Mixed Tapes Were the Bomb!!!!

I was going through my Napster the other day, yes, I still have that platform, and I was looking through my playlists. I have several for whatever kind of mood I am in. I have one for all-time favorite songs, one to workout with, one for beachy music, one for sappy love songs…the list goes on. It is so easy to make a playlist these days. You just pick a song, click the three little dots and tap “add to playlist” and you are done. Easy, Easy. Back in the day though, making a playlist of your favorite songs took a lot more effort and a thing called a cassette tape and a boom box.

Anybody else remember those days? You literally had to pop in the cassette tape and wait by the radio until your song came on and then you had to hit the record button before you missed any of the song and then you had to press stop at the end before another song came on and ruined the whole thing. I would sit for hours listening to a bunch of songs that I liked before they played the one I wanted to record. And since a tape can hold about 20 songs between both sides, you knew you could spend days trying to fill it up.

Any time you hit the record button you were praying the D.J. wouldn’t talk over the song or the station didn’t have a problem and cut the song short to get the commercial in. Making a mixed tape was stressful. But we all did it. We all wanted the perfectly curated mix of our favorite songs to bop to. It took time, yes, it could be frustrating, yes, but it was better to carry around only one or two tapes instead of 20 when you went somewhere with your Walkman.

I remember calling the radio station to request a song. I had my tape ready to go when the D.J. finally announced, “This song goes out to Tracie; It’s the End of the World as We Know it by R.E.M.” or whatever I had requested. Then it was a quick jab of the record button and a sigh of relief…another song down, only a dozen or so more to go.

When MTV came out, I would even sit in front of the television with my boom box to try to record off the T.V. My theory was they played the same songs over and over again, so I felt I had a better chance of getting more songs recorded in a shorter space of time. So, there I was, holding my recorder up to the television speaker waiting for Duran Duran and Cyndi Lauper to play so I could get my tunes in. The quality was not the best, but it suited my purposes at the time. I just wanted to listen to my favorite songs, I didn’t care about a little static.

Now, I care about the static. I understand what good quality is and I am thankful technology has given us the ability to create our playlists in such a short time. I still have all the same songs on my playlists that I had on my mixed tapes…duh, I am forever an 80’s girl, but I do have a variety of other songs as well. My tastes run anywhere from Sinatra to The Velvet Underground to The Crystals to Green Day to even some country. I am eclectic down to my core.

I miss making mixed tapes though. Even with all the frustration and mishaps that occurred while recording, it was definitely an accomplishment when it was finished, and you had written all the titles and artists on that little, tiny space they give you. It makes me nostalgic for those times. And if there is one thing I am about it is nostalgia.

***Questions for the comments…Did you make mixed tapes? What was the one song you had to have on it? And do you still have that song on your playlist today?

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Hi, I'm Tracie. I am a writer, reader, life coach, lover of the city and the beach. I am a big fan of all things caffeinated. I dig things from many different decades, but am a definite child of the 80's. My blog is about everything and anything my mind conjures up. Enjoy the ride.

18 thoughts on “Mixed Tapes Were the Bomb!!!!

  1. I don’t remember making mixed tapes, but I DO have a few mixed CDs off of Rhapsody!. I still have them. I have: Mom’s Mix, Mom’s Mix Tracie’s picks, Mom’s Mix #2, and our perennially favorite _____ Oldies! Gotta say, the Oldies one is STILL my fave and it’s in the car now. I think I’ll play it when I go shopping…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I forgot to say, some might say “ecclectic”, others would say schizophrenic. Yes. You are forever a squiggle and that squiggle tries so hard to smooth my hard, linear edges. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha that brought back memories!! I totally felt your pain of hoping the DJ didn’t talk over the song! Also hoped nobody in the house would talk or cough or make any kind of noise while we were taping. 🤦🏻‍♀️
    I guess this is our version of, “when we were young we had to walk five miles in the snow with hand me downs from three generations to get to school.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol…yes…nobody better make a sound. I used to tell my family I was recording so they wouldn’t open my bedroom door. Yup, kids have it so easy now. But here’s the question…what was your favorite song on a mixed tape and is it on a playlist of yours still?


      1. School’s out by Alice Cooper
        No I don’t have it on my playlist but I still sing it in my head from time to time😂

        Also Gladys Knight Midnight Train to Georgia. Yes still on my playlist. I remember buying a K-tel album mostly for that song.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, I did the same thing, but going back to the 70’s. I’m a Zep Head to my core! But, my tastes are also eclectic. My dad was an amateur jazz singer, so I grew up listening to jazz and big band music. I was a punk and new wave college kid. I saw A Flock of Seagulls, Blondie, Cyndi Lauper, the B-52’s, and U2 live-I probably missed a few. Yes, making those mixed tapes was fun. I used to also make them with my own albums. With MTV and VCR’s I also made a few videos.

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  4. Yes we had to make mixed tapes to practice our routines…I come from the Era of locking and popping…haha it’s awesome to know those song back then still kick hard now days…they use them as a foundation to make newer mixes…you had grand Master flash…Roger, Tom Tom club the gap band…Zapp
    Planet rock, genius of love, more bounce to the ounce, cutie pie, whip it, double Dutch bus, white horse, and the list goes on…killer beats and no swear words…you got to love it

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  5. My tastes (in music) are all over the place. So I have an extensive CD store. Hard to find much now, but they’re out there. My tastes haven’t changed. What laregly passes for “music” today has. It’s no longer necessary for this old coot to go looking for CDs. Good read, kid.

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  6. I made mixed cassettes and mixed cd’s from lps. Way before Walkman. I had a pretty sweet Sansui stereo system and an Akai cassette recorder. Some of my cassettes were played on Cleveland radio station 100.1. I played the tapes on my stereo or in my car. Never recorded from the radio. Friends would bring their lps and I would make tapes for them and of course me. Being old enough to be your Grandma, the 50’s – 70’s music. I did record some 80’s music. I like any kind of music but heavy metal. Clean rap is good. In the mid 90’s I started getting into contemporary Christian music. Aerosmith was my favorite group in the 70’s. I actually saw them here in Hawaii. They were the opening band for The Guess Who. We shouted for Aerosmith to do the encore. I have thousands of songs I have ripped to my computer. I lean toward country. In high school I want folk music with two guys. We called ourselves The Mod Squad. Can you guess why?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the songs from the 50s and 60s. My mom danced on American Bandstand in Philly in the late 50s so we listened to that music a lot growing up. I know of a t.v. show called the mod squad…but other than that I am drawing a blank.


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