Monday, August 07, 2006

A Muzak Christmas

Yes, you read that right! This promotional album from 1980 comes from the still amazing blog of Ernie (not Bert).

Yes, Muzak was created to allieviate fears of elevator riders in the 1920s and 1930s - elevator music lovers take note - by piping in phonograph music. By the mid-1950s, Muzak was all on tape and continued to do so until the early 1980s (around the time this album was released) when they began using satellite feeds.

Incredibly, Muzak still exists in this day and age (now using real recordings by established artists). Ted Nugent once offered to buy Muzak for $10 million dollars just to erase their tape library when it was still utilizing orchestras to re-record new hits like "Do You Think I'm Sexy?".

If there are any lingering doubts about how bad Muzak really was, is, or will always be (whichever you prefer), read the liner notes from the back of this album, try to keep a straight face, and decide for yourself:

"In a fast changing world, the joyous observances of Christmas-tide endure. These are wonderfully reflected in the warm, moving renditions featured in this new Muzak album. Functional and familiar... Muzak recordings for Christmas include the familiar carols in new dress, recorded by the world's finest conductors and musicians... and the popular secular favorites. 

"You'll hear them as if for the first time in versions which bring pleasant thoughts of holidays to mind. All are designed to enhance the Christmas mood and spirit as well as fulfill a functional purpose within the Muzak programming concept. 

"This collection, specially recorded by Muzak, and not available on any commercial releases, includes medleys of the traditional Christmas themes and fresh new treatments of everybody's favorite Christmas tunes... all new for 1980. We hope this special album of Christmas music by Muzak will enhance your holiday happiness, just as Music by Muzak throughout the year fosters pleasant, productive environments."

As for the music, each song definitely has a beginning, middle, and end - all with nothing inbetween. This is the album that they play at sleep study centers nationwide to get insomniacs some well deserved rest. And like the liner notes above, the music has been blanded down so much to its lowest common denominator that all that remains is the unmistakable sound of Muzak.

You'd be well advised to leave this one out of the Christmas boombox rotation - we cannot be responsible for any actions taken against you if you choose to play this at the Christmas party or during a busy Christmas workday at the office.

On to the next new Christmas CD in my collection... before I nod off!



Ernie said...

I'm thinking about going through and posting a comment on every one of your posts. Would that be annoying? I really don't have anything interesting to say about this MUZAK Christmas record. I just knew as soon as I flipped to it, I had to record it. The public NEEDED to know that it was out there. Like they need to know about the threat of black widow spider bites or something...

CaptainOT said...

Ernie writes "I'm thinking about going through and posting a comment on every one of your posts. Would that be annoying?"

Amusing? Yes. Annoying? Not as bad as Muzak!