I’m not completely sure about this week, because cassettes is the format I have kept less of than others. I’m pretty sure that the first cassette album I bought was actually a triple one: Live/1975–85 by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.
The best cassette, to my mind, was the middle one, and specifically the second half of side C and first half of side C, which I would listen to over and over again: “Independence Day“, “Badlands” (recorded November 5, 1980, the night after the election of Ronald Reagan to the United States presidency), “Because the Night” (Springsteen/Patti Smith), “Candy’s Room” – 3:19 and “Darkness on the Edge of Town”, followed by “Racing in the Street“, “This Land Is Your Land” (Woody Guthrie), “Nebraska“, “Johnny 99” and “Reason to Believe”.
The real stand out tracks, though, are scattered on the last tape: “The River” (a song that always makes me think of the childhood and teenage friends I left behind), Edwin Starr‘s anti-military anthem “War“, “My Hometown” and a quiet acoustic “No Surrender“.
So, I guess I bought that around 1986. Then the last cassettes I bought were about twenty years later, but I am struggling to recall the final one but I believe it was James Last Copacabana Happy Dancing, a kind of Latin album by the discoschlockmeister – apologies for showing the LP cover rather than cassette cover – purchased in a Bromley charity shop for the sake of his version of the title track, originally by the great Barry Manilow. (I’m glad to see that the utterly supercool Pat Les Stache has a good word for James Last, making me feel OK about fessing up to this.)
Next week: CDs.