What Ever Happened to the Mixed Tape

In this technology driven world we live in called New York City, Toledo, Ohio, or just America we’re constantly bombarded with new ways of getting it sooner, faster, bigger, better than before. Through the iPod revolution (something I still do not own) the mixed tape has all but vanished and been replaced with iPod mixes or whatever it is that you iPod people do…I see mixes like “Work Out Mix” or “Party Mix” as categories on iPods I borrow, but is it really a mix tape?

Remember back in grade school when you used to listen to your favorite top 40 radio station and when the Top Eight at Eight came on you laid on your stomach waiting for your favorite song to come on, fingers poised above the record button on your Stereo? Your tape was ready to record what ever Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson, or Wham song that emerged from the speakers and in that 2-3 minutes you were able to capture the music that defined your life in that moment in time.

I can remember getting my first mixed tape. Okay, that’s a complete lie, I can’t really remember the first mixed tape at all, really. But, I do remember making them for friends and family. It took time and effort to make the perfect recording for your friend or the love of your life. You’d find a ball point pen or better yet, a felt tip marker and scribble some brief note of your feelings. Mostly it said things like “Happy Birthday Mix” or “Best Friends Forever” Getting these little treasures of music from friends always filled me with joy and happiness as I listened and began to memorize the songs, trying to decode the secret message in their selection. They obviously were chosen for a reason. It was always fun trying to figure out what that reason was. Whether it be friendship or love, they were treasured possessions and I played them until they didn’t play again taking away from them the lyrics and feelings behind each badly recorded song.

The mixed tape gave way to the mixed CD and after that, I’m lost because I’m not sure what iPod-ers do. I know you can make mixes and send them to a friends iPod, correct? But is it the same as getting your little hands on a Tape or CD? I’m not sure because I’ve never gotten a mix via i-Something.

A few days ago, I received a mixed tape (CD) from Lady M. It was one of the best things I’d received in a long while for many reasons. 1. It was from her, and she’s really something. 2. It brought back memories of care-free times when you made mixed tapes for the most special people for you. It took time, back then, to figure out which 10-13 songs would make the cut for your mixed tape. Were the songs from the same band or musician? Were they songs of love or friendship? Could you really get all 10 songs on one tape?? These questions plagued my youth and I’m sure they’re on the mind of anyone who dares to make a mixed tape today.

It has to be said that the mixed tape I got from Lady M is nothing short of perfection. The perfect blend of my favorite singers, groups I haven’t heard since 1994, and folks I can’t quite place but can’t wait to look up other works. Let’s just say I’ve got some Tori Amos, Jay -Z, Bel Biv Divo, and Heart all on one perfect 13 song CD.


One thought on “What Ever Happened to the Mixed Tape

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