Wednesday, 17 July 2019

If I lay here. If I just lay here...



Courtesy of the brilliant mind of Stuart Heritage, writing in today's Guardian:
So, you want to write a record-breaking radio smash. Bad news: Snow Patrol beat you to it. Their song Chasing Cars has just been named as the most popular UK radio hit of the 21st century. But don’t despair, because we can still learn plenty from the song’s enduring success.

Play the long game
Fun fact: Chasing Cars was never a No 1 record in the UK. On its release in 2006, it enjoyed a slow climb to No 6, during which time it was outsold by Paris Hilton’s Stars Are Blind (which got to No 5). It was the 14th best-selling song of the year, which sounds OK until you learn that I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair) by Sandi Thom was the fifth. But now we can prove definitively: slow and steady wins the race.

Get it on a big TV show
Or any TV show – every one helps. Just before its release, Chasing Cars was used in the season-three finale of One Tree Hill. Then it was used in the season-two finale of Grey’s Anatomy, exposing it to a further 22.5 million US viewers and for ever entwining it in popular culture with the fates of lovelorn and preposterously attractive medical professionals.

Keep it basic
Chasing Cars is simple: it is based around a two-note guitar riff, while the verses consist of three lines, each containing just three or four syllables. It suits rock, pop and easy-listening stations, while the lyrics are so oblique that listeners can project their own meaning on them, for any situation. In 2016, Chasing Cars topped a list of “most requested indie funeral songs”, prompting the disquieting mental image of looking at a corpse while listening to a song where someone asks you to lie down with them “and just forget the world”.

Be anonymous
Be honest, can you picture any members of Snow Patrol? Any of them. Even the singer? Of course you can’t. This is the real key to Chasing Cars’ success. Snow Patrol are so completely generic that Chasing Cars will always exist as a song without context, rather than as the work of identifiable humans.
Speaking of which - how about a remix cover version of this timeless classic, courtesy of the ever-to-be-remembered Holly Lang..?


So memorable.

8 comments:

  1. I like the mash-up with the Police's Every Breath You Take, which I posted last Friday. Not so keen on Holly's boppy version... though it's calming my tinnitus for some strange reason!
    Sx

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    1. At least Miss Lang has a career ahead of her as a "tinnnitus whisperer". Jx

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  2. ...or the Friday before last....doesn't time fly?!
    Sx

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    1. Like the wind, dear. Like the wind. Jx

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  3. It is a dull song, even Clare Teal's cover version is dull.
    Well done Holly Lang for giving it a bit of pep.

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    1. Whoever she is/was. It's the boys at Almighty Records we really need to thank for the mix - never knowingly under-camped! Jx

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  4. I have to agree with Madam Arcati - I'm sure I must have heard Chasing Cars around the time it was released, but I can't recall it further back than Ms Scarlet's recent Police/Snow Patrol post (however many weeks ago that was). Although, the lack of recollection, could just be my rubbish memory...

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    1. Or else it's just one of those "aural wallpaper" songs that you only engage with when you hear it on the PA system in Morrisons, then forget all about by the time you've reached the jams and preserves aisle... Jx

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