Thursday, 2 August 2018

My Top Ten High Street Retailer Songs Vol. 2

Following on from last week's post featuring songs about defunct retailers, I felt I had to do a post about the ones that are still going strong... well, as I type this, anyway.

No supermarkets are included in this list as I already did them.

10. Pet Shop Boys - Legacy

Can you ever imagine Neil Tennant setting foot in a Carphone Warehouse?

That Carphone Warehouse boy
Has been on the phone
He wants to upgrade
The mobile you own
Have you realised
Your computer's a spy?
Give him a ring
He'll explain why...
The bourgeoisie
Will get over it
Look at me
I'm SO over it!
9. Jeff Bridges - Ikea

For anyone who thinks William Shatner is the maddest actor to make records, may I present The Dude himself. He abides.

When I die there will be no burial or cremation.
I have contracted with spacementary.
To store my remains on board an eternal satellite.
My body will forever loop around the planet and omit a flashing light whenever it passes over a memorable location.
Like that bar at Roundel Beach where we first met.

See also Grandaddy - Elevate Myself...

I don't want to stare at stacks of paper all the while
While the world goes by
Tradin' out the weather for a clever lyric
Written by an IKEA light

8. Soft Cell - It's A Mug's Game

In which Marc has a very bad day. Can Boots help?

And you're standing at the chemist in Boots
Coughing up your guts like you're at deaths door
All this for a packet of Do-Do's
And the assistant gives you a wink and you turn bright red
It's at time like this that you wish you were dead
And you take the whole packet and you feel like you've drunk
A bottle of bleach
And you tell yourself 'Never, never again
Well, not until next week anyway'

7. Carter USM - Stuff The Jubilee

They don't just sell fridges, they sell Carter USM records too. Well they did. Probably.

It's the last tango at the palace
Christopher goes down on Alice
A make-up girl from Selfridges
Unaccustomed to such privileges

Of His Majesty's secret services
The kind of secret services
Usually confined to circuses

Excuse my rudery
But stuff the jubilee!

6. Art Brut - Am I Normal?

Too long since Eddie Argos and his gang have featured here.

Another time I'd overheard you saying you were going into town
And at the time I lived right in between two towns, but I wasn't quite sure which one you meant
So I bought a bus pass, I went to both of them, and frantically looked for you everywhere
And when I finally saw you at WH Smith's, I got scared

Yeah. I've been there, Eddie.

5. Arctic Monkeys - Still Take You Home

Meanwhile, Alex has his eye on a girl from Topshop...

I fancy you with a passion
Oh, you're a Topshop princess, a rockstar, too
But you're a fad and you're a fashion
And I'm having a job trying to talk to you

See also Art Brut - Bad Weekend, their second entry this week for more Topshop shenanigans.

4. Belle & Sebastian - Expectations

It doesn't get much more kitchen sink than this... (Do Debenham's sell kitchen sinks?)

Monday morning, wake up knowing that you've got to go to school
Tell your mum what to expect, she says it's right out of the blue
Do you want to work in Debenham's because that's what they expect?
Start in Lingerie, and Doris is your supervisor

See also The Courteeners - Are You In Love With A Notion...

Run away from this godforsaken place
And hide away from everybody's prying face
You told Deborah that he is the one
You're going to quit Debenham's
Elope and get married in the sun

3. The Undertones - Mars Bar

If you really want a Mars Bar, Feargal suggests you raid the Spar. And I'm sure that by "raid" he means form an orderly queue and purchase it with your hard-earned money.

2. Half Man Half Biscuit - National Shite Day

Thanks to Rigid Digit for suggesting this last week, but believe me, it was already guaranteed a place. Boots and Primark also get a mention in this classic, but it's Millets who take the prize with one of the greatest lines ever written in a pop song. And yet they still gave Bob Dylan the Nobel Prize for Literature instead of Nigel Blackwell.

There's a man with a mullet going mad with a mallet in Millet's 

Try saying that five times fast without your teeth in.

1. Mott The Hoople - All The Young Dudes

M&S started life as a market stall in Kirkgate Market, Leeds, not that far from me, way back in 1894. Since then, they've done all right for themselves... at least in term of getting noticed by songwriters.

I could have chosen any of the following (and there are probably more)...

Manic Street Preachers - Valley Boy

Here I am in Amsterdam
I like it here, they speak my language
Even though it's not my own
It's got BBC for comfort zone
And best of all, it's got Marks and Spencer's
Equality for the masses never felt better

Belle & Sebastian - The State I Am In

So I gave myself to God
There was a pregnant pause before he said okay
Now I spend my days turning tables round in Marks & Spencer
They don't seem to mind

John Lennon - Serve Yourself

Well, you may believe in Jesus, and you may believe in Marx
And you may believe in Marks and Spencer's and you maybe believe in bloody Woolworths
But there's something missing in this whole bloody stew

But really, there was only ever going to be one winner this week...

And Wendy's stealing clothes from Marks & Sparks
And Freddy's got spots from ripping off the stars from his face
Funky little boat race
Television man is crazy saying we're juvenile delinquent wrecks
Oh, man, I need TV, when I've got T.Rex

Although the version they played on the radio at the time made them change the lyric to "And Wendy's stealing clothes from unlocked cars" so as not to breach advertising regulations!

Anyone got a copy of Bob Dylan's tribute to TK Maxx? Do let me know...


  1. You've got the top 2 correct but in the wrong order!

  2. Very clever as ever - no more from me. Having just visited a place where approx. half the city centre shops are closed and boarded up it's lovely to have a trip down memory lane and see all these great pictures of them in their heyday. 'Twill never return.


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