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The World Finally is Ready for Plastic Bertrand

Marketers have a strong sense of what sticks in people’s minds and what gets a particular reaction. They study this stuff.

So it’s interesting to consider the music they choose for their commercials. Above is “Ca Plane Pour Moi” by a 1970s Roger Allen François Jouret, a Belgian avante garde artist who fronted the band Plastic Bertrand. (Or, he was also (or he was known as Plastic Bertrand. It’s a bit fuzzy.) The song was used this year in a Johnie Walker commercial. With some possible exceptions, it’s the best song ever. Note the shout out to The Beach Boys.

I am not authority on avante garde Belgian music, but I am fairly confident that nobody heard of Plastic Bertrand again. Jouet, apparently, is a television “presenter,” which what a talk show host is called in Europe.

Even this song has a backstory. It was covered years later by Lou Deprijck, the original producer. Here is Quora’s translation of the lyrics, such as they are.

Two other notable covers were used in Heineken commercials: A song by Mohammad Rafi was taken from the Indian 1965 film “Gumnaam” and used in a Heineken commercial. It’s fabulous. “Chambermaid Swing” by Parov Stelar was used in a Bicardi commercial.

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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