While I read, I enjoy listening to atmospheric electronic music. The lack of lyrics keeps me from getting distracted and the progressive beats keep me alert and focused. Coincidentally, while studying about various marketing communication formats, “A Beautiful Mine” by RJD2 came on over the stereo. Most people don’t know the tune by name, but if they heard the first few beats they would immediately envision the opening credits of AMC’s five-time Golden Globe-winning tv drama, Mad Men — that is the sheer transporting power of music.
While my Music Appreciation professor in college would refer to such commercial success of a song or musical score as the “bastardization” of it, I am prone to disagree. Does the association of a song with a brand delegitimize it as a great work of art? I don’t think so. I do think it helps deliver great music to the masses of people who view the commercials and tv shows that skillfully incorporate them. And, in the case of Mad Men, the leveraging of a secondary association (incorporating the work of a famous musician) elevated the visually slick, graphic-rich show intro to a truly mesmerizing experience. I know I for one rarely skipped over the show’s opening credits. I’m also pretty sure Rumble John Krohn, known to his fans as RJD2, doesn’t regret lending his talents to the one of the most excellent television series of all time.