I write about things that get me excited. This is a very scattered approach and I apologise to everyone.

Playlist: Songs Ruined by Retail

Playlist: Songs Ruined by Retail

Lose your faith in humanity and G-Rated songs for $14.60 an hour

I have fond memories of my ‘First Five Jobs’. Maybe it’s nostalgia talking but the worst of the customers have now become funny anecdotes, the Saturday morning shifts with a Castle Hill RSL hangover are forgotten, and trying to get an assignment while manning a register is a skill I long forgot.

Although I don’t stress about attach rates or swapping shifts anymore, two things have stuck with me — a bunch of amazing friends, and a reflexive anger that emerges when I hear the songs below.

Why am I angry? (the almost criteria)

The song was either

Played far too much over the years

OR was so distinctively different than the other songs that played before or after it that you noticed it every time

OR customers commented on the song every time it played.

Understanding this is purely an emotional criteria - ‘this song makes me ill as a result of my retail experience’ - for a bit more context below is what my LinkedIn would have looked like in 2012.
Coles — Deli service. Bunnings Warehouse — Hardware ‘expert’, Apple Retail — Not a Genius, Michael Hill — Not a jeweller, Apple Retail — Still Not a Genius

Why did I create this playlist of songs I hate? Two reasons.

  1. Some people like Coles’ music selection enough that now you can stream it online. I wish I was kidding.
  2. It allows me to set a rule that these songs are not to be played by Apple Music or appear in other playlists (also works for holiday songs).

With that, here’s the full playlist.

Songs 19. 1 Hour 13 Minutes.

The Highlights (Lowlights)

The Horses — Daryl Braithwaite

I wear headphones in supermarkets purely in fear of hearing this song over the sound system.

When this song came on for the third time on a Saturday I would, out of the goodness of my heart, stop whatever I was doing and read the Flybuys plug and the promotions of the day. Just so my co-workers would not have to listen to this song. Again.

“.. and in our Deli today, we have venemai prawns for $9.98 per kilo.”

Thankfully, I can now drink sufficient amounts of alcohol in bars to smile and sing the occasional chorus. Enough to not look un-Australian anyway.

Sunday Morning — Maroon 5

This is a bland song with a catchy chorus, so naturally every grocery, hardware and specialist retailer has at some point had this on their playlist.

Then they forgot it was there.

10 years later it still plays every 2–3 hours, and your customer will tell you how much they like this song as soon as it hits the first “That may be all I need..”.

Beautiful Day — U2

I went to a wedding once where the Bridal party walked into the reception to this song. Sixteen and stoked to be drinking champagne, the moment was ruined when this song started playing.

Anytime I hear it I’m suddenly thrown back to seasoning raw Chicken in a Coles Deli.

It was gross. This song is gross.

I Don’t Feel Like Dancing — Scissor Sisters

This is an annoying song. I’ve never heard a positive thing about this song. Hear this song every three and a half hours and you will loathe this song.

Made worse by the fact that when it’s bookended by a chill singer-songwriter track and a 70’s pub rock song it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Hearing the opening sends a shudder down my spine.

Learn to Fly — Foo Fighters

“Why anyone thought that need a shitty lounge cover, and why anyone thought said lounge cover should be played in a hardware store I will never know”

A friend of mine put it better than I ever could.

What’s special about this particular song is that it was played in every single one of my first five. Because nothing crosses differences in stock and target market like an acoustic rendition of a Foo Fighters classic.

Forever Young — Youth Group

I’m not sure if you remember but this song was more overplayed that Gotye ever was.

I remember clearly the stages of being overplayed in 2006

  1. Song is played on the O.C
  2. Becomes popular amongst fellow 16 and 17 year old girls
  3. Picked up by non-Triple J radio
  4. Keeps getting radio play to meet Australian representation requirements
  5. Appears on Coles Radio

Unfortunately I suffered through all of it, and christ do I hate this song.

Ob Li Di Ob Li Da — The Beatles

This one really grinds my gears. I love the Beatles. I’ve listen to their albums in my car on regular rotation since I realised I never sped while listening to Rubber Soul, Sergeant Pepper’s or Abbey Road. I can speak for hours on the band’s influence on music.

So on my birthday when The Beatles were announced on iTunes, I was stoked to receive an Abbey Road lanyard, be greeted by life size figures of John, Paul, Ringo and George and hear a band I loved playing exclusively on the store stereo.

And they blew it. Want to make anyone hate The Beatles? Pick 8 random songs from their discography and play them on repeat for two months as your staff work 10+ hour days in the Holiday season. Thanks Apple. RUINED.

Christmas Carols (and everything ever sung by Michael Buble)

At least Apple played decent Christmas Music. Only every third song was ever a carol and they were usually something a bit more bearable than another Bieber, Buble or Crosby. For every other retailer November 2 signals the beginning of retail hell with angsty and angry customers, extended opening hours and too much overtime.

To rub salt in the wound the whole season is soundtracked (is this a word?) by the same 5 songs, interpretted by pop artists from various decades.

Bonus Track

California — Phantom Planet

Okay this is technically my own fault. This is a terrible song to have as your morning alarm to wake you up at 6am for a Saturday morning shift at the local hardware store.

Or worse, on a summer public holiday. They never were worth the penalty rates.

Like this article? Check out another one of my playlists
Playlist: F@*! It, Do It

Playlist: F@*! It, Do It

Playlist: Mirin' The Boys

Playlist: Mirin' The Boys