Audiophiles unite! Creating the ultimate mixed tape from scratch or burning a CD was indeed the original playlist in the 1980s and beyond. Stereo systems had dual cassette recording potential and even 8-track could record (though, why would one want to). Playlist creators would illegally record vinyl records to cassette or from tape to tape. At one time, reel-to-reel was a thing too.
Back when sound was cool, the greatest geek out was building a vehicle or home stereo system with amps and sub-woofers up the wazoo. Believe it or not, at one point in music history cassette was king. After vinyl and 8-track, but prior to the compact digital disc. Maybe Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” from “1999” blasted through the larger than life wired headphones on a Sony Walkman.
A trend, as transformations happened with each new tech advancement, was the compilation album of various artists. Gone, but not forgotten, labels including K-tel, PolyTel, Much Music’s “Big Shiny Tunes” and the rest offered music lovers a taste of the greatest hits of the day depending on a person’s tastes and genre choice with titles like “Electric North” and “Chart Hits.”
As video killed the radio star with the launch of MTV or “music television” the music video prevailed and a new era was born. YouTube would follow, but the new pop cultural phenomenon would allow viewers to pick and choose their poison, audio-visually.
In 2020, everyone and anyone with access to the Interweb and a Smartphone or digital device can stream pretty much any song for free and download singles or entire albums in a few minutes without leaving the comfort of their own homes. The music industry has changed dramatically and the way people access music is revolutionary.
With so many options, both musically and visually, one’s brain can sometimes explode. But, the world loves the ability to access what they want, when they want – without much regulation and/or challenges. Once again, gone are the days of heading to the local record store to pick up the latest releases on vinyl, cassette, 8-track or compact disc. Unless, one is a traditionalist or still has a CD player in their ride or at home.
Westwind Weekly News
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