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Before we even get into this bizarre commercial, you need to know that you’re being manipulated. I’m being manipulated, we’re all being manipulated. There’s a clip on this page which only exists because the people who made it wanted, dreamed, demanded that it be sent all over the internet, only blogs such as this, so that people such as myself can write incredulous sentences for people such as yourself to goggle over.
Call it linkbait, call it viral, call it a brainmagnet if you must, but video clips like the one below exist for one purpose and one purpose alone, to make people pull the WTF face while saying WTF, and then sending it to their friends so that they can do likewise. It’s a despicable endeavor.
But my WORD is it effective.
Fans of a certain type of British rock may be familiar with the name Status Quo. They’re famous for delivering a supercharged monochord blues boogie, based on the Doors song “Roadhouse Blues” – only the Doors only did it once, in 1970, and the Quo have been doing it ever since.
Here they are, performing their 1974 British No.1 hit “Down Down”
Now, one of the things you’ll have noticed about the Quo here is that they are not Tom Waits. There is no pretention towards a grand artistic vision in their music, and it’s all the better for it. I can also exclusively reveal that they do not consider themselves to be above allowing their work to be used as the soundtrack to television commercials.
So when this video clip started to do the rounds yesterday, it was hard to know whether to stand up and applaud, laugh, cry, or shake a fist in the general direction of capitalism.
Here’s Status Quo doing “Down Down” again, with cunningly reswizzled lyrics in order to sell mince:
I can’t even work out if it’s a big budget affair or not. I mean the Quo can’t have come cheap, those finger guitars will have been constructed by luthiers (crying luthiers, probably), and it’s all clearly modelled on Elvis’s 1968 TV Special, but they couldn’t afford to get more than four people to shout “WE LOVE MINCE!” at the beginning?
Oh Lord, I’m going to have to watch it again, aren’t I? See you on the other side.
See more posts by Fraser McAlpine
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic