Wednesday, February 20, 2019
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Music Notes
COPILOT scores iTunes hit with marketing soundtrack
A scene from "Fallout" trailer scored by COPILOT Music + Sound for Bethesda Game Studios.
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COPILOT Music + Sound, New York, was tapped by Bethesda Game Studios, maker of the popular multiplayer “Fallout” video game series, to create a soundtrack for the trailer for its most recent version of the game. They produced a contemporary take on the John Denver classic “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” which debuted for the E3 Conference, then went on sale, unexpectedly, last month on iTunes. By the next day, it was the number one song on the music site—quite remarkable for a track made for a marketing campaign.

The demand was sparked by the E3 exposure for the trailer which yielded nearly 30 million views on YouTube. An appetite was built for the full song, which helped propel the iTunes fervor. All of Bethesda’s proceeds from the iTunes sales were donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Since the “Fallout” series also had a long association with 1940s vocal group The Ink Spots, Bethesda reached out to COPILOT to see if that could be meshed with Denver’s “Country Roads” style. COPILOT experimented with a variety of arrangements, from faithful replicas of early vocal quartet styles to traditional folk and country instrumentation. But the biggest challenge was finding the right voices. “We auditioned a lot of amazing singers from the jazz, country and pop worlds,” said Ravi Krishnaswami, creative director at COPILOT, “but we were searching for a sound that would be a natural fit in all of these styles.” That’s when he and Jason Menkes, COPILOT’s executive producer, remembered their experience hearing a singing group called Spank, which they’d encountered for the first time singing a cappella doo-wop numbers on a street corner in SoHo. They auditioned and got the gig.

“It’s a win-win for everyone involved,” said Menkes.  “We’re thrilled with the song’s success and the support for Habitat for Humanity. And since this cover version was created specifically for Bethesda, all this attention and celebration circles back to ‘Fallout’ and further promotes the game’s release.”

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