A Groovy Kind of Earworm

A Groovy Kind of Earworm

Phil Collins '88

There was an article on the BBC website the other day which put a name to an experience which i’m sure most people have endured. They are known as earworms (amongst other names) and it is when you get a tune stuck in your head that you just can’t get rid of. Sometimes you really haven’t got a clue how it happens to be bouncing round in your brain but the more you try to suppress it the worse it gets (see this article on the difficulty of killing earworms and the man who had one for five long years).

After thinking about this for a while and realising how mildly annoying earworms can be we thought it our civic duty to respond by trying to create an earworm of our own using the medium of art. And being cheeky little tinkers we thought we’d do our best to get the hugely underrated 80’s megastar Phil Collins back into people’s consciousness by forcing his 1988 version of ‘A Groovy Kind of Love‘ into as many people’s brains as possible! We are not yet experts in the field but we’re hoping that as the hoarding is blue and we mention the word blue (which is written in blue – how cunning!) this will create some kind of cognitive resonance in viewers’ heads whereby a genetically modified supercharged earworm will be created.

Ideally the song will launch automatically and start playing in your head before you can do anything about it – and hopefully be trickier to get rid of than the auto-popup screens you sometimes get when visiting dodgy websites. It’s what advertisers attempt to do every day (but they have a more nefarious agenda) but our only regret is not knowing how well the whole project will work…




  1. Charlieboy
    March 29, 2012


  2. March 30, 2012

    […] Link – Thanks Sholto! Article | 0 Comments March 29, 2012 […]

  3. Potzorbie
    March 30, 2012

    I prefer the Mindbenders version.

  4. May 3, 2012

    Sadly this piece has now died an unnatural death as the buff man came and went over it with a rather fetching, but entirely unmatching blue. How many people were infected with our earworm we’ll never know.

  5. May 3, 2012

    […] was a complete whopper. It hasn’t stopped the evil song by Travis from becoming today’s earworm though. How very […]

  6. June 21, 2012

    […] already thinking that was a trap best avoided. It’s because whenever I see the title an earworm attacks and I can’t help but think of the soul destroying tedium of Billie Piper with her […]

  7. November 9, 2012

    […] ‘The Message‘ doesn’t automatically start playing in your head then please check here for more information. Your brain may be […]

  8. February 14, 2013

    […] We’ve previously done an earworm and I thought it was about time to give it another go. The success or otherwise of this piece hinges on the fact that just about everyone is familiar with Bon Jovi’s ‘You give love a bad name‘ and so I’ve done my best to try and get it playing unheeded in your brain. For no reason other than I can. It’s difficult to know how successful I’ll be but them’s the breaks. […]