- Sun Tzu, 5th century BC
That page is worth a read, if only for the means of distribution used over the years. But do I ever digress...
In keeping with the pedantic nitpicking, I think Eno might actually disagree and say that his music could be elevator music. In the liner notes for 'Ambient 1: Music for Airports', he writes that "Ambient Music must be able to accomodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting."
But, speaking for myself, I wouldn't relegate Eno's music to the elevator. :)
Said another way, Eno (and Devo and many others) are essentially the Muzak of the modern day.
Whatever the owners of "Muzak" wanted, whatever they thought of it: the dog is out of the yard. It's free. Your claim may be legal, but it is, by all accounts, incorrect and false. This word has a meaning now, this passive easy listening background vibe, humming nothings, it embodies something more real than what the owner intended. It's falsity & a lie that we let law & property dictate to us the terms by which we think. It's said that a rose would smell just as sweet by any other name. Well, society knows these roses, far better than whomever came up with the name. Let us not let the first-comers shape & dictate to us our usages.
(Velcro, I am coming for you. Your hegemony over this idea is coming to an end! We will not fall back to "hook and loop" forever, like animals! We all know we need a word. That you own it? Bah! Poppycock! The resistance of your lawyers does not cow me, does not frighten us!)
Having read a little further now, I would say though, whatever the company brands itself as today does not strongly imply that they are permitting "muzak" to be a free term. Smart move to decouple yourself some, especially from a term that is synonymous with bland indistinct elevator music or on hold music, and it's probably hopefully all good these days, but there's still plenty of room for this company to perhaps be trying to push trademarks or harass other folk who use the word "muzak".
There are also systems with smaller cartridges https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_5DPvPiUMY
Stacks of vinyl records https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kCHx3_vu9M
And standard cassette tapes running at a lower speed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV2EhEd46BY
The word you're looking for... My spouse suggested something related to trauma or PTSD. Then I saw "flashback" suggested.
I got curious because some of the tapes bear the name of an audio production company in Greenville, OH, a few miles down the road from my hometown. The booming male voice on the recordings also sounded familiar to me, too. I'm fairly certain I heard him on the local radio station that my father played over the PA in our family grocery store when I was growing up.
I did some searching and learned that back on November 30, the gentleman who founded the audio company, and who acted as the "voice of K-Mart", died.
It looks like he was involved in ventures that persist today. His company EchoSat (which I'd heard of with some past involvement in the convenience store / retail petroleum industry) recently merged with an IT security firm to become "ControlScan".
Quoting the obituary:
He started Tower Sound and Communications while in Greenville to pursue a venture that would eventually spearhead "in store" broadcasting for companies such as Kmart (he became the voice of Kmart) and Jamesway which evolved into another corporation in KY called EchoSat that would use satellite technology in helping with multiple stores for POS processing and security.
There's an interview with Lee Rutherford in 2011. He absolutely still has that "radio voice".
The Christmas tape is a 100% known landscape. We let hits die but Christmas music is eternal.
That said, there is lots of Christmas pop that doesn't make it into the canon. I have no recollection at all of the first song on the Christmas tape, and i was around then (and going to K-Mart with my mom).
The pop music they use on these tapes are cheap to license --- they weren't even popular when they were contemporary. They were just generic cheap music.
For Christmas, there is a set of Christmas music that just gets played every year and is licensed in blocks that are fairly cheap. That's why you hear a lot of "traditional standards" and not much else.
When I worked retail we had this but it was a mini-cd system that looked like a GameCube. My boss was a little bit forced into investing in it because a customer was furious that a P!nk song on the radio had the word "ass" or "hell" in the lyrics. The shuffle on that thing was horrible, sometimes the same song would come up twice and most evenings we just kept it off.
There's a streaming website for you to enjoy during your workday: https://seeburg1000.com/
but really, all of his work is good. You're in for a treat if you've never heard his music before.
P.S. The CD sounds wrong, I suspect some monkey business went on in the remastering studio. Get the vinyl version. Besides, these tunes just sound better with the needle drop, rumble and crackle of the old vinyl.
I do love Herb Alpert self composed songs too like you smile, the song begins and fox hunt.
Read this article, and the comments for even more fun (the person who made the album cover even commented there!) https://dangerousminds.net/comments/every_crate_diggers_nigh...
I guess I'm slightly different. My dad had "Herb Alpert's 9th" and I loved that album. Of course, his copy was ruined by the time I inherited it, and I trolled store after store for years looking for it. Finally, I found a mint copy still in the shrink wrap in the back for a couple bucks.
I had my prize!
Of course, collecting these things isn't fun anymore because anything you want is just a click away.
I can almost remember following my mom through the K-Mart aisles...
This music is what we used for our fully fabricated waiting-room office. At one point a guy with a legal degree from Yale came to question our paper-work, and proceeded to litigate from the bar down the road we'd sold our failing business to.
My favorite memory was two satanist girls who were on a lot of acid and who knows what else absolutely losing their shit. I think, in the end, we were all laughing at how depressing poorly regulated capitalism can be sometimes. I still laugh whenever I see pay-day loan stores.