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- Posted on Mar 25th 2010 6:30PM by Marina Galperina
The "sunshine" song in the snowy Honda commercial strikes an incongruous chord as the car four-wheel-drives through an animated winter wonderland. But 'Sunshine Superman,' originally recorded by Donovan, struck a stranger chord back in 1966 as one of the first overtly psychedelic radio hits, hitting No. 1 US and No. 2 in his native UK. For this commercial, the ad agency bought the publishing rights only and recorded a modernized and sterilized version with the commercial music production company HUM, paring away the sitar and syrupy aesthetics. This synthetic studio concoction now serenades the Honda-loving characters and their 30 seconds of wintry fun.
In the full version of the song, the singer credits himself to greater awesomeness than Superman and commends himself for not tripping out even as sunshine comes "softly through [his] a-window ," a situation evidently conducive to said tripping. (It's unspecified if said excursion was on natural rays or synthetically created acid.) The commercial -- code-named 'Snow Trip' -- seems to either suggest that blustery winter weather can also trippy or, more likely, that even though outside the road is frightful, inside the Honda it's quite delightful.
Once publicly dismissed by his idol Bob Dylan as "a nice guy," Donovan innovated and hippified '60s Britpop. Possessing a 'Mellow Yellow' charm and catchy melodies, this Glasgow-born singer-songwriter and guitarist, who taught the Beatles to finger-pick their guitars, is currently working on a new album. In the past 10 years, Donovan received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree, published an autobiography, toured festivals, partnered with the meditation-centered David Lynch Foundation and played 'Sunshine Superman' at a royal wedding in Denmark.
The Honda 'Snow Trip' commercial sensibly ran during the Winter Olympics and comes off as especially quirky in its seasonally belated context. Nonetheless, it remains a cheery, catchy song about sunshine, superheroes and eternal, possessive love. Or LSD.
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