Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon says having their song "Can't Fight This Feeling" used in a commercial for U.K. department store John Lewis is the equivalent of being asked to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show.
Speaking to NME, Cronin says, "John Lewis just isn’t known in the States, so I had no idea at all their Christmas advert is such a big deal in the U.K...
"I’ve been trying to put what it means to us in American terms. It’s not quite the same, but the anticipation of ‘Who’s it going to be in the ad?’ is like who is going to perform at halftime in the Super Bowl.”
The animated commercial, which features a girl trying to tame a dragon named Excitable Edgar in time for a grand Christmas banquet, has Dan Smith of Bastille singing the song.
"I’m heartened that the singer John Lewis chose to perform our song is in a band whose music I like,” says Cronin. “That makes it all the sweeter. I’m an OK singer, I can sing the songs I wrote, but some people have a rare gift in their throat. Hearing your song sung by them is wonderful, and that’s how I feel about Dan’s version of ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling.'”
Cronin goes onto say, “The only bone I have to pick with Dan is when he sings ‘I don’t fight this feeling any longer.’ When I first heard that I was like, ‘Wait a minute, what? That’s not even grammatically correct, and it’s the title of the song. How did he get that wrong?’ Maybe it was just an honest mistake. Hopefully I can meet Dan one day and ask him to explain it to me.”
However, a Bastille source tells NME that Smith did sing the correct line. “In the advert, Dan sounds a bit like he’s singing ‘Don’t,’ because of the way the arrangement. merges with his voice," says the source. "But he’s definitely singing ‘I can’t fight this feeling any longer.’"
REO, who released "Can’t Fight This Feeling" on their 1984 album,Wheels are Turnin', are only third non-British act to have their music used in the John Lewis campaigns.Guns n' Roses‘ "Sweet Child O’ Mine" was covered by Taken By Trees in 2009, and Vaults did Randy Crawford’s "One Day I’ll Fly Away" in 2016.