John Oliver Slays It With His Take on Campaign Songs
Although Sound Opinions got there first with last week’s episode on better campaign songs than the ones the presidential candidates are using—our reaction to the perennial election-season cycle of campaigns either choosing songs that mean the exact opposite of what they’re selling on the stump, or artists balking in disgust at politicians they hate using their music—comedian John Oliver and his staff at HBO’s Last Week Tonight knocked it out of the park with the similarly themed segment that ended Sunday’s show.
The fake “We Are the World”-style music video “Don’t Use Our Song” includes an absolutely on-fire Usher, the great Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Cyndi Lauper, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, John Mellencamp, Imagine Dragons, and Michael Bolton following in the footsteps of Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, R.E.M., and many others in protesting the use of their tunes on the campaign trail (and taking a funny shot at Spotify while they’re at it). It’s brilliant, but don’t take my word for it; see for yourself.
Meanwhile, I will note with only minor hesitation that both campaigns seem to have heeded some of the suggestions that Greg Kot and I made: Donald Trump unwisely employing the O’Jays’ “Love Train,” and the California delegation at the Democratic National Convention blasting “Philadelphia Freedom.” How about that?