Propping up the range of BASF audio cassettes back in 1986 was this LH-EI – a base-level Type I with an attractive look, and a significantly better sound than you might expect. It is a bit on the noisy side, but nowhere near as bad as some direct rivals, and the frequency range is impressive indeed for a tape occupying such lowly territory. This is certainly not a tarted-up ‘voice recording’ product. It’s fine for music. Quite different in tone to Sony’s HF. The BASF LH-EI is brighter (comparatively strong brightness was typical for a BASF tape).
Here in the UK, the music charts were quite fragmented in 1986, with no real massive trend dominating as had been the case in previous years. ’80s UK rock (often with a gothic or retro ’60s flavour) encompassed bands like Big Country, Psychedelic Furs, Doctor & The Medics and The Damned. There was also a left wing politically-inclined, British soul-based movement seeing chart success through the likes of Simply Red and The Communards. The diversity in American music of the time was demonstrated by the UK chart presence of Billy Joel and Ray Charles, Run DMC and Aerosmith, George Benson, Bruce Hornsby, and Cameo. UK ‘babe pop’ fought its corner courtesy of Samantha Fox and Sinitta, whilst The Housemartins proved that even British ‘geek pop’ could thrive in 1986. Although, had The Housemartins arrived seven or eight years later, I’m sure they’d have slotted themselves neatly into the Britpop category.
So these BASF LH-EI 60s would have found themselves preserving quite a variety of musical styles in their day. An interesting tape for an interesting time.