Sonic Youth – Sister Audio Cassette (UK (1987)

You get a perfect sense of what sort of album this is going to be from the fact that the labels are stuck on the wrong sides of the tape. Side 2’s label is on Side 1, and vice versa. I’ve often wondered whether this was deliberate, given Sonic Youth’s approach, but even if not, it’s entirely in keeping with with the chaotic and contradictory attitude of the music.

Sonic Youth - Sister Audio Cassette (UK 1987) 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

Siouxsie and the Banshees – Once Upon a Time (1981)

Siouxsie & the Banshees - Once Upon a Time - The Singles (1981)

The classic red paper label of Polydor Records, complete with Made in England denotation printed below the brand logo, adorns 1981’s Once Upon a Time – The Singles, by Siouxsie and the Banshees. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the back of the case is not black – it’s very dark brown, and marked with the PolyGram branding. The album title is self-explanatory. This is a compilation of the band’s singles, released between 1978 and 1981. For the record, the tracks are set in chronological order. Continue reading

1983 Sony BHF 90 Audio Cassette

1983 Sony BHF 90 audio cassette

As normal bias tapes went in the early ‘eighties, Sony’s offerings were pretty good. This is a 1983 Sony BHF 90 – the BHF being a step up in quality and definition from the lowly Sony CHF. Visually, these were an upgrade on the BHFs from the previous year, featuring a sort of metallic foil finish on the label rather than plain paper as in 1982. There may possibly also have been a slight improvement in sound, but my recording equipment in the early 1980s was so poor, and of course so much time has now elapsed since these tapes were new, that it’s very difficult to tell. These are good tapes though – with considerable treble response for normal bias ferrics. Continue reading