The Clash – Lost In The Supermarket

I came across this song today when I was listening to my iTunes library; Lost In The Supermarket is a song by The Clash from London Calling in 1979. The supermarket in the song is ‘The International’, located at 471-473 Kins Road, just around the corner from where Joe Strummer lived with his girlfriend and her family.

The song addresses someone struggling to cope with the growing consumerization an commercialised world that surrounds them. This goes beyond the themes of the script, but on a purely denotational level this goes alongside the narrative and setting perfectly. It can make the sound work parallel to the mise-en-scene.

I’m all lost in the supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
I came in here for that special offer
A guaranteed personality

The song was covered by Ben Folds and used in Over The Hedge (2006). It featured purely on a denotative level as it heightened the desire that the characters have for food, and the idea that the human world gives them so much to shop from.

I know this isn’t my department for the film, but I felt it was a useful reference and something worth bringing up with sound. I have mentioned it to Will (Sound Recordist) and Dan (Sound Designer) and they love the idea of using the soundtrack or finding some way to reference it. The basic riff for the song runs the chord patter E, Cm7, A, E; a potential idea is to recreate this riff in the background of the supermarket as a reference to the song. Sadly the idea of physically using the song may not be a possibility as it would limit distribution due to copyright.

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