The Ghosts of “mix tape” Days Gone By…

Do you remember the days when you sat with your fingers poised over the “pause” and “record” buttons on a Sunday evening, ready to tape your favourite hits from that week’s Top 40? The care that was taken not to get the DJ talking but also not to miss the start of the song?

Or the challenge of getting the needle to land in exactly the right spot to select a single song to play off an LP?

Remember the hours spent putting together a “mix tape” to play on your clock/radio/cassette player or, if you were lucky, your Walkman?

Perhaps I’m showing my age just a little here…..

I have many fond memories of compiling “mix tapes” for myself and friends. Agonising over the choice of songs to include and then debating what order to record them in so that it sounded best. As a teenager I always seemed to be the hard rock fan among pop music friends who decried my music as “too loud” and “too heavy”. I recall arguing with one friend that rock bands played softer stuff too – cue a mix tape of Status Quo ballads such as “Livin’ On An Island” (still got a soft spot for that one). One point to me. Happy days…

Somehow these days pulling together a playlist for your iPod doesn’t quite hit the mark.

I guess the closest I’ve got recently to re-living the “mix tape” days was earlier in the week when I was pulling together some songs to introduce a friend to new music. Reading through the track listings in my music library on the pc, I agonised like a teenager once more as to which were the best songs to choose. Would they like this one? Would they prefer that band? Was this inappropriate for them to play in the car if their young children were in the back seat? Would that one make their ears bleed?

Eventually I was happy with my choices and with the order they were in (blame lingering teenage OCD for that) and the discs were burned.

Somehow holding a “mix cd” in my hand didn’t feel quite as rewarding as a “mix tape” – perhaps it was the fact that I could only get just over 70 minutes of music on there instead of the magic 90 minutes of taped music.

I’m still awaiting feedback on the compilation. I just hope I haven’t made my friend’s ears bleed.

One response to “The Ghosts of “mix tape” Days Gone By…

  1. Oh, so familiar… Weren’t the damn DJs annoying when they talked over the beginnings and ends of records? 😉


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