Friday, July 15, 2011

I want it stop

Media Moment: Value City Furniture TV spot
Queen-related: Features I Want It All

What the hell. These retailers that have “City” in their name must all have the same owner, same advertising agency, or synchronicity becomes serendipity for me as I stumble across TV commercials that have featured I Want It All lately.

Back in August 2009, I blogged about how a Dateline NBC episode with Chris Hansen featured IWIA in their coverage of the US economy, which was, one may suppose, “suggested” from the Circuit City television commercials that were running around that time on the networks.

Now I see a retailer called Value City Furniture using IWIA but with a distinctly different edit of the song. While Circuit City focused on the multi-tracked vocal from the chorus and followed that up with Brian’s blistering guitar solo to keep the viewer’s attention, Value City primarily loops Brian’s solo with a very brief — one occurrence only — snippet of the chorus vocal, then back to the solo.

I’m surprised that a chain like Value City would pay Queen Productions royalties for using the song. Every time the commercial plays, so does the song, and there’s a few more bucks for Brian. But is this added cost to the production of the commercial worth it to them? I have to wonder. Why not just use some canned guitar solo instead? Or pay to have a royalty free cover version of the song recorded and use that?

Like I alluded to in my Flash blog from a few weeks ago, I can’t say that I’m supportive of Queen songs being appropriated for completely unrelated commercial purposes by retailers. I think it weakens the integrity of the song and the songwriter’s intent. 

Or — here’s a scary thought — maybe Circuit City and Value City didn’t actually pay Queen Productions for the use of the song. Stranger things have happened. I would think, though, that Brian and Roger (and Jim Beach) wouldn’t let this kind of song pirating go on too long before shutting them done.

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