Records have made possible to sell music, buy it and consume it as much as one wanted. However, those amazing black plate where only usable at home. in the 60s someone has decided that it was time to make music even usable when you were around…so, it was invented something that changed forever the way we see music once again: The Cassette!
I was born in the early 90s, so cassette were there, people used them, but the CD-ROM started to conques the market as a way to save and preserve files…any kind of files. However i have had the honor to use something so amazing and so frustrating at the same time. Let’s start from the good side.
For the first time, the music was theoretically available for the people 24/7. The only thing you needed was a walkman, insert the cassette, plug in the headphones, hit play and enjoy the best music of all time. We now have smartphones with Spotify, Apple Music or our collection of songs, in the 70s and 80s you didn’t have a smartphone, but your Walkman attached to your belt. There was not so unusual to see young guy or girls with walkman in the hand and rollerblade on thier feet.
However, it’s really true: the small and simple things are always the best ones! A plastic container 10 centimeters long, five wide, less than a centimeter thick, two mini reels connected together by the tape with the songs engraved on them. Music industry didn’t need any fancy colour, style or anything else to convince us to buy cassette. Only the name of the artist were enough to make us buy them, no matter how it cost. You have no idea how crazy it was being able to bring the music we love with us…trust me, you have not! That invention was a complete game-changing moment in the history.
But like all the things created by humanity, it had also defects. To be honest there was only one: the tape. That damn tape. No matter if the cassette was new or old, one day you were forced to live on of the most annoying moment in the entire humanity: the tangle tape. You could do everything right, you could be careful to make sure that the tape was perfect with no weirdness whatsoever, but it didn’t matter: the recorder or the walkman decided to screw both your listening and your afternoon. Every single teenager or adult back in the 70s or in the 80s have insulted every single saint in heaven every time something like that happened. And you realised in that specific moment how life can be miserable.
In those moments there was no shortcuts: take your cassette, lot of patience, untangle the tape that in the meantime is all over the place, take a pen (yes, a normal pens) put it into one of the coil and patiently turn it, until the tape is not completely in the cassete and perfectly wrapped on the boil you are turning. It might takes as long as it needes, but when it’s over and you see everything in the right position, the heart wa ful of joy…until the next time!
Apart this “dark side”, music was amazing. We are talking about the 70s, the 80s and the 90s also. You can imagine how amazing those time was, how good our ears felt an how happy our heart was…and our wallet was always sad. We didn’t have spotify, you are right, but we had tons of good music, something we are missing right now! I would rather choose to go back in the 80s and listen to Queen all day long, and risk to ruin my afternoon with a tangle tape, than the today’s music.