What if Elton John asked you to make the official music video for "Rocket Man," "Tiny Dancer" or "Bennie and the Jets"? That's exactly what just happened. Except he's not just asking you—he's asking the whole internet. John has joined forces with AKQA, Pulse Films and YouTube for "Elton John: The Cut," the ultimate creative gauntlet for music lovers. Its goal is to find videos that will go down in history as official accompaniments to three iconic songs—which, as luck would have it (for you, anyway), came out pre-MTV. "One of the reasons we are doing this project with YouTube is to encourage young filmmakers to create visual ideas for these songs, and it gives us the chance to share [them] with younger fans," says Sir Elton John himself.
Exactly 50 years ago yesterday, the Frito-Lay snack brand (maker of Fritos, Cheetos and Ruffles) merged with Pepsi-Cola (the famous soda) to form PepsiCo. The merger was big news in 1965, but few predicted the corporate colossus it would become. Today, PepsiCo's 22 brands each generate more than $1 billion in annual sales.
The 87th Academy Awards were held in LA on Feb. 22, where the biggest stars in media and entertainment celebrated another year in film.
Does Brian Wilson know who Lorde is? Or why there's a tiger on his piano? This lavish video boasts an array of stars performing Wilson's 1966 Beach Boys classic "God Only Knows" to help launch BBC Music, described by the company as "an ambitious wave of new programs, innovative partnerships and ground-breaking music initiatives." Karmarama created the clip, which features luminaries representing various generations and styles. The Impossible Orchestra, as it's called, features Wilson, Lorde, Elton John, Pharrell Williams, One Direction, Stevie Wonder, Dave Grohl, Jake Bugg, Emeli Sandé, Chris Martin and many more. Kylie Minogue floats in a soap bubble. Baaba Maal rides by in a balloon. Alison Balsom sits perched in a gilded cage. The extravaganza debuted yesterday during a pan-channel BBC broadcast, and the video's nearing 800,000 YouTube views already. The song also benefits BBC's Children in Need charity, is available for download and streaming and was released as a physical CD single in the U.K. "One of the things that interested me most about this project was the idea of bringing together so many different styles of music," says Ethan Johns, who produced the tune. "To make so much diversity work within one piece of music was quite a challenge." Naturally, the initiative's been compared, favorably and otherwise, to other musical megastar team-ups, such as the 1997 Children in Need reboot of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day," which was a global smash. (Elton John is the only star from that outing to appear in "God Only Knows," by the way.) One story in the Guardian brands the new effort as "not quite a perfect day," noting, "There's something self-aggrandizing about this—but with the amount of music the BBC covers, perhaps it is deserved?" Coverage elsewhere on the site disdainfully notes that "God Only Knows" arrives just as "the corporation's battle to retain the television license fee [is] getting almost tougher by the week." Tough crowd.
DMI Music, a 16-year-old shop that aims to bring brands and music together, is launching a platform that lets email marketers include popular tunes with their messages.