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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Mall Of 1974 by Mall Music Muzak

Remember real shopping music? Before the music over shopping mall PA systems became a mishmash of Adult Contemporary recurrents and tired, overplayed '80s oldies?

The music was always more welcoming because it was agnostic. It wasn't someone's favorite music. Or anyone's. It was that stuff that you heard just slightly below the general din of a typical day inside a shopping mall.

You don't know headaches until you've just heard Bon Jovi music playing in the echo chamber of an empty shopping mall. You just don't.

Because the malls acoustically are/were the worst places for contemporary pop/rock music of ANY kind. I soon realized this after the malls started changing their background music from easy listening to pop music from 1987 to 1990. And I soon had a renewed appreciation for orchestras with pianos and lots of big brassy instruments. 

Photo: Long Island '70s Kid
Because shopping malls have/had hard surfaces. The glass storefronts, marble floors and walls, fountains, the weird metal abstract art sculptures and high vaulted courtyard ceilings all reflect sound. Acoustically, they were just better tempered for low volume Percy Faith than mid-volume Paula Abdul. Pop/rock booms in malls with a cathedral-like echo that's sometimes disorienting. Some people can't process that and the person next to them talking through the echo as well as the older easy listening and I'm one of them. Now get off my lawn.

But now you can relive that golden sound as you browse through the Amazon app on your smartphone! Mall Of 1974 is essentially a nifty compilation of classic mall PA music. But also with added echo and reverb to simulate the sound of a shopping mall, circa 1970s/early '80s.


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