Friday, 16 January 2015

Don't Believe Me? Just Watch...

On 2nd March 2013, for reasons I can't quite remember - might have been around the time of the death of Terry Nutkins, or maybe I was trying to avoid doing some wedmin - I knocked together a homemade extended mix of the theme tune to The Really Wild Show.  28-year-olds up and down the land were spending their Saturday afternoons doing similarly cool things, I'm sure.  I just remember suddenly thinking, "this is amazing, and there's hardly any of it on YouTube".  So I mashed together the opening and closing themes (notice the jump in audio quality between the two, but hey, it was as good as we were going to get wasn't it?), put the result against a montage of the first two title sequences (and that tiger from the 1989 sequence is one of my earliest TV memories) and popped the result online to general indifference and a couple of instances of mild praise. 

Typically, soon after I went to the effort of doing this the full-length track that theme derived from was located.  You can hear by clicking the link below, but beware - after the familiar opening 31 seconds you're going to get a bit of a shock:

Yes - after nearly thirty years associated with a wholesome wildlife show aimed at young children, it transpires the full track (and it really does go on a bit) is some bloke banging on and on about what his "sexy lady" means to him, getting more and more wound up about it as the track goes on.  Before the familiar closing credits theme kicks in at the very end he shouts "now you know how much you mean to me", which after nearly six minutes is very much an understatement.  But despite this its a pretty good track and one that became a bit of a guilty pleasure to throw into the mix at parties (or alternatively to put on via Apple TV or Chromecast without being asked). 

The, the first weird thing happened.  I started getting comments on the video from people who seemed to be under the impression this was actually a Daft Punk offcut from their recent album Random Access Memories.  And eventually I worked out that this had been a running joke on the 6 Music breakfast show.  The YouTube clip that helped spread the lies is below - notice the telltale jump in audio quality between the opening and closing titles.  And the tiger roaring from the BBC Bristol end board.  And that "Vraiment Sauvage Moi" is almost French for...

After the cover was blown, here's a clip of the track being played on 6 Music for no particular reason.  Notice Shaun Keaveny pointing out the jump in audio quality between the opening and closing titles.  Yes, I know.

Then all was quiet for a bit, until about a month ago I started getting more comments saying it sounded like something else.  This time, the offender was Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson, and yes indeed it does.  These comments continued every now and again, until it all went a bit mad today when Us vs Th3m wrote an article about the similarity.  Suddenly my Facebook feed was full of people pointing out the similarity, all based on my time-wasting video from nearly two years ago.  Someone put together this frankly poor clip filming my video off a screen (thoughtfully including the jump in audio quality between the opening and closing titles).  Then someone put together a proper mashup of my mashup and Ronson's track, complete with added Nutkins pics and the BBC Bristol roar.  Notice the jump in audio quality between the opening get the idea.

But that wasn't good enough for Heart Thames Valley (less Uptown Funk, more "Who The Funk?") who have published this bizarre more complex creation which superimposes Terry Nutkins' head on top of Bruno Mars.  They've even moved the Bristol roar to the start - the bit that's not even part of the tune!!

At least all this has drawn attention to what remains a bloody good theme tune - one which Children's BBC naturally yanked off the air in the early 1990s to be replaced by the following oh-so-hip-and-trendy remix.  If you were sick of the other one, cover your ears: this is bad...

So what have we learnt from all this?  Not a great deal, I fear.  I like to think the interest was in part due to my original video (there really wasn't much of it on YouTube at all two years ago) and that it in some way validates the complete waste of time doing it in the first place. 

I'm still waiting for Us vs Th3m to do an article about the Parallel 9 theme tune