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Gotta Love that Easy Listening
Dancers Hearken to the day when you would get on an elevator and Muzak would be playing in the background. It would either put you on edge, or mellow you out. Either you thought it was a poor imitation of real music, or you let it sweep you away. Some folks didn't think it was real music. The intended effect was to soothe people. It made people relaxed enough to forget about their dreary world and spend money. It was piped into stores and phones-on-hold, it was piped into businesses and offices to set a mood. The mood was meant to be "inviting".

Swizzle Stick I confess, when I first heard Muzak, I hated it. I still don't really care for it. But, it's close sousin, Easy Listening, is enjoyable. Muzac represents the lowest common denominator in music, it was put there for purely commercial reasons; either to get you to buy something, to shop longer, to be more productive, or to be calming. Muzac has been around for about 70 years. It was invented to calm people down who were riding the elevators in skyscrapers way back when, to help them not be so afraid of the heights and of falling to their death. The rest is history,...

,...if you think the "Muzac concept" is history, you're mistaken. Enter the waiting area of a restaurant, there's likely some upbeat tune playing in the background so you won't mind (as much) waiting 15 minutes to be seated. Many "youth-targeted" stores have some seductive tune playing at the entrance to draw people in (modern Muzac). I feel sorry for the poor folks that work in the stores that play the endless Muzak loops, especially at Christmas-time (Death by Muzac). Most Muzak is wordless and worthles, it's the VelveetaCheese of music.

But Easy Listening is a different story (links), even though it's an extension of the Muzac concept. It's meant to set a mood, and the mood is usually romantic. I liken it to the kind of music either to slow-dance to, or to hang out in a swanky lounge to. Dim the lights, pour some wine or make a martini, grab a swizzle stick and enjoy. I listen to Easy Listening records all the time.

When I listen to Muzac or "Easy Listening", there's the nostalgia factor. It's definitely feel-good music. Follow the links up above to see "floating" album covers from a handful of Easy Listening artists, many of them have web sites. Some of the artists I like quite a bit, while others are not exactly favorites of mine,... but quite a variety.