Mix Tapes

So I was thinking about Mix Tapes today.

Some of you “oldies” reading this know exactly what a Mix Tape is. You may still have one or two of those tapes locked away in your “memories box.” I was never organized enough to keep one of those. Except for the one in my skull. And that one doesn’t always hold memories so well.

But I digress.

For those of you who don’t know, let me explain:

First, you’d have to buy a blank cassette tape. The kids with lots of spending money got the fancy see-through kind that was supposed to record perfectly, making you wonder “Is it live…or is it Memorex?” For those of us whose budgets were more limited, we bought one that looked like this:

We then put it in the right side of a double cassette player. In left side, we put the tape of the song we wanted to record first. Then we recorded. I, for one, had a terrible cassette player that not only recorded the song on the left side, but also every other noise in the room. So if a sister came in, or a door slammed, or I sneezed, I’d have to start all over again.

And we agonized over the song choices. Paula Abdhul’s “Straight Up” was bold — telling that guy he needed to let you know where you stood. Bon Jovi’s “I’ll Be There for You” was only for those in serious, committed relationships. Like 6 month anniversary mix tapes. Christian kids put songs like “I Will Be Here” by Steven Curtis Chapman, and “Love of a Lifetime” by Michael W. Smith. Creative types pulled from their parents’ old music – songs like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Diana Ross and “When I Saw Her Standing There” by the Beatles.

Every song meant something, and the length of the mix tape reflected the depth of your feelings . The full sixty minutes meant you were serious. Just one side…still not sure, maybe scared, maybe just really bad at making mix tapes.

Sadly, those days are gone. And what has replaced mix tapes? I don’t know. Folders on your iTunes accounts? Not the same. Special ring tones sent to that special someone? You tell me…how do you show your love through music in the 21st century?

And make it good.

We did.

1 Comment

  1. anna
    Mar 16, 2014

    The idea of mix tapes is extremely romantic to me. I’ve been told I’m an old soul, and I’m pretty sure I like everything moderately old that no one else seems to care about.

    I personally don’t even own and iPod. I did, but it didn’t have enough gigs to hold all of my music so I sold it. (Music buff problems are real.) So instead I have a ridiculously large CD collection, topping out at about 80ish right now. I like listening to a CD in the same way I read a book of poetry. I like memorizing the lyrics of particular songs, but also understanding the album as a full composition.

    Lately Steve Moakler’s been in the player because his new album is coming out Tuesday! I already pre-ordered it. Some of my other favorites are Relient K, Green River Ordinance, Ben Rector, and Stellar Kart. I also just found Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors and am quite smitten.

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