Mixed Tapes

Music is important to me. Both the 1990’s and 1980’s music eras mean so much to me, from a nostalgic perspective as well as just good memories perspective.

When I hear my music from yesterday, it’s almost like looking at old pictures, but the pictures are played through my musical memories as I remember back to bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

What really links those two music periods best for me is my old collection of old mixed tapes. For anyone too young to know what a mixed tape is, it was the 1980’s version of a “playlist.” You compiled your favorite songs and recorded them onto a blank cassette and you had it on hand to play whenever you wanted to hear the songs that you loved the most.

Mixed Tapes for Every Occasion

Unlike today’s playlists, mixed tapes could not be sliced-and-diced and easily remove or add new songs. Nope, the songs, theme, and mood of the mixed tape you created was on there for good. There was no removing or adding option.

But that’s what made the mixed tape so special. You would put quite a bit of thought into what songs you wanted and that was that. I had mixed tapes for every occasion:

  • Party Tapes
  • Chilling Tapes
  • Tapes of my #1’s
  • Melancholy Tapes
  • And my favorite…”Thinking of You” mixed tapes

Mixed Tapes Crossing the Decade Lines

For me, that’s what makes my mixed tapes memories so special. They crossed from the 80s into the 90s; well the beginning and early part of the 1990’s at least.

Those early years of the 90s was still a cassette world. CD’s were making their push, and they were pushing hard, but cassette tapes hung on for the first few years of the decade. I remained a cassette kid for at least the first half of the 90s. My college friends graduated to CD’s but I hung onto cassettes as long as I could.

When I did make the crossover to the CD world though, I found that I could still compile all my favorite songs, themes, and music moods together. It was in the form of “burning CD’s” though. Continuing to keep all my favorite music together was a huge thing in my maturation to the CD world of the 90’s. (We’ll save for another day how hard it was for me to move from CD’s to MP3 players in the following decade).

Memories on my Mixes

Buried in my basement is a box of all my mixed tapes. It’s in that box of memories that just follows you from move-to-move. A few years ago, while cleaning out the basement, I ran into that box. I don’t have a cassette player anymore but flipping through those old Mixed Tape cassettes brought back so many memories. It was like flipping through an old photo album.

I remembered the occasions and reasons why I created each tape and what that period of my life was about. I was a young kid growing up and learning about life. Music is a powerful road to the soul.

So, if you were a kid from the 80s and 90s, this article may have brought back some mixed tape memories for you too. If you’re a kid from the 2000’s and 2010’s, here’s hoping your playlists live and play the way the mixed tapes did for me.

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