Revisiting Super Bowl 51’s Rock Commercials
Even if you watch the Super Bowl exclusively for the game, it's tough for any music fan to ignore the songs that play in the highly anticipated commercials. During Super Bowl 51, a number of advertisers turned to classic rock to help spread their message. As you prepare to dive into another round on Sunday, check out this roundup of 2017's musical highlights featuring a bevy of well-loved '70s and '80s tracks.
Fleetwood Mac, "The Chain"
The trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that premiered during Super Bowl 51 was, well, off "The Chain." The preview begins with the question "Just who the hell do you think you are?" before Fleetwood Mac's classic 1977 song kicks in. The trailer is pulled along by a band favorite -- inspired by the souring romances of two of the group's couples — Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, and Christine and John McVie — that informed most of the blockbuster Rumours, a landmark album that celebrated its 40th anniversary one day after the big game.
Asia, "Heat of the Moment"
As buildings exploded and two law enforcement partners bantered, Asia heated up the small screen with "Heat of the Moment," the lead single from their self-titled 1982 debut album. The song buoyed the trailer for Fox's Lethal Weapon series, another Super Bowl premiere. Earlier in the week, the band's founding bassist and singer, John Wetton, had died after battling cancer, and the surviving band members considered the timing of the commercial a great way to honor his memory.
Foreigner, "Cold as Ice"
Foreigner probably never thought "Cold as Ice" would be used to describe the condition of fast-food beef. But that's exactly how their song, from their self-titled debut, was used in a Wendy's commercial that premiered during the big game. In the burger chain's quest to show that, unlike their competitors, their beef is always fresh and never frozen, they appropriated the 1977 hit to show us how the "Othr Guyz" do it. The track was re-recorded for the commercial with Foreigner's current singer, Kelly Hansen, on the mic.
Steppenwolf, "Born to Be Wild"
"Born to Be Wild" has been used to sell products countless times in the past, but having original Easy Rider star Peter Fonda in on the campaign certainly gave it some authenticity. The Coen Brothers, who are responsible for this Mercedes Benz ad, keep Steppenwolf's classic song playing while word spreads through a biker bar — which doubles as a shrine to Easy Rider — that they've been "blocked in." Everyone shuffles outside to see Fonda, wearing the same American flag jacket he donned in the 1969 movie, returning to his Benz, and then complimenting their rides before taking off.
Guns N' Roses, "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Paradise City"
Two separate Super Bowl-premiered ads borrowed a pair of songs from Guns N' Roses' 1987 debut Appetite for Destruction. Bud Light used a delicate piano version of "Sweet Child O' Mine" as a best man offers up a wedding toast comprised of flashbacks, while the trailer for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter featured "Paradise City," which turned down the song's instruments and turned up singer Axl Rose's vocals.
Top 100 Classic Rock Artists