The Cassette Makes A Comeback?

Supposedly it is happening.

Over the years I have bought a used cassette here and there. Got some real gems for a few bucks. I picked up a English Beat cassette of an album I didn’t even know existed, a Nine Inch Nails cassette, some awesome blues tapes… they are out there.

Further, they are starting to be made available by bands again.

Now, I will unequivocally say that I would never ONLY purchase an album on cassette. I have too many memories from the past of accidentally touching the tape and ruining a split second of the sound, or having the tape snap, or crinkle or just have sucky sound (remember hearing the other side of the tape quietly playing in the background of the silence between songs?). So a full scale revival of cassettes is not in my future. However, I am not going to pass up getting a digital copy and a cassette.

This opportunity presented itself last year and I found myself paying a couple bucks extra to get a digital download AND a copy of the cassette.

“Ringo Deathstarr – Levitation Sessions” from June of 2020.

I bring this up now, because I have just ordered another cassette, again for only a couple bucks more than just the digital download itself, and this one is a limited edition, stamped, numbered and comes with a Polaroid and sticker. More on this one later.

The Ringo Deathstarr is another in the Levitation Session Series and I have had it sitting on my desk for months. I have listened to it many times on Bandcamp, where I bought it, but as yet have not opened it. So sorry about the glare filled pictures to follow.

It was felt nostalgic even thought it was brand new and contemporary. Track list on the back.

The tape itself looks like it is just the clear plastic with the name at the top. Classic and simple.

The spine has the name as well, which was absolutely essential back in the day when you had hundreds of tapes and all you could see to pick the right one was a 4 1/2 by 3/4 inch space for either the name or a design.

A+ to whomever designed this tape cover and tape. It reflects the psych and drone of the band perfectly.

This tape is now sold out! Glad I grabbed one. You can check out all of Ringo Deathstarr’s music here: https://ringodeathstarr.bandcamp.com/

Now, the other cassette I recently purchased is from a New York band called Death Hags. Now, that is a pretty packed name and you probably think punk, but this particular release (Halloween themed) happens to be a collection based around a cover of the Sister’s of Mercy song “Alice”. This song was released as Sister’s of Mercy’s third single and is a great song. Not sure why it never appeared on any album, but I must say that someone doing a cover of it caught my eye, so I listened to it.

The song and the rest of the album is great. It has some clips from Halloween tv shows mixed in, some up tempo and some slow ones. I really dug it. I decided to buy the download from Bandcamp. That was when I noticed the cassette option. It was only $10 and the digital download was $8. so for 2 bucks more I could get the download AND the tape, which was limited edition of only 40, stamped, numbered and comes with a Polaroid and sticker. Her other tape that used to be available was sold out. How could you not jump on this. I had my choice of red or gold tape. I went with gold.

Here was what came in the package for my $10.

The cassette was wrapped in red tissue paper with a Thank You post it. Yes a human packed this. I didn’t realize it came with a CD also, frankly not sure what is on that, but I’ll definitely take a listen. There were stickers and the polaroid of “Mojave Desert Summer 2021” and the not so cryptic slip that says “This tape ay or may not contain a hidden track”.

Inside the tissue paper was the cassette in a slip case.

I have # 22 out of 40. I wonder how much of a pain it is to number a release. Reminds me of my White albums. I like it.

Track list is on the back.

Inside is a simple cassette, in gold (my chosen color) and a label to denote A and B sides.

It was a great little package for an extra 2 bucks. As I stated, the music is great too. Check out Death Hags here: https://deathhags.bandcamp.com/music

Am I likely to play this tape a lot, probably not, I’ll listen to “The Alice Tape” on my phone and wireless headphones, but it’s fun to have and I appreciate the packaging and hope more artists offer up a cassette option along with their downloads.

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