iRemember Steve Jobs:
7 Apple Commercial Songs You Can Find
on Vinyl

Ed. Note: We are saddened to hear of the loss of Steve Jobs tonight, who made such a difference in technology and music as we know it. We are reposting this playlist in his memory. Rest in peace, good sir.

It was somewhat telling of a shift in our musical tastes when the Economist reported a surge in vinyl record sales earlier this week. Now, Steve Jobs—chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Apple Inc.—announced his resignation yesterday. Apple’s inventive and sometimes controversial revenue model for music sales has, in some ways, created an atmosphere for a noticeable comeback of vinyl records. Since most new vinyl records these days come with free digital downloads, consumers can have the best of both worlds.

The consumer electronics industry, like the music field, can be a revolving door when it comes to personnel. As Steve Job bids farewell to the empire he fashioned, here are seven of my favorite Apple commercial tunes and themes that have had a life in the vinyl format.

1. “Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis – 1984 Macintosh introduction

While not technically used during a commercial, Jobs first introduced the Macintosh to the world with “Chariots of Fire.” You can’t tell me this song has never passed through your mind while running in P.E. or trying to catch a bus. The Greek-born composer’s theme to one of the 20th century’s ultimate buddy films fits so well with Jobs’ first commercially successful personal computer.

2. “She’s a Rainbow” by The Rolling Stones – 1999 Apple iMac Colors commercial

It was raining iMacs in 1999 when the desire for these new candy-colored computers spread like wildfire. Admittedly, the new iMacs were the prettiest PCs on the market at the time. To re-emphasize ala Jagger and Richards, “Have you seen a lady fairer?”

3. “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf – 2000 Apple Pro Mouse (Optical) commercial

Dennis Hopper once said Easy Rider was the MTV of its generation. Who’s arguing that? Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild,” Rider’s theme song about non-conformity and independence, was a perfect choice for the never-before-seen mouse. It looked like a Harley and, in the commercial, moved like one, too.

4. “Ruby Baby” by Dion and the Belmonts – 2000 Apple iMac “Ruby” commercial

Late songwriting legend Jerry Leiber contributed to this bluesy rock song by Dion and the Belmonts. In 2000, each of these new, confection-like computers insinuated “Buy me.”  The commercial looks an ad for an automobile and still, to little surprise, insinuates, “Buy me.”

5. “Flamenco Sketches” by Miles Davis – Apple iBook: Possibility of Love commercial

This composition as written by Miles Davis and Bill Evans is an arousing interpretation of love. Mac lovers got weak in the knees with the unveiling of the “clamshell” laptop. With the new machine getting serenaded by Davis, Evans, Cannonball Adderly, and John Coltrane, Apple got a little sexier.

6. “Take Five” by The Dave Brubeck Quartet – 2001 Apple iPod introduction

San Francisco-born composer Paul Desmond laid out the ingredients, and the Dave Brubeck Quartet served it right, with “Take Five.” This song is as American as the Red Cross, to whom Desmond bequeathed all musical royalties. And, how about that, the Apple iPod got in on it too.

7. “The Audience is Listening Theme Song” by Cut Chemist – 2006/09 iPod nano 2G commercial

Turntable god Cut Chemist ushered in the new look of Apple’s revamped iPod Nano. It was now in Technicolor. We never stopped listening; we now had a visual to follow the tune.

This is all proof that Apple’s products and vinyl records can live in harmony. A chapter is closed for Mr. Jobs, but it’s looking like the dawn of a new era for vinyl fanatics and distributors alike. So now that wax has once again entered the competition, consider cashing in your old iPods and buying some Sony Music stock.

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  • arcticbum

    iRIP.. see you in the icloud, Jobs

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