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Spending Every Dime to Keep You Shopping in the Line: Grocery Story DJ

July 6, 2010

Many of my dreams jobs do not exist, and never will (or perhaps a few were made obsolete because of technology), and I get that, I’m a romantic but also a realist. Near the top of the list is Grocery Store DJ: I would love to compile market research on styles of music that make people hungry and combine it with the soft rock aesthetic that I so personally enjoy. Trips to the market or drugstore soothe me not just because of store brand pharmaceutical, delicious snacks, and visually pleasing aisles of colorful shapes, but also because of the jams that frequently get pumped in to set the scene. Snarky recently mentioned Jewel’s Intuition, and I hear that one a LOT while food shopping, along with the queen, Anita Baker (I’m not mad about that).

The grocery store where I regularly shop now has fancy hip muzak pumped in — I’ve heard Rufus Wainwright and The National come on while pricing salsas and breakfast cereals, which was a bit strange. And one grocery store chain lost my business because they only played Smokey Robinson frozen food commercials and a Melissa Etheridge cross-promotional song about how she is inspired to raise money for breast cancer or something, I don’t know, it was just overall distasteful and did not make me want to buy anything, despite having favorable opinions about both of those people. When I go to the grocery store, I instead want to be caught singing Hall and Oates simultaneously with a stranger as we come around the aisle.

So, because it may soon become an extinct experience, I decided to remember specific moments when favorite songs that were once lost for several years got returned to me because I was making my way down the aisles and heard their notes streaming through the fluorescent light glow.

Number one, with a bullet:

It was 3 am, I was standing in the drugstore aisle with a package of oreos and a box of uristat when I recognized the phrase “woman, don’t you know with you I’m born again.” This was pre-mp3 downloading, pre-every song is on youtube — it was the 90s, people — so I had to scour record bins to find it and was pretty unsuccessful for a few years, though my digging did eventually pay off.  I think a week after finding it on vinyl, I downloaded it on limewire, to give you idea on how long it took.   I repeated a similar cycle years later in trying to find the karaoke track. My friend Liza custom ordered it for us to sing it. (Yes, I have custom made karaoke discs, what?)

If I don’t hear this next song at the grocery store, I get a little concerned that armageddon is coming, because I’m nearly batting a thousand on it.  I sing along every time.  I like this newer live version because Patti Austin’s voice has gotten sexier and James is rocking some dapper tails.

My experiments have shown that this is the most popular Hall and Oates song for making you throw soup cans into your buggy.

In the years between Warren G’s Regulate in 1994 and the explosion of Yacht Rock in 2005-6, the only time you’d hear this Michael McDonald joint was around the dairy case.

This last video goes out to my patron saint of all grocery store jams, Anita Baker.   She was recently skewered all over the internet for her off-key rendition of the American national anthem at the NBA finals, and look, it wasn’t fabulous.  It was probably a poor decision on her part to accept the offer, given that she is a strong gorgeous alto and that song is well out of her range, but it wasn’t that terrible either, and c’mon, who cares in the grand scheme of things when we’ll always have Sweet Love?

Anita, you’ve had a rough go of it lately with your divorce this year, and I know you want to jump back into your career and start healing.  Take your time, we’re here.  Many of us wait ten years for Sade’s albums, I don’t mind doing the same for you if it means doing it right.

The rest of you:  post what songs you hear all the time while food and drug shopping.  Or what songs would make you want to eat and medicate more — I’m always doing research for my pretend careers.

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92 Comments leave one →
  1. evmaroon permalink
    July 6, 2010 10:00 am

    I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH I WANT TO MARRY IT.

    It’s amazing how I know songs from the 70s, 80s and 90s so much better than I do the contemporary stuff. I like that hearing one of the songs you listed can call up a feeling or a moment or an epoch out of my life. Hall and Oats is all that for me. And I grin from ear to ear when I catch any Stevie Wonder out in the world, when I’m not expecting him. Thanks for posting this!

  2. July 6, 2010 10:04 am

    Oh yes, to Stevie Wonder! I do the same thing. I mean, I have so many of his albums in my collection at home and I do listen to them, but hearing them spontaneously out in the world still makes me feel good.

  3. July 6, 2010 10:04 am

    And Ev, I will talk to my post about your proposal. I’m pretty sure this post is single, but I need to double check.

  4. evmaroon permalink
    July 6, 2010 10:09 am

    Well, I may need to have a chat with my wife about it, too. I’m not sure she’ll understand the sudden love I have for it.

  5. July 6, 2010 10:13 am

    And obviously you’d have to take a third wife for a balanced trinity. Unless you want to shoot for a quorum and get 7!

  6. Alyx Vesey permalink
    July 6, 2010 10:31 am

    So much yes! “Baby Come to Me” will be in my head all day. I recently had two conversations about the awesomeness of the quiet storm radio format with friends and like how you dropped Anita Baker and Sade in with yacht rock legends like Hall and Oates and Michael McDonald. In addition to grocery stores, these songs get their due at hair salons.

  7. evmaroon permalink
    July 6, 2010 10:37 am

    What are dentist’s offices playing these days? Seems like Kenny G is alive and well and enjoying his soprano sax at your root canal.

  8. July 6, 2010 11:05 am

    I love you, Raybear.

  9. July 6, 2010 11:08 am

    I want to Facebook “like” all of these songs.

    Trader Joe’s is always down for Motown and the oldies. I was in there last Friday morning and TJ’s was being Rick Rolled. The TJ DJ has a sense of humor. Keeps me going back.

    p.s. Anita Baker = ❤ ❤ ❤

  10. badhedgehog permalink
    July 6, 2010 11:09 am

    Oh yes yes yes! I am so with you.

    Round here most of the supermarkets either play no music at all, or one of those weird taped in-store “radio” stations (usually a mix of current chart music and some good classic hits).

    There’s one supermarket that plays the good grocery store music. The kind you’re talking about here. Billy & Syreeta YES; Hall and Oates OF COURSE, AND HOW; Michael McDonald FOR SURE; Anita Baker YES; plus PLENTY of Earth, Wind and Fire; and some super-hip Joe Jackson.

    It’s such good shopping music. Just puts a little gentle joy into the old trolley-pushing action.

  11. July 6, 2010 11:16 am

    Ev, “What you won’t do for love” is the song I immediately associate as “Dentist office music”.

    Add me to the heap of folks who thought Bobby Caldwell was black.

  12. July 6, 2010 11:25 am

    “Baby Come To Me” is completely a grocery store staple! I don’t think I remember hearing it outside of a grocery store once its popularity waned on the radio. I think grocery store music is sometimes quite subtle and I don’t exactly tune into it but then I realize I am walking around with “I’m Your Baby Tonight” by Whitney Houston in my head all day after a trip to the store.

  13. July 6, 2010 11:29 am

  14. July 6, 2010 11:34 am

    I don’t know anything about King Harvest (haven’t checked their Wikipedia entry yet) other than “Dancin in the Moonlight” seems to be on every retail playlist I’ve ever heard:

    Other songs that come to mind are Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” and Orleans’ “Dance With Me.”

  15. July 6, 2010 11:35 am

    This song, which I only know from drug stores. I call it the “Rite-Aid Song”. As in, “You know that Rite-Aid song, everything inside of you that you wish you could be.”

    I had to type in the lyrics to find it on YouTube.

  16. evmaroon permalink
    July 6, 2010 11:54 am

    OMG Bobby Caldwell is white? I’m as shocked as when I found out Tracy Chapman was female. But I was a stupid college student back then.

  17. July 6, 2010 11:57 am

    I think RayRay and I first bonded over our love of this grocery store jam.

  18. July 6, 2010 11:58 am

    @Snarky: Can’t Fight the Moonlight!!! Brenda Russell!!! That is critical grocerystore playlist. Damn, I can’t believe I forgot those. And my jaw is still a bit open about Bobby Caldwell. I had no idea either! I’m omg-ing all over the place. I have rocked that song hard at karaoke, I’m sure you are shocked to learn. And good call on that Vertical Horizon song.

  19. badhedgehog permalink
    July 6, 2010 12:01 pm

    British band Toploader did a cover of that there “Dancing In The Moonlight”. It was used for a Sainsbury’s supermarket TV advert featuring Jamie Oliver, back in about 2002. The ad was everywhere, hanging about long beyond the point where we were holding its coat and nodding towards the door. The band apparently felt slightly fingerburnt, as a) they hadn’t made much money off the deal, and b) they got lumped in with the irritation people felt towards Jamie O, Sainsbury’s, and the ever present advert.

  20. July 6, 2010 12:02 pm

    @Chriso: I will be with someone as we’re walking back through the parking lot and will turn and say “do you have _______ song in your head right now?’ to find out if it was just playing in the store. And Whitney Houston gets some major play too. Along with Phil Collins. Phil Collins songs used to stalk us in Osco drug stores in college.

    @redlami: Orleans sang “Dance With Me”??? All this time I was Firefall! Today I learned something. Good call on Time After Time, the only time I heard that song in the 90s was in the mall department stores.

  21. July 6, 2010 12:05 pm

    @badhedgehog: that is hilarious and fascinating to me. I’m always intrigued by music industry stories of artists getting overly demonized for projects that went awry from what they imagined, even if they are rightly annoying.

    @snarkysmachine
    : I still remember calling you randomly one night and singing that song on your voicemail. “I’m not talking about moving in, and I don’t want to change your life…..”

  22. July 6, 2010 12:07 pm

    @badhedgehog: I just caught your Joe Jackson mention! YES!!

  23. July 6, 2010 12:09 pm

    Along with Phil Collins. Phil Collins songs used to stalk us in Osco drug stores in college.

  24. July 6, 2010 12:10 pm

    @GlutonicWoman: Trader Joe’s will bust out some surprising songs sometimes, you’re right. I feel like I’ve heard Simply Red there a few times too.

  25. July 6, 2010 12:29 pm

    LOL @holding back the years.

    @raymond I don’t much, but my hippie soap store need to give Enya a rest.

  26. badhedgehog permalink
    July 6, 2010 12:38 pm

    Hippie stores have the same disregard for the RDA of Enya that they do for the RDA of Vit C.

  27. July 6, 2010 12:42 pm

    @raymondj stop it with the Simply Red. I’m going to be singing that for the rest of the day!!

  28. July 6, 2010 12:45 pm

    Sorry, GW! How about the Angie Stone version? She kills it.

  29. July 6, 2010 1:52 pm

    I too would like to marry this post and I’m hoping that it is interested in some sort of open relationship.

    I’m a former grocery store worker (who just this morning was thinking about getting another part-time grocery job to get the discount). Most of the time my co-workers and I would ignore the playlist (they use satellite radio to play a corporate-selected feed & while I totally love Peabo, Anita, and George Benson, it sucks to hear the same songs over and over again during an 8-hour shift).

    I do remember hearing this song one day and stopping what I was doing because it seemed so inappropriate for grocery shopping. Perhaps we were trying to get people to start bawling in the aisles and overloading on ice cream, cookies, and other break-up staples.

  30. July 6, 2010 1:54 pm

    Not sure if I embedded the video correctly, but it’s Elton John’s “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”. Not a great motto for a business that requires good customer service to survive.

  31. July 6, 2010 2:33 pm

    Growing up, my grocery store only played Country music. Usually of the Conway Twitty variety.

    Now my grocery store of choice plays a rather eclectic mix. Some days it’s total soft rock, things that make me tear up a bit when I hear them (or make me dance down an aisle with a broom). Last week I was in there and they played “When She Loved Me” by Sarah McLachlan.

    I think the strategy that day was to make me buy all the Ben and Jerry’s I could carry out…

    Usually, though, they play lots of Fleetwood Mac, Hall and Oates, and stuff like “Walking In Memphis.”

  32. July 6, 2010 2:39 pm

    @eieioj

    Safeway is probably the first place I heard this jam. I absolutely LOVE this song.

  33. July 6, 2010 2:46 pm

    I do credit my childhood grocery store with contributing to my love affair with Dolly Parton. The song “Jolene” seemed to play every time I was in there.

    That, and this (not the incomparable Ms. Parton):

    The bass singer kinda scares me… and does anyone else notice a resemblance between the main guy singing and a certain Mr. John Oates?

  34. July 6, 2010 3:19 pm

    The bass singer kinda scares me… and does anyone else notice a resemblance between the main guy singing and a certain Mr. John Oates?

    LOL! Seriously.

  35. July 6, 2010 3:24 pm

    Usually, though, they play lots of Fleetwood Mac, Hall and Oates, and stuff like “Walking In Memphis.”

    LOL!!! Marc Cohn’s one song. Ma’am I am tonight!

  36. July 6, 2010 3:27 pm

    If your store is striving for a little more “edge” you might hear this one:

    I tend to hear this after 10pm when the college students are doing their microbrew and cheetos run.

  37. July 6, 2010 3:28 pm

    I’ve heard Rufus Wainwright and The National come on while pricing salsas and breakfast cereals

    The big local chain in my medium-sized, Midwest town plays the same vaguely hip triple A (do people still say “triple A”?) rock. Before that, it was actual muzak-like instrumental versions of popular songs, but it was always a mixed bag. One shopping trip I heard the Replacements, the Pretenders, and REM all done elevator-style.

  38. July 6, 2010 3:39 pm

    @Kathy, those watered-down versions make me cringe. I remember hearing a Muzaked “Heart of Glass” and wondering why they even bothered.

    Why did Brian Eno’s stuff (like Music for Elevators or Music for Airports) never catch on? I mean, you could hear the same song three times and never realize it. Though on the other hand, the object in the supermarket is to keep people awake and shopping and not have them stop in a trance at the salad bar.

  39. July 6, 2010 3:43 pm

    Why did Brian Eno’s stuff (like Music for Elevators or Music for Airports) never catch on? I mean, you could hear the same song three times and never realize it. Though on the other hand, the object in the supermarket is to keep people awake and shopping and not have them stop in a trance at the salad bar.

    Ha. I’d spend a lot of cashmoney in a store that played nothing but Eno or Glass.

  40. July 6, 2010 3:47 pm

    I was in there last Friday morning and TJ’s was being Rick Rolled.

    @TheGlutonicWoman that’s really funny. I have to wonder how many people didn’t even notice.

  41. July 6, 2010 3:49 pm

    Not sure if I embedded the video correctly, but it’s Elton John’s “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”. Not a great motto for a business that requires good customer service to survive.

    @hollo

    Ha! So freaking true. That comment made my day!!! Thank you. I actually did laugh out loud. No e-motions here.

  42. July 6, 2010 3:53 pm

    and what comes on my iPod shuffle right now but Anita Baker’s Same Ole Love (365 Days A Year). I would groove to this in the beauty aisle at CVS any day. Or a liquor store.

  43. July 6, 2010 3:57 pm

    while I totally love Peabo, Anita, and George Benson, it sucks to hear the same songs over and over again during an 8-hour shift

    @hollo – as grocery stores get bigger, they’re going to have to make those playlists deeper. My local Wegmans has a full-up cafe and restaurant and if I stay long enough to eat, shop and wait for prescriptions I start hearing repeats too.

  44. July 6, 2010 3:58 pm

    Most of the time my co-workers and I would ignore the playlist (they use satellite radio to play a corporate-selected feed & while I totally love Peabo, Anita, and George Benson, it sucks to hear the same songs over and over again during an 8-hour shift).

    Seriously, how many times can you hear “Give Me the Night” before you want to run outside screaming. Granted, my threshold is a bit higher, but I”m sure at some point I’d go bonks.

  45. July 6, 2010 4:03 pm

    And then there’s this favorite:

    generally preceded by “Your call is important to us. All our operators are busy, please stay on the line for the next available operator.”

  46. July 6, 2010 4:15 pm

    If I’m dying for some Skynyrd and I’m too cheap to purchase their greatest hits, I just pop into Home Depot and within twenty minutes I am dazzled by “Ooh that smell” or

    If I’m really lucky, I might get to dance down the bolt and bit aisle to

  47. July 6, 2010 4:25 pm

    One of my grocery store heroes is Mr. Paul Carrack, who sings three of my condiment aisle favorites

    Ace: How Long

    Squeeze: Tempted

    Mike and the Mechanics: The Living Years

  48. July 6, 2010 4:26 pm

    Damn, Mr. Paul Carrack is like the Michael Caine of radio friendly pop.

  49. July 6, 2010 4:27 pm

    @kathy and @redlami, my personal strangest Muzak experience was the muzakification of Everything But the Girl’s Driving. It happened in a Shoney’s in North Carolina and my parents didn’t understand most of the words coming out of my mouth while I tried to explain why it was remarkable.

    @hollo, as a Borders employee, I totally get how working at places can try our patience for even well loved musicians. I’m glad they haven’t been ruined for life! Or so I hope. My friend Melanie worked in a grocery store and got traumatized whenever I didn’t put some back where I got it, because her job was to replace those wayward items, all day.

    And Redlami, I love me some Chuck Mangione! I also remembering laughing really hard when he guest-voiced on King of the Hill.

  50. July 6, 2010 4:29 pm

    ACE AND MIKE + THE MECHANICS SHARE PAUL CARRACK?! Damn, Lami, you’re blowing my mind today.

  51. July 6, 2010 4:38 pm

    And Redlami, I love me some Chuck Mangione! I also remembering laughing really hard when he guest-voiced on King of the Hill.

    AHAHAHA yes! I laughed recently during the episode where Luanne and Lucky got married, where the wedding march morphs into “Feels So Good.”

  52. July 6, 2010 4:52 pm

    Oh and I just stumbled across this facebook group: The Petsmart PA system is the soundtrack to my life! Here’s the playlist they post:

    Sixpence None the Richer "Don't Dream It's Over"
    Sixpence None the Richer "Breathe Your Name"
    Sheryl Crow "Good Is Good"
    Sheryl Crow "Everyday Is A Winding Road"
    James Blunt "You're Beautiful"
    The Fray "Cable Car (Over My Head)"
    Gavin De Graw "I Don't Wanna Be"
    Gavin De Graw "Chariot"
    Chicago "25 Or 6 To 4"
    Chicago "Saturday In the Park"
    Earth, Wind, and Fire "Let's Groove Tonight"
    Marc Anthony "I Need To Know"
    Enrique Iglesias "Bailamos"
    Phil Collins "One More Night"
    Phil Collins "I Can't Stop Loving You"
    Rob Thomas "Lonely No More"
    Blondie "The Tide Is High"
    John Mayer "Clarity"
    John Mayer "Back To You"
    John Mayer "No Such Thing"
    The Pretenders "Back On The Chain Gang"
    Jackson 5 "ABC"
    Marvin Gaye "I Heard It Through the Grape Vine"
    Kool & The Gang "Celebration"
    Paul Carrack "Satisfied"
    Maria Muldaur "Midnight at the Oasis"
    Josh Kelley "Everybody Wants You"
    Norah Jones "Sunrise"
    Coldplay "Clocks"
    Coldplay "Speed of Sound"
    Coldplay "A Message" 
    
  53. July 6, 2010 5:14 pm

    That is a lot of John Mayer and Coldplay. That is a bleak future.

    There is a chain of thrift stores in Chicago called Village Thrift, and for two years, every time I was shopping, no matter which location, I heard this:

    You’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.

  54. July 6, 2010 5:20 pm

    Omg, Colors of the Wind is totally on the soundtrack of MOST thrift stores and Big Lots types of places, where merchandise is being sold for outrageously low, low prices.

  55. July 6, 2010 5:24 pm

    Omg, I have never seen this movie, but thanks to every Walgreens on the east coast, I know this damn song.

  56. aliciamaud permalink
    July 6, 2010 6:01 pm

    I clearly remember thinking as a kid that I liked “classical” music because I owned a Chuck Mangione. D’oh.

    That’s totally true about Petsmart! We are doing puppy obedience classes, and I can only get Waylon to sit if I sing “Kiss me…beneath the milky twilight…” first. It’s totally slowing down our progress! And try “stay!” when ABC is playing…I can’t sit still, and I’m not 7 months old with a bladder the size of an apricot!

  57. July 6, 2010 7:40 pm

    I wish my Home Depot played music. Of course, I would embarrass myself all the time.

    One of my dad’s favorite bands was Skynyrd, so at his funeral we played the 14 minute long live version of “Freebird.” As such, I actively avoided that song for a while. About a year later, I was in a liquor store and when I opened the door to one of the beer coolers, “Freebird” came blaring out. I took it as a sign that I should definately get the beer I was going for. The rest of the store was quiet; I’m still convinced that they play Southern Rock to the beer to help keep it in the right frame of mind.

  58. July 6, 2010 8:10 pm

    I’m going to make the best mixtape ever and/or the worst mixtape ever based on all these recommendations…

  59. evmaroon permalink
    July 6, 2010 9:02 pm

    Dang, Redlami, I need to spend more time at Petsmart! Just another reason why it tops Petco, darn it!

    Hollo, I’ll thumb wrestle you for the marrying rights.

  60. July 6, 2010 10:05 pm

    Damn! I come home to see 58 comments but nobody mentioned this:

    but THIS is my fave grocery store rave:

  61. July 6, 2010 10:21 pm

    Now this is a comment thread! I can’t even think of one unique grocery store type song that hasn’t been listed here. All I can say is I love when they play THIS VERSION of this song at the Burger King by my house, and I’m there a lot:

  62. July 6, 2010 10:32 pm

    Oh yes! Drift Away! That is required grocery store listening…. That and “In the Summertime”.

  63. July 6, 2010 10:34 pm

    @Tasha, that Drift Away is a classic too. I’ve been tempted by it at karaoke, but I have been tricked by jam songs that are pretty much the chorus 18 times in a row. I love a song that has a handclap breakdown.

    @p0plife, Fleetwood Mac doesn’t show up for me as much as I’d like when shopping. However, everytime I drive a car and listen to the station in Chicago called The Drive, a soft rock/classic rock station, EVERY time I will hear Gypsy. I think they are required to play it twice a day, every day. I love that song, but I have to skip it most times to keep it from spoiling.

  64. July 6, 2010 10:36 pm

    However, everytime I drive a car and listen to the station in Chicago called The Drive, a soft rock/classic rock station, EVERY time I will hear Gypsy. I think they are required to play it twice a day, every day. I love that song, but I have to skip it most times to keep it from spoiling.

    LOL. Fleetwood Mac!!!

  65. July 6, 2010 10:39 pm

    @aliciamaud: I’m pretty sure the classical version of Chuck Mangione is actually Maynard Ferguson.

  66. evmaroon permalink
    July 6, 2010 10:49 pm

    OMG, Snarky, I’ve never seen the video to Gypsy before. It’s so…fucking strange! Like Thomas the Train meets Pixar’s Steampunk Smurfette. I really don’t like it when trains have faces.

    Also, why has no one brought up the Commodores?

  67. July 6, 2010 10:51 pm

    @Snarky, the KJ recommended that song to me, based on my previous falsetto performances, but I haven’t tried it yet!!

  68. July 6, 2010 10:54 pm

    @evmaroon, and just to be clear, that is not the official video — that is indeed a medley of Thomas the Tank Engine footage set to Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere…..and it’s making me freak out a little while laughing wickedly.

  69. July 6, 2010 11:02 pm

    Time Capsule!

  70. evmaroon permalink
    July 6, 2010 11:07 pm

    Aww, Tasha! Good one! I’d spend a ton more money at Safeway if this came on while I was there.

  71. July 6, 2010 11:20 pm

    I’m pretty sure the classical version of Chuck Mangione is actually Maynard Ferguson.

    ha. back in the days of audiogalaxy I downloaded what I believed was some generic “bowchickabowwow” music I needed for a project, and it turned out to be Maynard Ferguson doing a version of “Redemption” (the theme from Rocky II).

  72. July 6, 2010 11:38 pm

    I once got a look at one of these programmed music lists… it was less about the actual songs and more about the tempo, as they would select a song that was moderate beat, follow it up with a song that was higher tempo, carry off something fast, then ease that back with a slow jam and so on. I was rather surprised that it simply boiled down to the beat and anything that matched could be exchanged: Mister Mister “Broken Wings” or Deep Blue Something “Breakfast at Tiffany’s?” Flip that coin!

  73. July 6, 2010 11:39 pm

    @nycpenpusher: I’ve been waiting for you, I had a feeling you’d have good insider knowledge on the programming side of the equation!

  74. July 7, 2010 12:04 am

    LOL @ Deep Blue Something. In honor of…

    I swear whenever I’m browsing Sally Hansen sparkly nail polish this song is playing. It’s more of a Rite Aid rather than Walgreens thing. I think Walgreens is more into Paula Cole.

    Again, I only know this song because I spend a lot of time in drug stores and JcPenney.

  75. July 7, 2010 1:14 am

    This song seems to be a staple of kwik-e-mart style grocery stores.

    I seem to hear it about 3 – 4 times a week. Maybe I just haunt some really shitty gas stations.

    Can we say, “Delilah!”

  76. July 7, 2010 2:01 am

    Am I really the first person to bring Swing Out Sister to the party?

  77. July 7, 2010 2:07 am

    I have heard this more than once while trying to figure out what cereal to buy at Lucky.

  78. July 7, 2010 2:19 am

    I think of “Everyday I write the book” as the “frozen foods song”. I’m always perusing frozen food items whenever I hear this song at Price Chopper.

  79. July 7, 2010 3:30 am

    @Snarky’s: I’m always surprised that I don’t really hear “Alison” at grocery stores because I think EC once said he got the idea for the song when he saw a woman working at a grocery store with a name tag that read “Alison”.

  80. July 7, 2010 4:33 am

    @Snarky’s: I’m always surprised that I don’t really hear “Alison” at grocery stores because I think EC once said he got the idea for the song when he saw a woman working at a grocery store with a name tag that read “Alison”.

    For some reason I think of “Alison” as either thrift store or doctor’s office music, though I have heard it in grocery stores before. Star Market/Shaw’s in particular.

  81. July 7, 2010 6:48 am

    @Snarkysmachine: Into the Night!! That song became a hit twice, once in 1980, then again 10 years later when 80s Where are the Now? nostalgia got kicking and sent this song to the charts a second time. This also explains why I have competing memories of hearing this song on the radio at wildly different ages.

    @Chriso: I’ve heard that Swing Out Sister song but never knew who sang it!

  82. July 7, 2010 8:23 am

    @Snarky’s, Syracuse is to Benny Mardones what Japan is to Cheap Trick. Well, minus the money. But seriously, for some unknown reason (he’s not from around here) he’s always been considered a star locally and he sells out concerts at the Oneida Nation Casino just like the big shots.

    @Chriso, I always smile when I hear any Elvis Costello on the PA. I think I’ve also heard “Not The Only Flame In Town.”

  83. July 7, 2010 9:03 am

    @evmaroon is so right. Why has no one brought up The Commodores? Or Lionel Richie for that matter? Shame on us.

  84. July 7, 2010 5:59 pm

    @Snarky’s: I have never heard Roll To Me by Del Amitri in any store. Ever. But I can see how it would work well in a shopping environment. I love that song for non-retail reasons, though.

  85. July 7, 2010 7:50 pm

    I’ve heard Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” in a supermarket, and I could imagine Boy George was telling me how his heart would be broken if I didn’t put more items in my cart.

  86. July 7, 2010 8:14 pm

    @heathereff, I haven’t heard that one in a store for awhile! But there was certainly a period years ago when I heard ubitquitously. In fact, it usually seemed to be right next to Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time in the rotation.

    @eieioj, where are you located?? I wonder if that song is a regional thing in stores.

  87. July 7, 2010 10:11 pm

    We just heard

    I also sang a chorus on Raymond’s voicemail.

  88. July 7, 2010 10:16 pm

    @Raymond: I’m in GA, hence the country music exclusive grocery stores. It makes for interesting stories, now that I live in an actual metro area (not the ATL, though) rather than the outskirts of an almost-metro area.

  89. July 8, 2010 8:13 am

    @eieioj I forgot you’re in GA! I grew up in the Atlanta area, Stone Mountain to be specific.

  90. casey permalink
    October 14, 2010 1:02 am

    theres a song i heard when i used to work at cashwise… it was sung by a girl, possibly an oldies, 70s, 80s, maybe even early 90s. it was played along with tracy chapmans fast car, and some really old song about a wrong address, or a post office or something…. ive been racking my brain trying to think of this song by the female singer, but i can even remember a beat, or a lyric or anything! im gonna have to go hang out at cashwise….

  91. kate permalink
    February 4, 2011 3:27 pm

    whoaoaa!! i’ve spent the past few years perfecting my grocery store jams station on pandora – today i made a facebook post asking people their favorites and got many of the same delcious results:

    Bruce Hornsby
    Pointer Sisters
    Listening to Pandora now–my Pink/Glitter in the Air station, mmmmm. How about Van Morrison? The Police?
    Simple Minds, Level 42
    oh man george michaels’ careless whisper just came on. *non ironic mom shoulder dance and snap*
    gary wright
    Air Supply.
    Tears for Fears
    ooh good call – i just added crowded house too
    WORLD PARTY
    midnight oil
    Ace of Base
    where the shit do you shop that you hear ace of base?
    George benson – “give me the night”
    Man it seems like I hear “The Sign” 2/3 of the time I’m in the grocery store. Well, when I’m in SuperFresh or Giant, that is.
    Alan Parsons Project – Eye in the Sky.
    im NEVER going shopping with you but i will replace all of your suggesstions with steely dan favorites
    England Dan & John Ford Coley – I’m not talking ’bout movin in.
    Elton John- Benny and the Jets.
    (dont worry yall i have like eight versions of boz skaggs lowdown)
    seals and crofts – summer breeze
    America – You Can Do Magic
    Rundgren – Hello, It’s Me
    this is totally working – laughter in the rain just came on

    Captain and tennille – love will keep us together
    This is only a minor grocery store hit, but it is certified gold at the Goodwills: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH3rx8LhrQo
    This one is more straight up grocery groovin’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEQnC1MTIQE
    pat benetar: we belong

    and thennnn a link to this – thank you forever

  92. February 4, 2011 3:35 pm

    where the shit do you shop that you hear ace of base?

    Hahahah! Thanks for sharing your list of results – I love pop culture synchronicity.

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