Are You Being Served?

October 15, 2013 5:22 AM

My raffled request came, I am told, from ODiV, who wanted to hear the "Are You Being Served?" theme song. I hope this is the version he heard in his dreams (because it is, roughly, the one I heard in mine).

I was super-stoked when I got the request, because "covers" and "Are You Being Served?" are two of my favorite things. The little break around 0:20 was the tiny idea around which the whole track formed. I heard that break in my head and said ... okay, now what?

The bass line was ridiculously fun to play, although I had to employ a little extra funk to make it really thump.

I shied away from going full-on novelty with this and adding samples from the show (except for the cash register loop, of course), but please feel free to play along on your own.

(Part of the drum loop at the start and during the break is sampled from the much-funkier version of the theme in the 1977 film. I used that while I was laying down the bass groove, although I had to straighten it out a little bit to go with the doubletime drums later.)

If you'll excuse me, though, I promised Mrs. Slocombe I'd pop round and look in on her pussy.

posted by uncleozzy (20 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

Wow, amazing. Love it.
posted by chococat at 6:05 PM on October 15, 2013

Excellent! And also it's free...
posted by billiebee at 8:56 AM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh man! I remember having a conversation with ODiV about this idea years ago and hemming and hawing because I loved the idea of covering it but didn't really know where to go with it. Died on the vine somewhere before I ever started recording. Had completely forgotten about that, it's a goddam delight to be reminded by some kickass followthrough by you.

This is really great. Huge grin on my face.
posted by cortex at 9:06 AM on October 16, 2013

(I had, found back when that was flirting with being on my todo list, this wonderful oddity as well: Going Up, a really loose interpretation of the AYBS theme song by industrial band Coil. Which I sort of love in its own way just for being a thing that happened, but I dig your cover way more for actual listenability.)
posted by cortex at 9:08 AM on October 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Thanks, folks. This was a hell of a lot of fun to do, especially once I realized that I'd never play all the jazz chords on the keys and played give-the-idea triads on the guitar instead. I wanted to do much more with it, but I couldn't justify wasting more time on it.

And cortex, in addition to the Coil interpretation, there are a few other remixes on YouTube, although they're pretty poor by my estimation.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:29 AM on October 16, 2013

Uh, those samples work really well over this track! That was way more fun than I thought it would be, and really, the timing and inflection of the lines has a rhythm that jives with your track in a way I wouldn't have expected. I mean, I understand why you didn't lay them down on tape (how could you choose?!), but I encourage everyone listening to open ozzy's link to the samples in another tab and just pick some at random...

Oh yeah the track itself is awesome too!!
posted by grog at 1:20 PM on October 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

This is so, so super-great! Some of these challenge allocations are so serendipitously perfect I can't believe it's worked out so well. I can't imagine this done better!
posted by greenish at 3:37 AM on October 17, 2013

This is so awesome.
posted by capricorn at 12:12 PM on October 18, 2013

Could totally dance to this and still keep my dignity intact. Love it!
posted by comealongpole at 2:39 PM on October 18, 2013

Wow! I'm so glad I asked!

This is pretty great. Thanks a lot for making it, uncleozzy. My 18 month old and I are finding it very danceable.
posted by ODiV at 5:51 PM on October 20, 2013

I keep trying to find the words but just smiling instead.

And playing the samples over it is joy -- I am really tempted to make a sound board so I could just do it all day.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:41 AM on October 22, 2013

Anyone who wants to sing along, here are the words:
Ground floor perfumery,
Stationery and leather goods,
Wigs and haberdashery
Kitchenware and food
Going up.

First floor telephones,
Gents ready-made suits,
Shirts, socks, ties, hats,
Underwear and shoes
Going up.

Second floor carpets,
Travel goods and bedding,
Material, soft furnishings,
Restaurant and teas.
Going down.

posted by Grangousier at 7:44 AM on November 2, 2013 [5 favorites]

This is quite possibly my favorite piece of music of 2013. On MetaFilter too: bonus!
posted by Wordshore at 1:22 PM on November 3, 2013

this needs to be played on the radio. brilliant stuff.
posted by peterkins at 12:32 AM on November 4, 2013

This is still great, btw.
posted by cortex at 2:57 PM on February 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Just discovering this now, and holy crap it's great! Just enough of the original to be recognizably part of my childhood. Awesome!
posted by biscotti at 3:56 PM on February 2, 2016

Absolute bad-Assery afoot here. Jolly good show!
posted by PROD_TPSL at 6:19 PM on February 2, 2016


For fellow time travelers, this was lovingly linked by MCMikeNamara in this Feb 2016 thread. Thanks!
posted by Celsius1414 at 6:20 PM on February 2, 2016

This comment is unsigned, and suggests that you do something physically impossible with the suggestion box.

Also -- really well done. This is headbobbingly catchy.
posted by not_on_display at 11:20 PM on February 4, 2016

This seriously needs to be submitted to Project Moonbase.
posted by isopraxis at 12:17 PM on February 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

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