Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mix Tape Memories

If you grew up in the 80s, no doubt you took your vinyl collection and made mix tapes.  The Sony Walkman went on sale in the United States in 1980 and nearly everyone I knew eventually had one.  I brought it to school, listened to it on the bus---not too different from kids today with their iPods and mp3 players.

The only difference is that more thought went into a mix tape--after all, you only had 60-90 minutes for all of the songs you wanted to include.  A mix tape was all about mood.  It was about current feelings.  It was about friends.  Mix tapes were more inter-relational.  We would make mix tapes for road trips into the city; mix tapes for special events.  We would give mix tapes as gifts.  iPods are about the individual; mix tapes were more about friends. Mix tapes were meant to be shared.

I had a special mix tape entitled, "Depression Songs."  Too bad I no longer have that one.  It was a tape with songs that would make me more depressed when I was depressed.  We tried to be creative with our mix tapes by making names for them to highlight the particular mood we were in when making them. I recently pulled out my cassette collection and there are mix tapes entitled, "Songs I Made When I Had Nothing to Do,"  "A Rainy Evening, Sipping Coffee in Front of a Fire," and "Oh For a Muse of Fire."  Of course, I was not all that creative most of the time:  most of my mix tapes are simply titled, "Many Songs #1" and so on.

I still have many of my mix tapes.  I wish I had more.  Unfortunately, my car was broken into one night at the mall and my tape collection was stolen.  That was about 1988, I think.  But I still have many.  Of course, mix tapes turned into mix cds--but I think that, too, is a thing of the past.

Before high school, I made mix tapes by simply recording songs off of the radio.  How many of you did that?  I still have some of those tapes and they are very interesting---a musical snapshot of a particular time in my life.

Starting this month, the Vinyl Voyage will begin a new show entitled, "Mix Tape Memories."  Currently, I am listening to a mix tape I made on October 18, 1986.  I had just started college and no doubt made it for the ride downstate.  As a freshman I didn't have a car, so I often took a bus.  I couldn't have survived without my Walkman.

This will be the first mix tape on "Mix Tape Memories."  It includes artists such as Oingo Boingo, R.E.M., Tones on Tails, Shriekback, Boomtown Rats, Depeche Mode and the B-52's----just to name a few.

Check back for more details.

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