#369: Grocery Store Rock

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RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#369: Grocery Store Rock

The lovely Mrs. LeBrain finally came home from the hospital just before Valentine’s Day.  Three weeks in that place, or close to it, monitoring for seizure activity.  Mission accomplished, Mrs. LeBrain returned home to find my nearly empty fridge and cupboards.  A weekend grocery shopping trip was arranged and we restocked the essentials.

Normally I don’t really spend a lot of time at the grocery store, but this was an extended trip and I found myself noticing the songs that were playing.  I was hearing 80’s rock, oldies, classic rock, and a variety of tunes that I didn’t expect at the grocery store.

I remember growing up, going to the store with my mom as a kid, and they were playing Muzak.  Same store, same location, Muzak was playing 30 years ago.  When did this change?  I didn’t notice.  I worked in a grocery store myself when I was in highschool, but I’ll be damned I could tell you what music was playing.  Therefore it was most likely Muzak.  That same old Muzak that always sounded like a watered down version of the M.A.S.H. theme.  I’ll take classic rock over that any day.

Here are the tunes I remember from the Great Snowstorm Grocery Shop of Feb 2015:

1. Blondie – “Atomic”.  Blondie is coming to town this July as part of Big Music Fest, so that was totally appropriate.

2. ‎The Beau Brummels – “Laugh Laugh”.  I recognized this old classic from an episode of the Flintstones!

3.The Kinks – “Come Dancing”.  I have been on a serious Kinks kick since December.  “Come Dancing” and “Apeman” are currently my two favourite Kinks songs, but the tropical feel of “Come Dancing” hits the spot when it’s -16 degrees outside.

4. The Tokens – “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.  This one killed the momentum for me, so I went to the junk food isle.

5. The Doors – “Break on Through”.  Morrison’s tormented screams haunted me in the cereal section.

6. Tommy Tutone – “867-5309 (Jenny Jenny)”.  By amusing coincidence, this song came on as I wandered away from Jen, and went looking for her.  I had a laugh over that, and I’m sure shoppers wondered why I was chuckling.  Jen couldn’t hear the song over the sound of the refrigeration in the produce section.


7. A Taste of Honey – “Boogie Oogie Oogie”.  I first heard this Disco classic on the Craig Fee Show.

8. Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Sweet Home Alabama”.  Moms listen to this now.  That’s the reality of the world we live in today.

Not a bad batch of tunes for a grocery shopping trip.  Certainly better than Muzak, you must agree!  It wouldn’t have been so bad working at the grocery store with those kinds of tunes.

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56 comments

      1. Went to the shop yesterday and they have a in-house radio station playing new-ish pop-ish songs (to be honest, I wouldn’t know if its new or not, haha!). Too much talking for my liking – like this next song is dedicated to you shoppers out there! I.e. spend your money, dammit!I’m definitely going to pay attention to the music when I go to the stores now…watch this space, lol!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s a fate worse than desk…they are playing inhouse radio stations with reject dj’s and dubious music…and now that I’ve become aware I’ll have to cross over to the new store…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Do you get this much in Canada… Motorhead’s The Ace Of Spades?

    For some reason, over here in the UK, it seems to be a pop song. Like, if you watch TOTP2 where its all 1970s/80s UK top40 pop, there’ll just be Motorhead in there too. Or if you’re learning first aid, it’ll be on in the background on the radio beside Britney Spears and Beyonce.

    People over here just have this weird singular exception that it aint heavy or noisy. It gets a random free-pass from rock haters.

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    1. No I don’t hear a lot of Motorhead in mainstream places Jimmy. The radio plays them once in a while, and yes it’s usually something like Ace of Spades rather than something else.

      Have you heard their acoustic version of Ace of Spades? Surprisingly good!

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      1. Yeah. They do. It’s pretty funny really. It always puts a smile on my face.
        I’m just glad they change the station when Michael Bolton starts singing “When A Man Loves A Woman.” How am I supposed to work out to THAT?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I never thought about it as an ’emergency.’ But now the next time it happens I may pull the emergency defibrillator off the wall and give myself a few jolts.

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  2. Music seems to be pretty random in stores. When I was working in a home improvement store over a decade ago, the music was for the most part bland and then, every once in a while you’d get Teenage Fanclub or Paul Weller. These days, I am pleasantly surprised sometimes by hearing the odd good tune out of the blue and I have to check my ears.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Teenage Fanclub or Paul Weller in a hardware store? Incredible! Never would have imagined it.

      I remember having a romantic lunch in the summer of ’95 in Elora Ontario, on a patio. Playing was Black Sabbath’s “Sign of the Southern Cross”. I still can’t believe it!

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      1. No joke: I remember setting off a re-assessment of The Style Council after hearing “My Ever-Changing Moods” blasting (not really) through my local grocer’s “system”!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have noticed that beer stores have started playing awesome tunes. It doesn’t matter which one I go to, they always have a great tune on. The last one had a long line and I heard Black Sabbath, Megadeth and Metallica while I waited. It made waiting in line seem ok.

    My fave Kinks song is Destroyer. It brings back memories of bringing my ghetto blaster to grade school. Good times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Man, that’s an extremely long time to be waiting if you heard three songs! Were you behind someone ordering cases for a wedding? ;) I only spend enough time in the beer store to return empties, and I don’t ever recall hearing music on full-stop.I’ll have to keep my ears peeled.

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        1. If I win tickets I will absolutely go. I won’t pay though. I’m not excited about anybody EXCEPT Extreme who I think will actually steal the show. When they’re “on”, they have a tendency to do that. Remember the Freddie Mercury concert in 92?

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        2. They absolutely can! But when they crash and burn on stage it’s legendary. There’s a video that has been since taken down when they’re playing Get the Funk Out and everybody walks off except the singer and drummer. The singer’s trying to get the crowd going, and says to the drummer, “Kick it Kevin, do something Kevin!” And then Kevin walked off stage too. LOL. No idea what the story with that is.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Man I am hyper-sensitive to music in grocery stores. It almost always pisses me off. And this is troubling because grocery shopping is one of my favourite things to do, shopping-wise (I generally hate shopping unless it’s for records!). I posted on the KMA a looooong time ago about hearing Smells Like Teen Spirit (not a muzak version, the full album version) in a store. I heard Green Day one time too. Odd to be selecting tomatoes while Kurt wails and Billie Joe sneers at you from overhead…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It always seems I get there behind 10 other people also bringing back empties. Then I have to go to another line to buy beer. I always think of the Soup Nazi Seinfeld episode. I don’t want to complain or I might get the Beer Nazi treatment. “NO BEER FOR YOU!”

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Umm, Mr Morison could you stop mumbling about ‘riding the snake o the lake’ and your mother for 5 minutes and go help Carl with a spillage in the dry goods section please?

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  6. Ah yes, I remember grocery store music. I worked in one around the same time, early summer 1984. The store played a AM station that had a ten song loop. The only three songs I remember were:
    Borderline- Madonna
    Let’s Hear It For the Boy- Denise Williams
    Sister Christian- Night Ranger (at least that one was bearable) but the same ten songs going on for several hours did amount to torture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man. A 10 song loop. You sir have endured much in your storied careers!!! In 1984, you couldn’t escape those songs. Although I didn’t know who sang Sister Christian back then. I thought Motorhead sang it, because it sounded like he was singing “Motorhead…”

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I always have my iPod on me whenever I go to the grocery store – mostly buying orange juice for myself – so I don’t tend to notice the music they play. I was, however, playing some Alice Cooper.

    School’s out for summer, school’s out forever…

    Liked by 1 person

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