The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

The Life Of Riley (Remix)

Watched new BBC sitcom ‘Life Of Riley’ the other night – a courageous and admirable experiment by the BBC in putting comedy on a channel that people might actually be watching at a time when people might actually be watching it. Hate to say it, but I only lasted five minutes; I was confused by a teenager making a joke about someone sounding ‘like Orville on speed’, when surely no-one under the age of thirty has heard of Orville? And the ‘like X on drug Y’ gag is what I believe the Americans term a ‘clam’; a joke construction so overused that Lee and Herring did a whole routine about it in the mid-90’s.

Anyway, not the point of this blog. Point of this blog is the theme tune, a cover of my beloved The Lighting Seeds’ ‘The Life Of Riley’, aka ‘Theme from Goal of the Month’. Except... because it took a little bit too long to get to the chorus, they’d chopped it down. By foreshortening various bars by a beat or two, and by cutting to the chorus before the verse chord progression was leading to it...

In other words, it no longer made any musical sense. And this is a real bug-bear of mine – when people chop songs down unsympathetically. The worst example of this was the AA advert of a year or so ago, where my beloved Carol King’s ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ was truncated and abbreviated in such a way as to make it impossible to-song-along-to. Which was presumably the point of using it for the advert in the first place.

IMnot-soHO, this practice should be outlawed. People who do it should be punished with pointed sticks. Music publishers should have the right to refuse permission – unless you play the song bloody properly.


  1. Eeuurghh.

    I'd not seen the show, so I iPlayered it to see if the song edit was as bad as you say. It was, too. Ironic that it no longer has any musical flow, as my other favourite from that album is about how "it all makes sense".

    Good luck with the under 300 words, btw; I've just finished writing a series of posts where I set myself 100 words + 45 words throughout, and by the end I was champing to break it. Straight back into several happy thousand like bingeing after a diet.

  2. Thanks for commenting! I'm having lots of fun with this blogging lark. Fingers crossed, I shouldn't have any problem sticking to the Under Three Hundred rule - I've written most of February's blogs already...