Yesterday’s post has me thinking about mix tapes. I miss mix tapes something awful. There was magic made at the old boom box upstairs in my dark purple, turquoise, and black sponge paint over a lavender wall bedroom. Cuing up tapes, making sure one song led into the next in a proper fashion, making sure your transition songs were not only mere transitions but excellent in their own right. The mix tape was an art. Sadly, it is a lost art.
After a while the mix CD was born. The biggest tragedy, and most excellent feature, when it comes to the CD is the ability to skip tracks. Although Mom’s van had that ams feature so you could fast forward just one song on a tape, it wasn’t as easy as the skip feature on a CD player. If you made or got a mix CD you could listen to it once and then decide which songs to skip. This way, some of the flow and continuity was lost. When you really think about it there are always some songs on any album that end up growing on you. With the CD age, they have less and less of a chance to do so. I try to make myself listen to entire albums as much as possible but I often succumb to the ease of skipping songs that don’t hold my attention.
When I think of mix tapes past I know there were some fantastic compilations that, although I still have, I will most likely never listen to. I also know that some of the greats have been lost a long long time ago. I think I still have “Radio Coolness” (tapes made from songs on the radio) both volumes I and II. I think I have a good number of the “Best of Natalie” series (I believe there were 8 of them). I am certain I still have “Songs For The Hopeless Romantic” the greatest mix tape ever made. I wonder how hard it will be to recreate some of these compilations.
My plan had been to work on this Herculean task this weekend, but that didn’t end up happening. The only tape player that I could think of that was plugged in was the bathroom and I didn’t feel like hanging out in there while there was such wonderful weather outside. Just now, I realized that the record player in the living room also has a dual tape deck on it. My mix tape project just got a lot more comfortable. I don’t know how long it will take me, I fear a great while. However, I know that it will bring me much nostalgia and great joy. Here is to the songs I grew up with. Cheers.
For my songs today I’ll reach out with some strange gems on the mix tapes.
Skydiver, artist unknown- If anyone out there knows a song called skydiver that has lyrics that go “I’m gonna jump right off the face of it I think I’m gonna jump right off the face of it, like a skydiver” please let me know because this song is one Radio Coolness One and I really enjoy it although I have no idea who sings it. My compilation can’t be complete without it.
White Bird, It’s A Beautiful Day- This song is embedded deep within side two of Songs For The Hopeless Romantic. I don’t know if I will be able to find it out there in downloadable world but I am going to try. The one thing I will miss about putting the songs in mp3 format is the crackly vinyl to tape noises that I have grown to love. Oh well, at least I know the artist.
Glycerin, Bush- I am a little scared of some of the Best Of Natalie series. I think this song is on Volume VI or so. I made some fairly poor choices when it came to music in my high school years and I don’t know if I can listen to Bush and Offspring. I might shoot myself. Back in the day, as I got a new CD I had to make a new mix tape to incorporate some of the songs into my "Best Of Natalie" collection. This is why I will soon be listening to Spoonman. Maybe some of the mix tapes will have to be left out.