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May 2, 2021 / rockroots

My Cassette Pet

A vanity project, but much of my 1990s were spent making cassette compilations. So much time, in fact, that it seems a shame to completely forget about them. A Spotify playlist can be thrown together in no time, but these tapes required planning and trial runs in order to maximise the 45 minutes (actually closer to 46 minutes) on each side without cutting off the end of the final song. So, creative editing had to be used; premature fade-outs, or just sections of very long tracks. And the songs couldn’t be downloaded, they had to be sourced from bought or borrowed records or CDs or tapes of varying quality. Often the music came via videotapes of recorded MTV shows. The next step was to scour back-issues of music mags for a cool and appropriate photo of about the same size as the tape case, cut and prit-stick it in place, and carefully write out the song list. Likewise, with the cassettes stacked up, they needed to have an eye-catching spine for quick identification. Not forgetting to snap off the cassette tabs so it couldn’t be accidentally wiped after all that effort. In all seriousness, cassettes were revolutionary in popular music. They allowed for the cheap sharing of music that would otherwise have been restricted to those with cash; in that sense, filesharing was a natural progression. But they also allowed the user complete creative control over the content, order and design of their music library in a way that had not been possible previously and would not be practical subsequently. This, then, is my private ode to cassettes and the massive role they played in the formative years of my music fandom. In time I hope to add all of my customised covers here.

Not much to this one, except a ‘sunburst’ spine and font I was pretty pleased with – probably sketched from a CD cover.

Love the Quo. This doesn’t do them justice.

Probably intended to look something like the ‘Goo’ cover font…

I guess this was a ‘second half’ compilation of ex-members of the original group.

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