That Seattle Muzak Sound

Muzakwas played in the Eisenhower White House, on LBJ‘s ranch, and reportedly on the Apollo 11 mission. And Muzak helped give birth to grunge.

Muzak was one of the most influential musical forces of the past century. It’s a joke today, but the company is still getting the last laugh.

Spotify mood playlists are basically Muzak.

Decoder Ring With Willa Paskin:

“On this episode, senior producer Benjamin Frisch explores the misunderstood history of Muzak, formerly the world’s foremost producers of elevator music. Muzak emerged out of the technological innovations of World War I as one of the most significant musical institutions of the 20th century, a cultural juggernaut, only to become a punching bag as the second half of the century turned public perceptions of popular music on its head. By the ‘80s and ‘90s, Muzak was trying to figure out a new direction, since it happened to employ many players in Seattle’s burgeoning grunge scene. This is the story of how different ideas about pop music butted heads throughout the 20th century, including inside Muzak’s offices.”

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