1983 Sony Metallic 60 Audio Cassette

1983 Sony Metallic 60 Audio Cassette

Was there ever a better looking audio cassette on the high street shelves in the 1980s? The Sony Metallic 60 exuded class, with its dark label and gold foil-printed lettering. Even the inlay card in the case looked special, in white, with large gold-foil lettering.

But people didn’t buy cassettes to look at, obviously, and this one was highly desirable for its sound characteristics and superb quality. Excellent signal to noise ratio, and truly sparkling treble, counterbalanced with a super-solid bass. Metal tapes often sounded less ‘pretty’ than Type 2 chromes, but this one was an exception. It sounded to me quite like a BASF Chromdioxid, but with even greater fidelity and brilliance.

As a Type 4 (or Type IV) Metal position (and metal-formulated) tape, this was not a product teenagers could go out and buy in bulk. I bought one of these in 1983 – that’s all I could afford. It got used and re-used too much for its own good, and after a while there did arise an issue with drop-outs. But it took a long time to reach that stage, and it only afflicts a small portion near the beginning of Side A, which was used again and again for mastering songs I was recording with one of my first bands in late ’83 and through much of ’84. On side B there’s a radio session which punk rockers The Damned did for the John Peel Show in July 1984. It was a session of four songs, but primarily promoting their single Thanks For The Night / Nasty. They also did an early version of Is It A Dream? – not a part of their (still mainly punk) live set in ’84, but subsequently appearing on their Phantasmagoria album in 1985 as part of their revised, more commercial goth packaging.