2012 HP DV6T Commercial – What’s The Song?
Does the acoustic guitar progression that opens the new commercial for Hewlett-Packard's DV6T laptop sound familiar? To any fan of the genre known back in the '80s as "college rock" or "progressive rock," it certainly should. In fact, pretty much anybody who came of age back in that decade should recognize the now-classic riff.
The tune featured in the commercial is the Violent Femmes' 'Blister in the Sun,' with a clip of the Femmes' own version kicking off the ad, followed by brief snippets of several different nondescript acts covering it in several different genres of music: a sitar player, a gospel choir, a hard rock band, a violinist, a DJ, a mariachi band and more.
The acoustic punk 'Blister' was the lead track off the Femmes' self-titled 1983 debut album and has since become one of the band's most enduring tunes, but oddly enough was not released as a single at the time. It wasn't until it was featured on the soundtrack to the 1997 John Cusack flick 'Grosse Point Black' that it was officially issued as a single, although the master tapes were no longer available so it was then rerecorded as 'Blister 2000.'
The fact that this song is featured in an ad is worth noting considering that it was the focus of a lawsuit filed in 2007 by Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie against frontman Gordon Gano after Gano authorized its use in a Wendy's commercial. "I don't like having my sound misappropriated to sell harmful products, such as fast food," Ritchie later told Spinner. "That's not why we made the music. It should not be hijacked."
The rift was credited with helping lead to the Femmes' breakup in 2009, but Gano is solely credited as the author of 'Blister in the Sun' and many other Femmes tunes and thus can license it without consulting his now-former bandmates. Ritchie has yet to speak out about the HP clip, but stay tuned and we'll let you know if he takes a stand.