Sunday, 10 February 2013

The great 6 month cassette experiment

Yesterday, while loftsurfing TM I chanced upon possibly the least-loved items in my music collection – my cassette tapes. There are hundreds of them lurking in five big cardboard boxes, (around 85% of these tapes emerged during the 1980s, 10% the 1990s with maybe 5% or so from the 1970s).
It seems difficult to imagine now, but cassettes used to be the only way to listen to music of your own (rather than the radio DJ’s) choice while in the car (unless you count the short-lived but magnificent 8 track cartridge of course!). Once I got a car with a CD player (a V registered Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec if you’re interested) I don’t think I bought another cassette.
I realised yesterday that this is a major part of my music collection that I never listen to and I hatched a plan to rediscover the treasures (and trash) hidden within those five cardboard boxes – using my old personal stereo, a JVC CX-6, an auxiliary cable and an unfeasibly large number of AA batteries I will exclusively listen to music on cassette tape in the car for the next 6 months. Starting tomorrow, 11th February 2013 and ending 10th August 2013.

I figure it’ll be a great way to rediscover some great albums, but please rest assured I won’t shy away from the not so great albums too. Along the way I’ll blog about the albums that I listen to, but you’ll have to make allowances as the albums listened to will be generally my 1980s taste. I might throw in a few mixtapes recorded during the 80s and 90s, so you’re in luck if you’re a big fan of Fiat Lux, the Farmer’s Boys or I Start Counting. Another important consideration is this – cassettes were not usually my most preferred format (my recent top 50 albums only included two albums that I only own in cassette format) so many will have been purchased on tape because they were cheaper or difficult to find on vinyl – essentially this is a collection of ‘second-bests’ and in many ways that’s what makes it even more interesting (hopefully!)
If you'd like to join me on my retro journey you'll be very welcome!