Deutsche Grammophon 3D Classics Series Audio Cassette

Deutsche Grammophon 3D Series Cassette - Schumann

This is another of the highly attractive, abundantly classy and sonically spectacular Polydor / Deutsche Grammophon CrO2 pre-records of the 1980s. It’s part of the 3D Classics series, which was released around the cusp of the ‘80s and ‘90s decades, with this particular instalment hitting the shops in 1989. Continue reading

BASF Ferro Super I Audio Cassette (1989)

One of the problems with striving to improve Type I normal position audio tapes was that whatever manufacturers did with them, they were always still Type Is. That may not have been a problem technically. If the sound and signal to noise characteristics were massively better than those of a very basic, low end Type I, then a higher end Type I would have merit and, in real terms, justify its extra cost.

BASF Ferro Super I 60 Audio Cassette 1989 Continue reading

The Damned – Final Damnation Audio Cassette (1989)

The Damned were one of the ‘big three’ original British punk bands, alongside the Sex Pistols and The Clash. They released the first ever single to be acknowledged as British punk rock, in autumn 1976, and whilst their path was far from smooth and continuous, they remained active and high up in alternative public consciousness right through the early and mid 1980s.

Through the one decade plus from ’76 into the late ‘eighties, the band’s musical style morphed, and I suppose you could say ‘matured’ – although that would imply that original format punk was immature, which I don’t believe was the case.

The Damned Final Damnation audio cassette (1989) Continue reading

Dr John – In a Sentimental Mood audio cassette (1989)

Here’s someone who’s lived a life. One time rogue, prolific session musician, immensely respected figure in American roots music… Mac Rebennack, much better known as Dr. John, is a genuine New Orleans pianist, vocalist and musician, most associated with the classic New Orleans blues/jazz style of piano. Whilst he’s also played guitar for a good proportion of his career, it’s the influence of Professor Longhair and a number of other cool and unorthodox American pianists which defines what he’s about.

Dr John - In a Sentimental Mood audio cassette 1989 Continue reading

1989 TDK D 90 Audio Cassette

1989 TDK D 90 Audio Cassette

This is the 1989 version of the TDK D audio cassette (a 90 minute variant in this instance), which I’ve posted for comparison with other TDK Ds I’ve photographed for the blog. You can find all the versions in the alphabetical index to blank cassettes. Continue reading

1989 Memorex CRX IIS 60 Audio Cassette

1989 Memorex CRX IIS 60 Audio Cassette

Memorex was a very shaky brand, with a poor reputation among some circles of aficionados. But Memorex tapes did sell, with the average consumer most probably buying them on the strength of the slick TV advertising they utilised. The UK’s TV ads of 1982 initially alerted me to Memorex tapes. Continue reading

1989 BASF Chrome Extra II 60 Audio Cassette

1989 BASF Chrome Extra II 60

This was one of my Mom’s tapes. It’s full both sides with classical piano music (Ravel), and I don’t want to tape over anything she recorded, so I can’t judge the cassette by the same criteria I judge my own. It’s a 60 minute BASF Chrome Extra II from 1989, recorded with Dolby B Type. There’s nothing to mask tape hiss in the quiet passages, so even with Dolby there’s some noticeable noise. I’m also unaware of what equipment my Mom used to record the tape, and it’s difficult under those circumstances to tell precisely what the reproduction is like. In the louder passages where the piano sound gets brighter, you do start to hear the characteristic BASF top end, but in other respects I’m not convinced this is one of the best BASF CrO2 tapes there ever was. I think classical music, with its massive dynamic range, is one genre which in analogue-only days was desperately crying out for the arrival of digital media, and I now find it quite hard to listen to on audio tape.