Last week I ran across an iMix listing all the music on iTunes that was used in the late nineties television show La Femme Nikita. One of the songs listed was “Sunset Bell” from Love Spirals Downwards’ 1998 CD, Flux. I hadn’t heard of that licensing deal before, even though I was hanging out pretty heavily with Ryan in 1999, when the show was aired. So I decided to check around on Google to try and find out if it was really on it or not. I found 4 pages of results all listing “Sunset Bell” on episode #305 of season 3, though some listed it as the 1994 Ardor version. Now I was thoroughly curious.
I found out that season 3 was just released to DVD this past summer, so I rented a copy of the disc in question. There was a song featured throughout the show prominently that sounded suspiciously based upon “Sunset Bell,” but was obviously not either version. Actually, there were two pieces; one had a little boy singing off-key, and the other a woman singing rather darkwave-esque — both with lots of reverb and ambient keyboard pads. I’m thinking that they probably decided to have someone create music with the vibe of Ryan’s song so they didn’t have to pay Projekt.
I’d still really like to know if “Sunset Bell” truly was on the TV show or not. If it was, then we need to contact BMI to see about collecting back payments for television airings. From our experience with Dawon’s Creek, these shows can continue to air for years all over the world. Ryan wasn’t with BMI until recently, but they still may be able to recoup some of those songwriting fees. Plus, it very well may be airing somewhere still. I don’t suppose anyone reading this has a copy of the show in question, do they? Super fan, anyone??? For that matter, does anyone here know how to contact Jennifer Ryan Fuller, the girl whose vocals Ryan recorded for “Sunset Bell”???