50 Years of the Cassette

Yes, like you I am a child of the 1980s, and so my past is deeply entwined with the cassette tape. So deeply entwined that you might even say mangled.

Anyway, BBC Radio 6 Music, contemporary as ever, have decided to mark the occasion with a documentary presented by Neneh Cherry. At the time of writing I haven’t actually heard it yet, but it promises to be pretty flipping good, and it will also discuss the label The Tapeworm, about whom I will definitely write something one of these days. From their description:

Neneh Cherry looks at the role of the cassette in music history including the role of the tape in hip hop in the 80s.

In the 80s Britain was a nation in love with the cassette. At its peak we bought 83 million and the cassette became more popular than vinyl. Then came the runaway success of digital music with formats such as the iPod and the MP3 player and the eject button was pressed on sales of the cassette.

6 Music Celebrates: 50 Years of the Cassette with an hour’s show looking back at the format’s role in music from the early days of hip hop, through the legendary NME C86 Indie compilation tape, the 80s slogan “Home Taping is Killing Music”, to compilations, mixtapes and fond memories of the cassette.

The programme features contributions from artists including Grandmaster Flash, DJ Shadow, The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, The Kills, Friends, Django Django, The Shins, Mike Skinner, Beach House, Foals, The Cribs, The Pastels, The Manics, Mike Smith, David Toop, Neneh Cherry and a tiny label called the Tapeworm, who still produce cassette-only releases.

Listen for the next few days on the 6 Music website here.