The Political Power of Music

Alastair Campbell has just blogged about about his favourite music singles of all time for his appearance on Dermot O’Leary‘s Time Capsule programme on Radio 2 tomorrow night. Included in his 5 free choices of all time top songs are two political choruses: the ANC’s anthem which in turn became the South African national anthem and D:Ream‘s ‘Things can only get better’.

The choice of music for a campaign, as anyone who has sat in a post-production suite for days on end will tell you, is an incredibly difficult and important decision. The whole mood and message take-out of an advert can be changed if one track is chosen as oppose to another.

Audio cues play such a powerful role in affecting mood and decision making. Getting ‘the right track’ for a general election campaign is absolutely fundamental in terms of rallying supporters and setting the tone for an electoral battle, but you never hear about who in the Labour Party decided to use, for example, U2’s ‘Beautiful Day’ in 2005.

Trawling through Last FM trying to find ‘that’ song to encapsulate everything that your political party is standing for in a general election must be every music-loving-politico’s idea of heaven. Any guesses / suggestions for what Clegg, Brown or Cameron will / should be walking down the rally carpets to?

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