When I was in Junior High I had no idea what home taping was. I had a tape deck, but only knew it for recording the radio or playing tapes.
I think I have written about this before, but I remember being astonished when I discovered that someone I knew had a big pile of tapes that were recorded records. I felt like I was with an outlaw. First off I didn’t know the technology and second I was amazed that there were like 50 records in the size of a shoe box. It was crazy.
In the years that followed I heard many times that they were trying to tax blank tapes. I thought that was crazy. I mean I was using tapes for recording myself talking to send to my friend Alan in Denver (at that time) and I was going to be pissed if I had to pay extra for tapes I could barely afford in the first place. This tax never came to be, and the rest of my dubbing, double tape deck and endless recording spun out through my formidable years.
I had no idea that the compact cassette was developed in the 1960’s and even then record companies thought that they were domed. This is rather amusing given the rise, fall and eventual resurgence of the vinyl industry.
Here is a very interesting article I found that describes the UK side of the home taping battles.
An Endless Cycle- Taxing Blank Cassettes and “Killing Music”
The reason that this home taping vs music has come to mind is because of an album I recently purchased.
“The Fixx – Shuttered Room”
This is another 80’s nugget that I have been going back to recently and got for an alarming low price from Discogs. With shipping it was less than 8 bucks. Criminal.
At any rate, as I was playing this and looking over the back cover…
and I couldn’t help but notice the skull and crossbones on the lower left. To my knowledge this is the first time I have actually seen this.
The funny thing is that even cassettes are making a comeback, with many artists releasing new albums on tape. What’s new becomes old, and then new once again.
Dig this article on Thee Oh Sees who released (though limited) a box set of albums on 8-track of all things! $420 is too steep for my blood, but this would be an amazing set to have. They had to get 8-tracks since blanks are no longer produced and then record over them. It was a labor of love and very cool in my humble opinion. Yes. I have an 8-track player.
I have taped many many MANY albums in my day, transitioning from tapes, to burning CD’s, to MP3 CD’s, then MP3 DVD’s and eventually multiple TB externals. I have a ridiculous amount of music saved and recorded. However…
I still buy vinyl.
What a crazy world we live in. Thank goodness the 1960’s record companies were wrong!