“I met the man who wrote the jingle for Bodyform, which is probably the highlight of my career”: Shed Seven on the time they rerecorded their song on an advert for The Link

(Image credit: Martyn Goodacre via Getty Images)

Shed Seven scored their first Number One album this week with sixth album A Matter Of Time, but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for York’s Britpop survivors. Back at the tailend of the 90s, around the time of the quartet’s misfiring third album Let It Ride, the group tried to give their ailing career a kick up the backside with the help of a nationwide ad campaign for the phone shop The Link. Rick Witter & co. went all out, rerecording the main hook to their 1994 single Speakeasy and replacing it with the indelible line, “At The Link it’s easy.” Here it is if you don’t remember it - which you should, it's a catchy jingle:

A few years ago, I interviewed affable frontman Witter over lunch and he told the comical tale of how the band came to rework their song for the ad. “It’s kind of regretful cos we didn’t earn much money out of that,” he pondered, “and that would’ve been the reason to do it in the long run.”

He explained that, after a lot of deliberating at the time whether they should do it or not, there were some upsides. “I met the man who wrote the jingle for Bodyform, which is probably the highlight of my career,” he laughed. “These jingles make millions for these people. We’re writing albums worth of stuff and just getting by, jingles are the way forward! The bloke who did it played Spider in Quadrophenia, he’s the guy we met doing this Link thing. We were thinking, ‘Is this taking it too far?’ We met this bloke and we were in a crowded pub on a Friday lunchtime, liquid lunch going on, and he’s telling us some of the stuff he’s done, there’s lots of suits around, and he said, “I’ll tell you some of the jingles I’ve done” and very loudly went, “Whoaaa! Bodyform! Bodyform, for you” - he really seriously sang it, then went, “I did that.” After that he went, here’s another one I did: “Where in the world/PC World”, but really loud. You live and you learn…”

 Learn they certainly did. After splitting, Shed Seven reunited for some reunion shows in 2007 and eventually released an album of new material in 2017, becoming a success all over again. That’s been topped off with this month’s chart-topping new record, but Witter didn’t rule anything out when it came to saying no to more TV syncs mutating his lyrics. “We just didn’t know when to say no,” he said. “And we still don’t!”

Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.