Retail has served as a catalyst for much inspiration and sharp observance for musicians, not to mention social, political and cultural decisions across consumers and businesses for years. After some in-depth research and much head scratching (the Ladysmith Black Mambazo song about Heinz Beans doesn’t count!) Retail Gazette has decided what the five best songs about retail are. Enjoy the list, and do let us know if there are any that we’ve missed.
Belle and Sebastian – Expectations
The cult Glaswegian band’s ode to parents and teachers’ expectations of the teenager outsider in school. “Do you want to work in Debenhams, because that’s what they expect. Start in lingerie, and Doris is your supervisor,” they sing. A personal favourite of mine.
The Jam - Saturday’s Kids.
Reluctant mod icons The Jam delivered their 1979 track in the year Tesco shipped the first online shopping order via B2B tech Videotex. Paul Weller sings: “Saturday’s girls work in Tesco’s and Woolworths, Wear cheap perfume ‘cause its all they can afford.”
Fergie - Labels or Love
The US singer wrestles with the dilemma of a shopping spree or a relationship. Hardly surprising as a study, published in the Journal of Psychology and Marketing in the U.S, concluded that retail therapy purchases were “overwhelmingly beneficial” for consumers. Sample lyric: “Gucci, Fendi, Prada purses, purchasing them finer things. Men they come a dime a dozen, just give me them diamond rings.”
Robbie Williams- Rudebox.
Williams’ flop album was eventually shipped and crushed to be used as Chinese road surfaces and street lamps but it didn’t stop him rhyming Adidas and TK Maxx rather abysmally. “A.D.I.D.A.S old school cos it’s the best – yes TK Maxx cost less yes.”
De La Soul- Shopping Bags.
Luxury shopping – always popular with ‘high-maintenance’ ladies- gets a mention on the US hip-hop trio’s 2004 album ‘The Grind Date.’ “Shopping bags they weigh down her arms. Popping tags and collars her charm. All them things she got, she got from you Manolo and Prada’s her style Louis, Burberry by the pile.”