad. The moment punk finally sold out came as soon as punk rock ever reared its safety-pinned head

• The lack of Asian faces in the Guinness ad that employed Brimful of Asha by Cornershop

• Some lamentable tunes, notably Boombastic and Young At Heart

• Glimpses of Halifax’s Howard

• Robin Beck’s top hat fashion faux pas on Top Of The Pops when she belted out The First Time

• A reminder of the awful Flat Eric craze (he was a 1990s equivalent of Crazy Frog)

Advertising’s Greatest Hits – The Top 30

1 – I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing by the New Seekers (soft drink)

2 – Make Love by Room 5 featuring Oliver Cheetham (deodorant)

3 – Flat Beat by Mr Oizo (jeans)

4 – Spaceman by Babylon Zoo (jeans)

5 – Freak Like Me by Sugababes (make-up)

6 – The First Time by Robin Beck (soft drink)

7 – The Joker by Steve Miller Band (jeans)

8 – Inside by Stiltskin (jeans)

9 – Vertigo by U2 (iPods)

10 – Young At Heart by the Bluebells (cars)

11 – A Little Less Conversation by Elvis Vs JXL (sports gear)

12 – Brimful of Asha by Cornershop (booze)

13 – Boombastic by Shaggy (booze)

14 – Stand By Me by Ben E King (jeans)

15 – He Aint Heavy He’s My Brother by The Hollies (booze)

16 – Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz (cars)

17 – Should I Say Or Should I Go by The Clash (jeans)

18 – Guaglione by Perez Prado (booze)

19 – Wonderful World by Sam Cooke (jeans)

20 – When A Man Loves A Woman by Percy Sledge (jeans)

21 – Right Here Right Now by Fatboy Slim (trainers)

22 – Ooh La La by Wiseguys (booze)

23 – We Have All The Love In The World by Louis Armstrong (booze)

24 – Drinking In LA by Bran Van 3000 (booze)

25 – Dumb by The 441 (shower gel)

26 – Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out by Freakpower (jeans)

27 – Cold As Ice by MOP (toothpaste)

28 – Bohemian Like You by Dandy Warhols (mobile phones)

29 – I Just Want To Make Love To You by Etta Jones (soft drink)

30 – Strange But Beautiful by Aqualung (cars)

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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