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  • Writer's pictureBridget Buckley

Nice Try, But Forget About the Cassette Tape

It’s true that everything that was once old can become new and cool again, but the emerging comeback of the cassette tape makes no sense. Some claim they have never been out of favor because they are cheap to buy and manufacture. The truth seems that the people who are interested in cassette tapes are either too young to have ever owned ONLY cassette tapes or are too old to remember how horrible they were in the first place.

Let’s debunk this nostalgic nonsense:

1. They are cheaper than vinyl.

True but irrelevant. TV “rabbit ear” antennas are cheaper than cable, but you don’t see people trading in their HDTV quality cable for eight static channels. VHS is cheaper than Blue Ray…flip phones are cheaper than an iPhone.

2. They are rare and unusual so they must be cool.

The reason there are fewer cassette tapes out there is the things broke…all the time. Cassettes commonly committed ritualistic suicide by spitting the tape out of the spools as if to say, “I’ve had enough of this life. Go buy me again.” Not cool Mr. cassette tape…not cool. I should have popped out the special tab and made a copy of you before you killed yourself.

3. Because the sound quality is amazing.

Wait, no one says this. No one ever says that the cassette tape provides a unique melodic quality to the music. Analog should be rediscovered and cherished? No thanks. Sure it was fun to try and fast forward though a song while it was playing..the screechy, high pitch sound was funny, but it’s not enough to buy them again.

4. Making a mixed tape is a lot of fun.

Ok, Guardian of the Galaxy freaks, mixed tapes ARE fun to put together. But I can do that on Spotify and it sounds a hundred times better and I can fit more than 12 songs on it.

5. It’s nostalgic.

Really? For whom? Vinyl is nostalgic, not tapes. It’s the music choice that makes it nostalgic, not the method of transportation. See #3.

6. There are some great bonus tracks and rare albums found only on cassette releases.

Yes, there are. There are also some great bootleg concerts out there illegally recorded on cassette tapes, but they should remain hidden (why do I keep thinking of Rerun getting caught trying to bootleg the Doobie Brothers concert on What’s Happening!!). Life should have mysteries. Pearl Jam released every concert they have ever played. Maybe other bands should try it.

7. My car is a classic and only has a tape player.

Ok, go buy some old tapes and enjoy. You are the one group of people that make sense. Or just go real old school and listen to the radio. Or better yet, listen to only AM radio. Now you are really cool.


Don’t buy into this sentimental phenomenon. But if you feel like you can’t be left out, I suggest you should also so be forced to:

1. Buy a walkman….one of the bright yellow ones.

2. Carry BIC brand ballpoint pens (in blue with the cap) so you can manually rewind tapes when they go berserk.

3. Use ONLY head phones that have that squishy thin foam layer. No noise canceling headphone for you buddy….you are too cool now and listen to cassettes.

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