Note: the title doesn't have much to do with the content, as usual.
The coffee shop I am sitting in keeps playing the same set of songs for ages. It reminds me of the days working as a busboy in one of Denny's restaurant chains in Tokyo. It was around 1991, when Genesis released We Can't Dance. It was a decent album, maybe a masterpiece, but what can you say about listening to No Son of Mine every hour, sandwiched by the restaurant's theme song – "Denny's, Denny's, chu-ru-chu-ru-chu-chu- Woo!" To this day, whenever I listen to No Son of Mine, I can also hear the front manager yelling at one of the underperforming staffs.
This coffee shop does a much better job. There is no annoying jingles and the songs are non-disturbing, e.g. they do not sing about abandonment and child abuse (I guess the Japanese customers didn't understand what was being ranted. Me neither). The songs are mostly covers of 1970s or 80s hit-tunes. Usually the original hit songs are already sterlized, walking the middle way by avoiding controversial topics or disturbing sounds. The remake or remade deletes even more edges, if there are anything left.
This shouldn't be bad, and is happening all over the world, especially in Hollywood movies. Take a proven product, add or delete some flavors, and resell it. Nobody complains and few people lose money. It is a win-win formula, isn't it? Unfortunately, no. The biggest drawback of that formula is, in the long term we all get bored. And we don't even know we get bored until something truly magnificent shows what we were missing, or until we find out we haven't been to local cinema complex for over a year without a particular reason.
Of course playing No Son of Mine + corporate jingle in a coffee shop is a suicidal idea, to say the least. But picking up non-disturbing but original songs can also be a viable, even better choice, which can be done easily. Well, in reality coffee shops won't take that risk (however small it appears), and we do not complain either. It is hard to complain about what can be improved because we don't notice something that we do not see or hear. It is much easier to complain about something tangible that disappeared, like the power outlet for laptops or free coffee refill.