The Disappearing Art of the Mix Tape
If you've a chance to tune into BBC Radio 4 today at 11.30am - or catch it via Listen Again or BBC iPlayer at a later date - you can hear a great slice of hi-fi nostalgia in the form of The Disappearing Art of the Mix Tape: a programme in praise of those cassette compilations many of us used to lovingly labour over.
BBC Manchester, who produced the Show, asked me to take part to add some technical input, but once they had me in the studio, there was no stopping me waxing lyrical about my own love of compilations, and the fact that I still make them for my analogue pleasure (you can see my retro tape kit here).
Yes, I also love crafting a carefully plotted Playlist for iTunes, but somehow it's not quite the same - without the technical and timing hassles involved, and with the ability to shuffle songs around if you feel the music muse hasn't quite worked their magic yet, there's not the same sense of achievement.
One of my favourite parts of the Radio 4 programme is the discussion of those classic, two-minutes-or-less tracks that you used to stick on the end of each C90 side to fill up the 45 minutes.
As the show mentions, anything by The Ramones was a safe bet, and for those - like me - with a love of rock and roll, there are almost endless killer-not-filler tunes from Elvis, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly to see out a side in style. Little Deuce Coupe by The Beach Boys - at a svelte 1:40 - was another favourite, or Simon and Garfunkel's Song for the Asking (1:50) if a gentler mood was called for.
There are also tunes that - thanks to gazillions of repeated plays of mixtapes - I can't hear without expecting a certain song to come on directly afterwards. This happens when Mott the Hoople's All the Young Dudes fades out, surely to be replaced by Bowie's Young Americans?
So, any mixtape moments you remember fondly?