John Lewis deny copying cover of ‘Together In Electric Dreams’ for Christmas advert

The Portraits, a duo of musicians from Somerset, said that they approached the store with a similar cover to the one used.

John Lewis deny copying cover of ‘Together In Electric Dreams’ for Christmas advert

John Lewis are renowned for their Christmas advertisements, with many having high expectations of them when the festive time comes around, however, a duo of musicians from Somerset are less than pleased with this year’s version. They believe that John Lewis copied their cover of ‘Together In Electric Dreams’ for the production. The supermarket chain has denied any wrongdoings.

The advertisement was released last week, and is titled ‘Unexpected Guest’. It features Lola Young’s cover of the classic track made famous by Phillip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder in 1984. The BBC reports that the cover bears a resemblance to one that was released by the band The Portraits back in December of last year, which was originally created for charities MInd and Cruse Bereavement Support. 

The Portraits, consisting of members Jeremy and Lorraine Millington, posted a statement on their Facebook page, saying that they had approached John Lewis’ marketing team back in March with their cover of the track. They wrote in the post: “We had a (perhaps naive) dream that we could use a future ad by the company with our soundtrack linked to it to maximise the funds going to those charities, but instead, it seems John Lewis went with the idea and produced a version borrowing the ‘feeling’ and many elements of the arrangement of our version, without even letting us know they were planning to do so.”

They argue that the song “had never been a Christmas song prior to 2020”, adding that they would be approaching John Lewis on how the situation could be resolved. A spokesperson for John Lewis has said: “There’s no substance to the claims as the person contacted by email left at the start of the summer and had no involvement in this year’s Christmas ad. The music that accompanies the ad is always the final element to be added and this year was chosen at the end of October,” they added, “The creation of advertising and music is carried out solely by our agency and we are unable to read or consider ideas from other external or internal sources.”

When discussing her track being used in the advertisement, Lola Young said: “I feel super honoured to be a part of this, growing up I always watched the John Lewis Christmas adverts, they’re iconic and so it kinda feels surreal getting asked to be in one.”

“It also means a lot as an up and coming artist to be a part of something this special. ‘Together In Electric Dreams’ is a very beautiful song. I love that era of music and I think Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder are incredible.”

The Portraits’ full statement can be viewed here, along with the two versions of the track in question, found below.

The Portraits & Friends - Together In Electric Dreams (Official Video)

Unexpected Guest | John Lewis & Partners | Christmas Ad 2021

Header Image Credit: Unexpected Guest | John Lewis & Partners | Christmas Ad 2021 - Youtube


Ash Edmonds

Ash Edmonds Kickstart

A graduate of Music Journalism from BIMM Brighton – where he now lives – Ash has been writing about everything creative for the past few years. An avid audiophile, he spends a lot of his time searching streaming platforms, record stores and live shows trying to find his next musical obsession.

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