“Tainted Love”: from Synth to Screamo

I know the song “Tainted Love” because I am weirdly obsessed with 80’s music and Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” from 1981 is one of the classics. So classic in fact, that I only just learned that it was first recorded in 1964 by Gloria Jones and is not a Soft Cell original. Although, the versions are oddly similar considering the changes in music between those decades.

Unfortunately for Miss Jones, her version was critical flop. Of course, Soft Cell added the quintessential 80’s instrumentation and hella high falsetto backing vocals, but the base sounds of the song remained the same, despite the change in keys and the swap from real instruments to machines. This is quite the compliment to songwriter Ed Cobb, for his song seamlessly transitions from genre to genre.

For further proof of this genre jumping, look no further than Marilyn Manson’s cover of the song. His cover was released in 2001 for the soundtrack of Not Another Teen Movie. Predictably a bit different than the previous versions, Manson takes a decidedly more rock take on the song, with heavier drums and electric guitar. The bridge even turns the song briefly into a screamo track—a genre of music I normally hate—that somehow works really well.

Needless to say, Soft Cell’s version is still my favorite. I apparently have a soft spot in my heart for trippy music videos featuring floating heads in space and Tinkerbell-esque orbs causing trouble. Maybe this says something about my psyche, but let’s not think about that too much.

Open your world

Let’s move to Europe! Today I will be writing about Heineken.

I am so excited to discuss how the Dutch brewing company has integrated music into its marketing strategy. In my opinion, Heineken always chooses pretty good songs for its campaigns; catchy melodies and attractive people are a good combination for beer ads.

How does Heineken sound? Is the brand sponsoring artists and music events? Are there other activities promoted by the firm?

Music and Advertising:

Some examples of Heineken’s recent ads, the first one “The Entrance” was launched in March 2011, and had more than 4 million views in YouTube. Due to its success, the company launched “The perfect date” in May 2011, using a similar style.




Heineken sponsors a big amount of music events and Festivals around the world.

Heineken Open’er Festival in the Polish coast, the Oxegen and Ballyheigue Summerfest in Ireland, Heineken Red Star Access in USA or FIB in Spain are some examples of Live Events promoted by the brand.

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB) takes place in Spain every summer since 1995. Although the festival has been very popular amongst worldwide music maniacs, it has received lots of critics during the lasts years. Some people argue that the Festival is too much focused on British music tastes and has lost few fans. Additionally, its identity has substantially changed and it is not positioned as an indie festival anymore. Mainstream artists such as David Guetta are also part of its line-up.

Furthermore, rumors about a possible suspension began to circulate in September, due to the financial problems of Music Festivals PLC. Maraworld, its Spanish subsidiary has confirmed that problems have been solved and a new edition of FIB will take place from 18th to 21st of July 2013.

The Dutch company is also organizing the Heineken Live Project, a new series of gigs taking place in Cork, Dublin and Galway that tries to promote live music in Ireland. Heineken Live Project’s site offers more information and interviews with its performing artists.


In addition to advertisements and music sponsorship, Heineken is also investing in music venues.

Since 2001 the Dutch company together with Live Nation owns the Heineken Music Hall, a concert hall located in Amsterdam. The venue has a big hall of 3,000 m² with capacity for 5,500 spectators and a smaller one with capacity for 700 in which after parties are hosted.

It is the only venue designed especially for amplified music and has been nominated multiple times for the Pollstar Awards as “Best International Music Venue”.

Very important artist visit such venue, Rufus Wainwright and Florence + The Machine were performing there last weekend and Marilyn Manson + Rob Zombie, Deep Purple and a Red Bull SoundClash event will take place in December. This last show is a unique live musical experience promoted by the energy drink brand that puts together two bands with difference styles and sounds under the same roof. Red Bull SoundClash website: http://www.redbull.com/cs/Satellite/en_INT/Red-Bull-Soundclash/001242879501415

The acquisition of venues seems to be a smart strategy, rather than only sponsoring music events the firm is also trying to be a referent as a concert promoter. Its partnership with Live Nation is a guarantee of success.

Additional info:

For more information about Heineken’s promos and events

Heineken Red Star Access 2012 (USA) http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/heineken-usa-announces-launch-of-2012-heineken-red-star-access-tour-166242586.html


FIB http://www.deltaworld.org/music/The-FIB-ensures-that-there-will-be-festival-in-2013-despite-the-economic-problems-of-its-parent-signature/

Heineken Live Project http://music-ie.heineken.com/#/

Heineken Music Hall http://www.heineken-music-hall.nl

Monica Manubens