Sometimes it’s obvious why you probably shouldn’t play a song to your in-store customers; if it’s full of profanity, likely to offend large segments of your audience, or it just doesn’t suit the atmosphere of your stores/your brand image.
However, some songs (even some extremely popular ones) are surprisingly inappropriate when you listen to the lyrics, sometimes leaving the artists themselves surprised that their own songs are so mainstream!
Here are just a few examples of songs which we’ve heard being played in stores… And we’d advise you to think very carefully about these, before playing them to your customers!
All My Life – Foo Fighters
A song written about a specific sex act, which was catchy enough to make it onto most people’s “Favourite Foo Fighters tracks” list (you all have them too, right?) – Dave Grohl is on record as saying the song is “dirty” but it’s still a superb tune!
Pumped up Kicks – Foster The People
As songs about school shootings go, it’s definitely the catchiest one out there … But it’s also fairly explicit; “You better run, better run, outrun my gun…”
Walk on the Wild Side – Lou Reed
A really chilled-out song, relaxing and mellow, but with extremely sexualised lyrics, not to mention the overtly racial language.
Walk This Way – Aerosmith
It’s another fantastic song, but it’s also a completely unsubtle song about a man’s sexual memories of his time in school…
I Don’t Like Mondays – The Boomtown Rats
Another extremely popular song, widely played and loved by many… which is actually about a school shooting.
Last Friday Night – Katy Perry
This one is actually a surprise… It’s a song about getting black-out drunk, having a threesome, finding embarrassing pictures online, and planning to do it all again the next weekend… And it still gets played in the most inappropriate places. We actually heard this one on in a toy store!
Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
Another song with explicitly sexualised lyrics… And the uncensored version of the official video is definitely NSFW.
Ultimately, music is totally subjective – songs will have infinite meanings to different people, and can be interpreted in dozens of different ways. And there are even some brands which can get away with being irreverent, or even straight-up offensive, and who will enjoy being edgy with their music…
But there are some tracks which are almost guaranteed to get you into trouble at some point!
If you’d like the KVH Studios team to take a look at your in-store music selection, and head-off any potentially embarrassing moments with upset/offended customers making complaints on social media, get in touch today.