Saturday, July 27, 2013


As a child, I always liked commercials for records. They usually featured bombastic announcers rattling off the names of the songs on the records, a Chyron graphic vertical scroll of the titles of the songs on the record, usually accompanied by photos of the artist or some related photos (i.e. boys and girls dancing at prom or bikers cruising down Route 66. One even featured a NASA rocket launch). Most of these records were offered by a company called Sessions (although they were produced by major companies such as Warner Brothers, RCA or Columbia).

It was around my senior year in high school (Maybe my first year of college - this commercial ran forever) that I saw what I thought was the worst record commercial ever featuring what, at the time, I considered some of the worst songs in the world. The commercial was for a 4 LP, 3 cassette collection called Secret Love. I might be wrong, but I think this is the first TV record ad to offer a compact disc version. I hated this commercial.

First off, it probably aired more than any record commercial in history. It seemed like it was on every commercial break.

Second, this record was loaded with songs I hated. In the commercial there were only two songs that I liked, "Nights In White Satin" by the Moody Blues and "Waiting For a Girl Like You" by Foreigner. However, seeing the complete track listings there were a few others I like ("Dream Weaver" by Gary Wright and "Strange Way" by Firefall). These were those wimpy songs that radio stations here in the Ozarks were beating to death. These were also the songs favored by the snooty popular girls, who wouldn't go out with me. They were also on student council, so they picked the music for the school dances. it was usually this stuff.

Third, had to do with the format of this ad. Unlike the previous records ads that I mentioned above, this ad must have been the first to feature on-screen spokes people or characters. This one featured an ANNOYING PREPPY COUPLE IN CABLE-KNIT SWEATERS SITTING BY A FIREPLACE IN AN UPSCALE HOME.  I could not stand those two people! They were the little goody-goody, overachiever types that were the bane of my existence in high school (I still run in to a few of these people through work). I would see this commercial and ask myself, "What does that beautiful girl see in that preppy dork???" Notice: The clothes are the same as on the record cover above, but different model/actors.

At the time this aired, I was into mainly heavy metal (hair bands), college rock (alternative and punk to young folks) and classic rock/oldies. I thought it would be great if they made a set of the music I liked. There wasn't a metal or college rock set, but there was a classic rock/oldies set with great songs on it entitled Freedom Rock. Unfortunately, the commercial featured two idiots dressed as hippies sitting by a VW Micro-bus doing a bad Cheech & Chong imitation.

While I still dislike preppies, I have come to accept and even enjoy old soft/light rock of the 70s and 80s. As a matter of fact, readers of this blog may remember that I have proposed a revamped version of the soft/light AC/rock radio format that removes the "Little Miss Pris-Delilah-Mommy Blogger" attitude that made these radio station unbearable to listen to since the early 90s. The music and romantic or mellow mood would be the focus, instead of discussions about "soda-being-bad-for-you" or "girls-wear-too-sexy-dresses-to-prom." As Gilligan at Retrospace would say, it would be "Music for making pancakes."

Maybe in some crazy way, the Secret Love commercial spawned that idea, because "This music brings out the animal in people."   


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