Found at the back of a drawer…

Last night I was rummaging at the back of a drawer full of bits and bobs (we’ve all got them).  Amongst the detritus of coins, competition medals and lip balms, hiding under a never sent “Good Luck in Your New Home” card I found these 2 cassette tapes.  

These are the first 2 cassettes I bought for myself. The Woolworths sticker on the inside of the Madness case states they accepted into stock early in 1983.  This is about right according to my memory.   I have also used Tippex on each tape so I could write my name on them to ensure they weren’t pinched by any of the girls I shared a dorm with at school (it’s always weird to see my birth name when I haven’t used it for some years).  The Duran Duran tape also has my home address from 1983 on the sleeve, I guess in case I lost it and some kind stranger could post it back to me!

In the same year my dad went on a work trip to Hong Kong and brought back a (no doubt pirated) copy of Thompson Twins’ Quick Step & Side Kick.  1983 was the year I really started to be interested in music.  I was 11. It was the year I started senior school. Today I’m taking my daughter for her first taster day at the senior school she will attend in September.  I feel like I found these tapes for a reason last night…. 

10 thoughts on “Found at the back of a drawer…

  1. Unhappily, I don’t have any of the original music I bought when I was growing up during Beatlemania and on into Flower Power. I had loads of singles, some of which were melted in a localised fire in my bedroom (long story, involving an accident with firelighters left on top of a coal stove in my room) and others which I sold, or which vanished after parties when I lived in a shared house (as did a number of LPs too). Mind you, mixed in with the undoubtedly classic singles, I also had a fair few rubbish ones ……………….

    I never bought any pre-recorded cassettes, I was one of those home tapers who killed off music, but I had a huge collection of albums on tape for playing in the car or on my Walkman, as well as albums I wanted, but not enough to buy them on vinyl. They all went ages ago. I never saw tapes as being a permanent thing, probably because they were so prone to stretching or otherwise being crap.

  2. I still have several LPs I bought in my teens around 50 years ago, including my mono Sgt Pepper and the copy of Anthem Of The Sun that a dickhead at school managed to get red ink on the back of. [Lesson: Don’t take precious things to school.]
    My step-daughter is about 3 years older than you, Sarah, and I well remember the love and airplay that The Thompson Twins received back then.
    Cassettes were always the means of stealing music, not a medium to be purchased (although I actually have a few random pre-recorded ones from back then)

  3. The LP of complete Madness was released in spring of ’82 – I was given money for my 12th birthday in June of that year and purchased it myself (taking it to number 1 in the album charts – all because of MY money!) – I also got The Best of Blondie, the first Blondie compilation that had been released at the end of ’81 and I still have the fold out poster of Debbie Harry in an ‘Andy Warhol’s Bad’ t-shirt.
    Both of them have my name written on the sleeve in my early handwritting – like you, it’s weird seeing my surname (as I never use it – even at school I’m known by the Ms.s surname – as the children use hers).
    These 2 were the first long players that I got for myself with my own money! – I’d been buying singles for a little while before that, but never thought I’d want to listen to the whole output of a band…. (I’m probably still the same in that respect) – I never realy got tapes, either – I’d buy the record and then tape it onto a blank cassette usually scimming off the tracks I didn’t like to make them how I wanted them – but when I had more money I found the LP was better value – 3 good tracks on an album equalled the same price as three singles – often the better tracks weren’t the singles released anyway.
    It formed the way I listen to tracks – compiling them the way I wanted – which is why I’m a sucker for a playlist.

    Weird albums that accidently ended up on cassette originally in my collection:
    Cure – Disintergration (much cheaper than the vinyl at a very poor point of my life)
    Bjork – Debut (see above)
    New Order – Brootherhood and Substance
    Joy Division – Closer (Joy D/New Order cassettes were in amazing packaging)
    808 State – ex:el (why on tape? I don’t know; who would do such a thing !?!).

    • Factory cassettes were ace. Oversized boxes with postcards inside. I gave my copy of Squirrel and G-Man away to a Happy Mondays fanatic cos I had the vinyl and I’d taped Freaky Dancing/the Egg onto the run off. Bastard sold it. I wouldn’t mind but I’d’ve liked first refusal.

      • I gave my ex a copy of Bongwaters – Power of Pussy for a birthday present after tracking down the vinyl for a very large amount of notes. Her next boyfriend flogged it to buy drugs – arsewipe – wouldn’t have know the true value of it either.

        It was only 27 years ago – she’s still my best mate – but she isn’t forgiven for letting that happen.

  4. My daughter’s long-standing YouTube favourites are Madness and Blur: funny videos, catchy choruses, amusing lyrics. I think I have to buy a Madness CD for singalongs in the car.

    I find stuff and lose stuff all over again. Sometimes it’s so hard to look through those draws where stuff is turning into nostalgia.

    And I have too many cassettes. No, I’m never getting rid of them.

  5. Yeah, most of those comments reflect my tape collection too. Tape was never my preferred format, using the logic that I could copy vinyl to cassette if I wanted to listen on the move, but not vice-versa for the [deckless] record player in my bedroom; and a scratched record still played at least half the songs, a torn/stretched tape was only fit for the bin. Nonetheless, I still have a double drawer full of [just under 300] cassettes, evenly split between pre-recorded (ALWAYS out of bargain bins; NEVER more than £1.99, often without sleeves) and home-taped doubles. I’d lose a track or two to make an LP fit on just one side of a C90 – years later I’d hear songs on CD and wonder why I didn’t know them!
    The biggest loss my collection took was when I’d collected all the loose piles of tapes not in boxes and put them in a plastic bag when moving house one time. Somehow the bag never made it to the new house, and must’ve gone in the dustbin at the old place with the plastic bags full of genuine rubbish.
    Anything noteworthy in that drawer? A few bootlegs; some Radio1, VOX & NME magazine covermounts; plenty – now that I look – of albums I’ve never replicated on CD or mp3; but only one or two treasures: the Somebodys Brother recordings; it’s the only format I have of Colin Vearncombe‘s true debut as Black, and here’s a curio for Shane – the OST album from the Tank Girl movie. D’yunno what? I think I’ve just found my afternoon’s accompaniment to the office admin … providing it still plays OK.
    * fingers crossed *

    • Tank Girl soundtrack – I still don’t think I’ve every seen the film – even though I have comic after comic (even most of the original Deadline magazines) – how excellent – bjork, hole, belly, stomp, portishead, L7 – slacking now, that’s as far as I can recall.

      Tank Girl probably inspired my first comic strip (The continuing therapy of Cyderpunk K)!

  6. Pingback: The Wheel of Your Tune – The 'Spill

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