Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Muzak From 3M!

This is a record that I have only ever seen once, and I don't really know the story behind it.  It appears to be some form of Muzak that was being pushed by 3M in the late Seventies, but it must not have gone over too well. I see it is listed over at Discogs, so perhaps it's not as rare as I thought.  It's certainly very smooth and falls in the category of EZ Listening, so I'm sure some of you are really going to dig it. Oh, wanted to mention that the Seasons Greeting logo on the front is actually gold foil, the scanner can't seem to do anything with that, so it comes out dark like you see.  But if you're looking for one in the wild, that's not how it's going to appear in person. For what it's worth, I actually recorded this 3 years ago, but never got around to scanning the cover in until last night.  I think one of the tracks played at random and reminded me of it.  I hope it was worth the wait.  This is Odyssey Productions For 3M-Seasons Greetings-Instrumental Stereo Edition (3M/Sound Products, Stereo, 1979).  Do you think there were other editions, like maybe Mono Vocal or Jazz Trombone?  One can only imagine!

1. Happy Holidays
2. What Child Is This
3. Deck The Halls
4. White Christmas
5. Winter Wonderland
6. Jingle Bells
7. Sleigh Ride
8. Silent Night
9. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
10. The Christmas Song
11. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
12. We Wish You A Merry Christmas



  1. I don't quite get this one - is it a promo?

  2. I think it's pushing their take on Muzak, but I'm not certain. And did I mention the DISCO?

  3. i thought 3M was gonna be marks, may, and martin.

    shows you what i know.

  4. Ernie - I avoid anything from the 70s for just that reason.

  5. Thank you Ernie. I'm starting at the current and going back. LOL! Life finally settle down enough for me after gobbling up some turkey. LOL!

  6. whoa! left turn at "We Wish You A Merry Christmas"!!

  7. Hardcore old school elevator music? I'm all in. I call it Orchestral Pop and the best of it goes down very well indeed, under appropriate circumstances.

  8. It does go from Zero to Disco in only a few songs. Gotta love it. :)

  9. Ha! I recorded this one a couple of weeks ago and was thinking of sharing it at FaLaLaLaLa. You beat me to it.

    If I remember, the last track on each side was pretty disco, with some interesting choices that made it interesting.

  10. Sorry Brad, didn't mean to steal any thunder from you. Been sitting on this one for years, too. All about the timing, I guess.

  11. 3M produced a lot of what was/is known as "muzak". I worked for a national restaurant chain that actually used 3M tape cartridges - we had something resembling an 8-track machine in a storage room that pumped the music into the restaurant's speaker system, and 10 to 12 different "seasonal" cartridges. The cartridges were about 2" thick and approximately 9" by 9" (maybe contained 7" reels?).

    Thanks for the post!

  12. Aha! That's the comment I've been looking for. Thanks for filling us in on that. I'm guessing this LP was a sample of the sort of music you could expect to hear from those giant cartridges. Thanks!

  13. I just rewatched Jingle Bell Rocks today and noticed that this album shows up and is mentioned at one point.

  14. I just obtained four different 3M vinyl (one of which is Season's Greetings). Wondering what the internet had to offer on these 3M issues, I found this great post! Not a whole lot else out there...

    I can confirm that "Seasons Greetings," like the others, are a form of 3M "musak" marketed to businesses to produce the kinds of music proven to facilitate sales and worker productivity. Which explains the use by the restaurant chain [thank you, Anonymous, for the really interest comments. What state did you work in? I've worked in restaurants with "musak" but there's no longer this material aspect to the production of this kind of musical atmosphere].

    I was surprised to ever think 3M pressed records! But then when I think about it, it makes sense that a large tech-engineering company would get its hands in the business. The back cover of 3M Sound Products-produced "Nashville: It's what America's all about!" (1978)--YES, THAT IS THE TITLE!--begins with a brief history of 3M's "Sound Products," noting that "the 3M Company has achieved a leadership role in providing background music for business places," providing music and sound technology for over 100,000 "business places" since 1965.

  15. Cool! Just for the record, what are the other two titles?

  16. Hi Ernie,

    The remaining two records are sung by a choir called "the 3M Music Makers." These are not musak pieces actually.

    One (undated but probably late-1970s like the others) is titled "An American Poem: There's a Doggone Awful Lot of It!" and is a recording of a choral piece first sung by the 3M Company's singers at the National Governors' Conference in Minneapolis in 1965. I'm listening to it now! The back cover begins: "This album is, quite frankly, a love affair with America, told in that most universal of languages: music." Side-one is one long musical poem praising America's greatness. Side-two features six "representative songs from the myriad ethnic and national backgrounds that have seasoned the American melting pot."

    The other is "In Commemoration of 3M: 75 Anniversary: Memories are Made of This" (which would date it to around 1977). Haven't got around to this one yet.

  17. So just your normal ever day industrial musical then. Good to know! :)

  18. Some of the tracks on this album appeared also on a Holiday Records budget LP, "More Christmas Disco," credited to "The Mistletoe Disco Band."


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