Monday, May 7, 2012

Maxell & TDK Tape Cassettes

Tape cassettes from back in the '80s and '90s.

Remember cassette tapes also known as compact cassettes? The popular brands were distributed by TDK and Maxell. It's hard to believe these items are hard to find today. One of my favorite gifts as a child, was a tape recorder. Ask someone under 30 if they know what a tape recorder is today and they most likely will have no idea. 

As a kid, I would use a small tape recorder to record audio while watching my favorite movies in the theater. I particularly recall doing this during The Goonies. I would listen to the tapes while getting ready for school or doing homework. I knew every line. Too bad I didn't record important information such as history or Spanish lessons. I would have aced my classes!

I think my very first tapes were copied versions of Madonna's first two albums and Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual back in sixth grade. My dad was a teacher and one of his students had a massive record collection. He told the student how much I loved Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. Soon I had two new tapes and I bet some had a passing grade. I played those tapes continuously until I believe they finally snapped. That was the one thing that was uncool about tapes. They would get stuck or the tape would unwind from the spool. 

As we kids got older, we learned about the romanticism behind the mixed tape. Often a sign of affection, your crush would gather their favorite songs and put together a nice combination of tunes for you on a blank tape. The crush would label the tape and sometimes create artwork, depending on how creative they were.  Even the worst song on the tape was lovely because of the person behind the mixed tape. My husband made me CDs in 2001. There are songs that will always remind me of him.

It seems like so long ago when tapes were popular. Now, you may not even be able to play them and don't get me started on records.


Pat Tillett said...

Hi Ally!
I had a ton of them. I also had the forerunners to them, 4-track and 8-track tapes. Check this out... I actually even had a record player in a car (back in the day...).

Sabrina Steyling said...

I still have some cassettes left, both albums and mix tapes/blanks. Luckily I also still have a boom box with a working cassette deck, although I rarely listen to the tapes. I also still have my childhood record player (that still works thank God) and most of my kiddie records, plus I have a bunch of LPs I began collecting several years ago. I can't say I'm still fond of tapes, but records I love to this day. :)

C said...

Awesome post! I remember sitting by the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could tape it and listen to it over and over. I still have some of those radio mixes somewhere. I should really listen to them! But oh, on what tape player!?

b-chica said...

One good thing about the whole digital music thing is fewer cassettes tossed on the side of the road trailing out tape from somebody tossing them out the car window after the car stereo "ate" it.

I still have my cassette collection and my first mono cassette player, first boombox, and a stereo system that plays cassettes and records. I even use my cassette walkman at the gym.

I do not own any kind of digital music player because they are expensive and I am way too lazy to digitize my huge CD collection.

J.M. said...

These were the big thing for me, as I was able to record my favorite episodes and cartoons from the tv to listen to later. such a big hassle to wait to rewind them, and they never lasted long. so when you finally can make a backup copy you have too many tapes.

J.M. said...

as a kid, I had a ton of cassette tapes, and tape recorded lots of things. But those tapes only lasted a few years, and making backups just prolonged the obvious.


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