Want to relive the feeling of accompanying a shopping cart down a dingy fluorescent-lit aisle, trying to decide whether to drop your allowance money on the new 98 Degrees album or the Sun-In you need to get those frosted tips looking phat again? I have good news for you, my friend, my home dawg, my backstreet boy. I have just the thing you need.
Last week, an amateur discount department store historian who uses the handle davismv uploaded an archive of digitized cassettes that provided the in-store soundtrack to the Kmart where he worked during the 1990s. “I worked at Kmart between 1989 and 1999 and held onto [the tapes] with the hopes that they would be of use some day,” davismv writes in the description of the cache, which he uploaded to Archive.org. “Enjoy!”
I do enjoy! Right now, I’m about halfway through the “Kmart Week Of 07.26.1992” tape, and so far, I’ve heard an advertisement for “intimate apparel with unquestionable quality and fit,” a reminder not to smoke while shopping at Kmart if it’s illegal in your city (1992!), goofy MIDI muzak renditions of “My Way” and “When a Man Loves a Woman,” and such lachrymal soft-pop gems as Wilson Phillips’ “You Won’t See Me Cry” and Shanice’s “I’m Cryin.’”
Look at how happy then-Kmart CEO Charles Conaway is in the above photo, groovin’ out at a shareholders meeting in 2001, nine years before he paid out $5.5 million in a lawsuit the SEC filed against him for misleading those very same shareholders. Don’t you want to be happy like him? Return to a simpler time. Listen here.