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Easy Listening + Retail = Big Bucks???

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I'm guessing that this is how Phil Collins, Sting, Elton John, etc. make all of their money. I can't buy groceries, clothes, or a new set of tires without hearing their most boring, mellow, coma-inducing "easy listening" hits on the floor of retail stores.


Sometimes the store plays an "easy listening" radio station. Other times they just seem to have some nauseating recording with all of these songs that I was hoping that I'd never hear again.


Then there's the equalization. The extreme low and high end are completely rolled off. No pumping bass. No cutting highs. Just the tonal range of someone talking through a pillow.


Who is in charge of this conspiracy, and how much money are they making off of what's left of my sanity?


Some people call "easy listening" music by another name "soft rock." What the hell is soft rock. That's like saying "smooth sandpaper" or "pliable concrete."


And why is "easy listening" so difficult to listen to? Answer me THAT!

The Black Knight always triumphs!


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Okay. Dan doesn't like Easy Listening.

Here ya go, Dan:


Good Evening. Welcome to Difficult Listening Hour.

The spot on your dial for that relentless and

impenetrable sound of Difficult Music.

So sit bolt upright in that straight-backed chair,

button that top button,

and get set for some Difficult Music.






Super 8


Hear my stuff here


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Ah yes...the old "soft hits" format.


Every generation has their elevator music. Remember 101 Strings and Percy Faith?


The folks at Muzak refined the science of it. Anyone know if they still have their own production studios, arrangers, etc? You don't hear the real stuff much anymore (it's Soft Hits instead) but I did hear some pretty authentic stuff recently in a hospital.


I always wondered what the mood was like at those Muzak sessions. Did the french horn player fight with the cello over the first verse melody?

this house is empty now...
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The "easy-listening" is for those who don't like music. The producers aren't after the ears of musicians or afficianados. "We can't please you--you're discerning!"


Imagine an ad for this stuff:


"Hate listening to music? We make it easy! We remove the annoying artistry, the abrasive dynamics and--whoa nelly--that pesky passion! Our music goes down so smooth, you won't even know you've heard it!"


As a visual artist, I have the same reaction to the frequent "Oil Painting Warehouse" art shows that sell--at an unbelievable discount!-- "thousands of quality paintings" of "easy-viewing" sunsets, flowers, moonlit waves and fashionably gauze-draped ladies. "Hate looking at art? We make it easy!"



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