Just heard a Musak abomination

Brad Porter

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Jun 8, 1999
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I dialed up a customer service number to process a credit check over the phone this morning and found myself on hold. They entertained me with a light, flamenco-style acoustic guitar song that seemed rather familiar. 15 seconds later, I come to the realization that the song is Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir". I immediately got flashbacks of Ratner's date on Fast Times at Ridgemont High...

What's the strangest song you've heard converted to "elevator music"?

Brad
 

Dave Poehlman

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Hehe.. I have heard several Led Zeppelin tunes on Muzak. I used to work in an office that had Muzak piped in all day. It was torture.. but, we used to play "name that tune" to take the edge off. Actually, the LZ tunes they were playing were some of the more obscure ones.
 

Jason_H

Second Unit
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Mar 9, 2000
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In a Denny's restaurant, I once heard The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby." It was the most God-awful thing I've ever heard...BUT, the best part was in the middle of the song there was a frickin' ORGAN SOLO that went on for what seemed like several minutes and really had nothing to do with the song's structure. And then it just finished the song. TRULY bizarre...my friends and I still get a good laugh out of it everytime we hear the real Eleanor Rigby.
 

Philip Hamm

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The other day at the deli in my building I heard that song that goes "up, up and away in my beautiful my beautiful baloooooooon!!" on muzak. I guess the original version was too rockin'.

NP: Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue (Leanord Bernstien piano, conducting)
 

Kevin P

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Jan 18, 1999
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"Muzak abomination" is redundant! :E
I used to work in an office that had muzak piped in all day, 24/7, let's just say that it makes Hell downright inviting!

Some of the abominations I heard while I was there included everything from Dire Straits (Walk of Life) to Madonna (Who's That Girl) to various Beatles tunes (yes, I've heard Eleanor Rigby as muzak), heck, they couldn't even leave instrumentals alone. I even heard pieces by Mozart and Vivaldi, which sounded normal at first, but if you stood under a speaker you could hear that a drum beat had been added in. Is nothing sacred!?
What was even worse is from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas, they'd switch to "Christmas muzak", and they'd usually crank the volume as well. I had trouble not being a Scrooge those years I worked there.
I would have loved to have gone up on the roof of the building and smashed their Muzak dish to bits, a la the printer scene in Office Space!
Muzak is worse than Pan & Scan or colorization in my book. I don't know how musicians would ever give permission to Muzak their art. It's like showing photocopies of a kid's school drawing of the Mona Lisa wearing a mask.
 

Chris Lock

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Jul 1, 1999
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> I don't know how musicians would ever give permission to Muzak their art.

I don't think you need permission to do a cover version, as long as you pay the royalties.
 

Philip Hamm

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Jan 23, 1999
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I think you need permission from the songwriter. IMO no songwriter who is truly a "professional", meaning they put food on the table and pay the mortgage with the money they make from writing music, would refuse to allow a muzac version. Unless of course they are very rich and perhaps very idealistic about their musicianship.
 

Jesse Skeen

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Apr 24, 1999
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So Muzak's still around? I haven't heard it anywhere in almost 20 years! I hated it with a passion, but now I have a sick fetish for it. I've picked up a few Muzak-style albums, the best one I have is a 3 8-track set from Columbia House titled "Magic: The Very Best Music of the 70's". You can't argue with a sick mind!
 

Derek O

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...Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir". I immediately got flashbacks of Ratner's date on Fast Times at Ridgemont High...
Speaking of...I have always wondered whether this part was mistake or comedy. Damone tells Rat to put on "side two of Led Zeppelin IV " but "Kashmir" is on Physical Graffiti . Is this just a mistake or is it supposed to be a joke that he couldn't get the music right? It seems like "Kashmir" wouldn't be the best date music. Although now that I think about it, I doubt Cameron Crowe would be that careless. Any thoughts???
 

Brad Porter

Screenwriter
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Jun 8, 1999
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Eeeeeek! It's following me! Last night during the Avs - Kings game they played "Kashmir" on the pipe organ! I think I'm hallucinating! I'm going to start hearing it in traffic noise and dog barks!

Brad
 

Philip Hamm

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Devo released a CD in the early 90s through RYKO that was MUZAK versions of many of their songs. It's a great CD.
 

Jesse Skeen

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That Devo CD sounds more like how their songs would sound if put in video games; I was hoping for more strings and organs and that type of stuff. I got a CD for 50 cents that was made fairly recently called "Lennon and McCartney in the Bossa-Nova Style", which is great for a laugh.
 

Anthony Hom

Supporting Actor
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Mar 24, 1999
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I heard a musak version of Born To be wild, with strings and vocals ala Mormon Tabernacle Choir! Can't really tell what were they thinking, but it was actually funny.
 

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