Argh. From Variety:
Says Brian Monaco, president and global chief marketing officer at Sony Music Publishing: “It’s called ‘trailerizing’ a song. That means changing every aspect of the song but leaving the lyrics. People know the lyrics. The goal is to catch people’s attention. Maybe they’re not paying as much attention to the trailer, and they start to hear the chorus of the song, and they go, ‘Wait, I know this song.’ They start paying attention, and now they’re watching the trailer.” At Sony and in his four-times-a-year writing camps, Monaco has teams of writers working on reimagined versions of legendary artists’ catalogs. He has entirely reworked ELO’s discography, has redone a large portion of the Beatles’ songs and now is tackling Paul Simon’s newly acquired hefty songbook.
We’re not paying enough attention to trailers.
The beatings will continue until morale improves.
Heh. I actually don’t mind this—it’s a better trend than the Inception “BRAAAM” that used to dominate trailers a few years back. And some “trailerized” songs sound good on their own terms. If the very purpose and motive of a trailer is to try to catch your attention, and if it can do that by artfully tapping into your recognition of a song but presenting it in a new way, I don’t see why not. :-)
Here’s a good one—Brandi Carlile’s melancholy version of “Take Me Home, Country Roads” for the TV series Clarice:
Wonder Woman 1984 made fantastic use of New Order’s “Blue Monday” in its trailer, to the point where I was disappointed it wasn’t anywhere in the movie itself:
I have a soft spot for the way She-Ra and the Princesses of Power “trailerized” its own theme song to advertise its grimmer, high-stakes final season. The upbeat original:
The “trailerized” version:
And the Black Widow version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” basically went through the same process, even though it was used in the opening credits of the film itself rather than the trailers. I think it works powerfully:
I’m pretty certain the trend predates all these movie trailers. It goes back at least as far as the opening line of Patti Smith’s Horses album (and half the covers she’s done since then, like “When Doves Cry”), and it continued with the Tori Amos version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Johnny Cash’s “American Recordings.”
But I’m grateful that the trend has expanded beyond trailers. Brandi Carlile is a big proponent, as you mentioned, and, arguably, brought it full circle:
Oh, certainly. Those were just the first examples to come to my mind. :-)
Artists really seem to love remaking “Mad World” for some reason. (I guess because we live in one?) Also, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Here’s Lorde’s version (which was part of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack, and also on the trailer for Dracula Untold):
Also: not a trailer, but it’s come to my attention that Kanye heavily referenced “Memories Fade” in his song “Coldest Winter”:
I guess you really can’t go wrong with Tears For Fears. :-)
…Also, if anyone wants to trailerize “Born in the USA” to promote a film, they needn’t bother; Bruce already did it for you.
Oh, sorry, “all these” was meant to include “Mad World” and “I’ve Got No Strings” and the other famous examples, but I couldn’t figure out how to make that sentence clearer without adding another song list to a post full of song lists—which is probably what I should have done. I got up way too early this morning, and I’m making errors left and right.
But while we’re here, Brandi also recorded a fantastic, pared-down version of “God Only Knows.”
Have you seen the first trailer for LAST NIGHT IN SOHO? They have Anya Taylor-Joy slow-singing the old song, “Downtown.” And it was arresting, as they meant it to be.
It was also a prime example of the studio putting out a trailer describing the movie they wanted, as opposed to what they actually have, but that’s another discussion.
That’s in the film, so, as you say, it’s actually *about* the film. (I’ll review this next week.)