Over at Hidden Track, in a recent Friday Mix Tape, they surmised that everybody had a few of their choices on their first playlists. A couple of their selections came close to mine, but I didn't hear anything by the Grateful Dead for many years yet. (See their selections here .)
I thought that if I looked hard enough around my house I might be able to find a mixtape old enough to come close to being my "first" one that either was made for me, or that I had created for myself to listen to. (Pre-fab chart hits albums like "Throbbin' '84" and the like don't count.) As it turns out, all my old mix tapes (bar one or two later ones that I gave to my kids) I had thrown out before I moved to West Australia a few years back. I had to delve into the dark recesses of my mind to recall something...and here's what I came up with.
Around 1987, my uncle took a 6 month working holiday to Europe. He left his beloved '72 HQ Holden wagon with my dad to look after. The day after dad picked up the car, he presented me with something - a kings ransom of sorts; my uncle's in-car cassette collection. I listened, learned, discovered and educated myself about heaps of music that I'd never really heard before, and I made myself a number of mixtapes purely from this collection. Only one survived for a number of years, as I only had a limited number of tapes, and they had to be recycled in order to record more music. That original mix-tape is the oldest one I could remember and, although it didn't survive the great chuck-out of 2007, I can still remember most of the albums my uncle had in that tape box (as evidenced by the fact that I grew to love them all so much I bought copies for myself over the ensuing years), and the likely tracks I'd selected for my mix.
The selections that I can remember from the collection are below. It's pretty obvious that you could assume that I had "catholic" tastes at the time. But hey, what 11 year old doesn't? While a lot of this music was still fairly current at the time of the original compilation, it is now the type of music a dreadful commercial radio station like Triple M will play ad nauseum.
In this day and age, the art of the mix-tape is all but dead and buried. These days, it is replaced by "playlists" within iTunes. The art of sequencing and selecting the tracks in order not only to make them fit the length of the tape, but to get as much music on each side without the songs cutting out halfway through them (a common problem) and also to make it enjoyable to listen to from start to finish.
It's ironic then, that this recreation of the mix tape is presented to you now in a Grooveshark playlist...
What we have here:
- Beastie - Jethro Tull (from "Broadsword and the Beast")
- (I Love It When You) Call Me Names - Joan Armatrading (from "Track Record")
- Bad Boy For Love - Rose Tattoo (from "A Decade of Rock")
- Refugee - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (from "Damn The Torpedoes")
- The Number Of The Beast - Iron Maiden (from "The Number of the Beast")
- Under Pressure - Queen and David Bowie (from "Greatest Hits")
- Down Under - Men At Work (from "Business As Usual")
- Espresso Love - Dire Straits (from "Making Movies")
- School's Out - Alice Cooper (from "Greatest Hits")
- Things Don't Seem - Australian Crawl (from "Crawl File")
- Bustin' Loose - Moving Pictures (from "Days Of Innocence")
- Don't Do Me Like That - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (from "Damn The Torpedoes")
- Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Pat Benatar (from "Crimes of Passion")
- Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac (from a commercially available classic rock Compilation album that I've forgotten the name of)
- More Than A Feeling - Boston (from a commercially available classic rock Compilation album that I've forgotten the name of)
- She's Not There - Santana (from a commercially available classic rock Compilation album that I've forgotten the name of)
- Stay Young - INXS (from "Underneath The Colours")
- Cheap Wine - Cold Chisel (from "East")
- Solid Rock - Goanna (from "Spirit of Place")
- Another One Bites The Dust - Queen (from "Greatest Hits")
- Africa - Toto (from a commercially available classic rock Compilation album that I've forgotten the name of)
- And She Was - Talking Heads (from "Little Creatures")