Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Old Tapes

Aren't old tapes great? I spent a very happy hour or two last night rummaging through boxes of the buggers I'd shoved ages ago in corners of my wardrobe and it's as lovely and addictive a thing to do as flicking through old photographs; lovelier than browsing old vinyl really because tapes are mostly things you made and in my case most of the music on them is stuff I do not otherwise have, lifted 15, 20 or 25 (!) years ago from the kindly-loaned records of friends and girlfriends and public libraries, or off of the radio; or they are my own compilation tapes, or compilation tapes made for me by mates, all quite splendid, aural snapshots of past times.

My proper hi-fi tape deck died in a squall of bad noise a year ago but I pinched the cheap cassette player we bought for the girls to listen to bedtime stories on last night and played away and was a happy, happy soul.

A little frustratingly, but almost by definition, I can't upload the stuff that's on them here (I know it's easy to do with the right kit - I just haven't got the right kit): it's a shame, because I really would like to post some songs from The Bible, The Railway Children, The Mighty Lemon Drops, Pale Saints, Kingmaker, Manchester North Of England, Bob Mould's 'Black Sheets Of Rain' and the toasting duo Laurel & Hardy's 1982 Peel session. Not to mention a couple of gems from Small Welsh Stevie's Bob Dylan bootleg collection which he generously allowed me to copy and which despite the endless record company rummaging through Bob's trash cans (the Zimmerbins?) remain unreleased.

I'd spare you the endless recordings of me 'DJing' on Hospital Radio Nine, I promise.

*sigh* Never mind.

Here's one that leapt gorgeously out at me from a mix tape, that I do have on the computer.

Shop Assistants - 'Safety Net' (1986)
It's the 90s CD singles rummage next - can I stand the excitement?


  1. I'd forgotten all about 'Safety Net'- luvverly. Funnily enough I've just posted something that includes the words 'rummage', 'vinyl'and a variation on 'buggers'. Unfunnily enough my tunes aren't as snappy as Shop Assistants though.

  2. And yet we thank you for sharing them.

    'Rummage' is definitely one of my favourite words.

  3. One of the nifty features of my new ION turntable is the ability to hook up an outside music source (a tape player in this instance) and via the USB connection, copy to the PC.

    Wait til I start rummaging as well....! My box o' tapes overflows...

  4. Super. And your kit is the kit I meant. I have almost bought one several times...

  5. Now you're talking. You know my love of tapes. Get on mymp3 and get em uploaded. Hiss, scratch, distortion and all, please. And if you can find any with a bit of a computer game programme at the beginning or end, so much the better.

  6. Sure it's not 'Saftey Net'.....?????

  7. Just been rummaging meself. Except, being a sad fucker, I've stored them alphabetically in cheapo purpose built pigeon hole boxes from Ikea. From Amazulu to Zappa; there they sit - redundant as nuns' nipples.

    These wooden boxes serve no purpose now, save for acting as a sturdy base for speakers and aspidistra. We'll all have a 1000 CDs doing the same diddly squat before too long.

    The 1st cassette album I bought (with my 'own money') was Bob Marley 'Live at the Lyceum'in 1976.
    It somehow unwound itself after a fortnight. Oh how I miss those heady days of twiddling a pen through the hole and winding the tape on.

    And then those Walkman things came along ...

  8. Albums you bought on tape - these are shurely the Great Lost Recordings because, as Dick has sagely related, pre-recorded cassettes were pisspoor in quality and frequently became unplayable after just a few months. We should have sued.

    Beth - I can't for the life of me work out that mymp3 site, but I have to say, there is some very impressive and entertaining 'foreign English' on it, viz 'You can access to play anytime anywhere by login'.

    JC - Clearly, given the post subject matter, any blogger worth his salt would have uploaded the Bow Wow Wow; I can only apologise for not so doing. I did listen to 'On Tape' by The Pooh Sticks whilst writing though.

    Steve - I have no idea what you're talking about.

  9. ha ha - you bought an inspiral carpets tape. shocking.
    i'm sure i've told this before but they played their first london show at a club i ran supporting the bodines and they were all taking the piss out of their little ginger drummer cos he had to be back in manchester in the morning for his paper round. rock n roll.
    obviously i haven't got any rubbish records.

  10. Obviously.

    I've got a Menswear single as well, but I'm saving that for my 90s CD singles feature.

  11. Actually no, scrub that - it's too awful.


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