Saturday, 13 December 2014

I wish there was a social excuse to make you a cassette tape, I'd teach you all about my life from side B to side A

Sony Walkman WM-25, Cassettes Monkees, Ringo Starr, Roger Taylor, The Doors

Cassette tapes have always held a certain kind of magic to me. It's a humble format, and certainly doesn't come without it's flaws - there's little more frustrating than when your player eats your favourite tape out of the blue, and it's regularly referred to as being the worst format ever. But I grew up with tapes and so they've always been very special to me and I struggle to let go (I'm no doubt really showing my age with this entry, oh well!). I stubbornly clung to my Walkman up until I was 14 and the shops no longer sold tapes - not even blank for me to do my own transfers. MP3 players weren't around yet, and I detested Discmans and the way they'd constantly skip if you dared move, not to mention you couldn't even fit it in your pocket. Tapes were a huge part of my childhood with mixtapes being a favourite pastime. Putting together a playlist via MP3 is all well and good, but it's too easy and doesn't have the personal touch of something you've manually recorded yourself complete with handwritten track listings.

I have an extremely modest cassette collection which I began back in January when I rediscovered them. They've become increasingly difficult to buy, thrift shops seem to have stopped stocking tapes altogether recently which makes me sad. It seems as though eBay may end up becoming my only option which takes all the fun out of it. Even without these obstacles I'm sure my cassette collection would never quite meet up to my vinyl collection - even though I perhaps prefer it, mostly for nostalgia, but also because I simply like the way it sounds (as lo-fi as it may be) and I enjoy the whole ritual of it - loading your cassette tape into the deck, swearing because it's halfway through because you forgot to rewind it last time or you've put it in the wrong way round, the FF RWD struggle of trying to skip a single track. It's fun!

Sony Walkman WM-25, Cassette tapes Monkees, Ringo Starr, Roger Taylor, The Doors
Cassettes Monkees, Ringo Starr, Roger Taylor, The Doors
Sony Walkman WM-25, Cassette tapes Monkees, Ringo Starr, Roger Taylor, The Doors
Cassette tapes Monkees, Ringo Starr, Roger Taylor, The Doors, The Beatles
Sony Walkman WM-25, Cassettes Monkees, Ringo Starr, Roger Taylor, The Doors, The Beatles
vintage Sony Walkman WM-25

I couldn't resist buying this red cassette case, I used to own one in a transparent yellow with the 'Cheestrings' logo on it when I was about 8. I loved toting that thing around!


Katie Costello - Cassette Tape.

9 comments

  1. Ohhh nostalgia. <3 I wasn't around hardly long enough for the era of mixtapes and all that lovely stuff! Consider yourself a lucky duck to have these to reminisce about. :)

    zauberbear.blogspot.com

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  2. i love cassettes. around here they are in thrift stores for 10 cents so even if i don't quite know the band or songs, if i looks cool i pick up a few. if i don't like it then i pass it along, but yeah, i have a 'problem' with lots of tapes. but honestly, i've learned some of the coolest banjo songs that i haven't been able to find anywhere on the internet off of them. totally worth it.

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  3. Oh man, I haven't thought about cassette tapes in forever. This post really brings me back to the good ole' days! I had a small collection of tapes when I was younger and I would always have one playing when I was in my room. I remember the magic of creating your very own tapes, too. And of course when you had to use a pencil to wind the tape up when it would get all pulled out!

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  4. Oh my goodness I miss my cassettes! I used to make my own mix tapes from the radio every weekend :) You're right, the tactile nature of cassettes really is such a brilliant experience! I kind of feel as if the amount of energy and effort you have to put into a single cassette makes the music even more sweeter when you finally get to listen to it. And yes I used mine for as long as I could, with some proper 1980s headphones too (my dads).

    Ps. I've got the very same Doors cassette ;-)
    PPs. Your Cheesestring cassette case sounds brilliant and uber 90's

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  5. Oh man! I'm a smidge to young for this to be nostalgic, but I have been a little fascinated with cassette tapes! I like vinyl and music that's got a tactile element to it, so this really struck a chord with me!

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  6. I remember being in high school and making mix tapes for my car. It still have a tape player and it was so hard to find cassette tapes. I even remember buying some Korean cassettes (I love kpop, and was so excited to find such a rarity) Although they are fun to have, it is probably a good thing cassettes and VHSs are gone, they are so perishable! They need to make a digital equivalent. Like digitalized tapes, ones that won't erase next to a magnet.

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    Replies
    1. I know! I have VHS from my favorite band. The band is Japanese so if I broke the tapes it is double-difficult to replace. My husband keeps offering to transfer to DVD, but I am so hesitant.

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  7. Cassettes are so cool. They'll always, always have a special place in my heart and memories, though I must admit, I do not currently own any (records, yes, cassettes, no). Much like VHS tapes, there will always be a part of me that will long for the days when they were commonplace and that world that went with it at the time. It's awesome that you're still a collector and fan. This post made me smile immensely and brought all kinds of warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia my way (thank you). Keep on collecting, dear gal!

    ♥ Jessica

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  8. one of my most favourite comforting sounds is the sound of loading a tape and closing the deck. the nice little plastic clicks and then the whirring of the tape rewinding is so pleasing. I wonder if tapes will come back like records, any maybe even CDs? In other lo-fi news, I officially hate e-books now! Physical books forever!

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