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Elton John's album promoted through TV placement

LONDON - Sir Elton John's record company is promoting his new greatest hits album by licensing music at bargain prices to some of the best known television shows in the US, including 'Enterprise' and 'Scrubs'.

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As well as the 'Star Trek' spin-off 'Enterprise', 'Six Feet Under' and the sitcom 'Scrubs' will all feature Sir Elton's songs. Commercials are also getting in on the act, with a new ad for Chevrolet featuring 'Crocodile Rock', a hit for Sir Elton in 1972.

The show 'Scrubs' heralded the arrival of Heather Locklear with the song 'The Bitch is Back', while 'Rocket Man' is being used in trailers for 'Enterprise' and will also be used in an episode of 'Six Feet Under', the cult drama set in a funeral parlour.

'Elton John Greatest Hits 1970-2002' was released in the US on November 12, in time for Christmas. Universal Music said in a statement: "Elvis is king, but Elton is everywhere."

Sir Elton is no stranger to the world of advertising, starring in a spot for Diet Coke along with the legends Louis Armstrong, Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney. More recently, he has appeared in spots for Royal Mail.

The issue of product placement has been in much debate in recently weeks as it reached almost unparalleled heights in the new Bond movie 'Die Another Day', which features more than 20 brands.

Record companies are marketing their catalogues to advertising executives because of the prime exposure it can give to artists.

In the 1970s, Coke's 'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" jingle was so popular that it was turned into a full-length single by the New Seekers, a hit all over the world for the group.

In the 1980s, Nick Kamen stripping off in a laundrette for Levi's saw Marvin Gaye's 'Heard it Through the Grapevine' re-released as a single. More recently, Moby licensed every song from his album 'Play' to feature on ads, while bands such as the Dandy Warhols have had hits with songs that had previously flopped after they were used in ads.

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