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Rewind to Fast Forward: Play by Play on Cassette Day 2018

Saturday, Oct. 13 is Cassette Store Day. Yes, you read that right.

Diamond Edwards

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To B side or not to B side, that is the question. Well, perhaps not these days, but in 1988 that may have been the decision that could make or break atmosphere at a random house party.

Somewhere between the awful invention of the 8-track and the slowly disappearing compact disc, lies the humble cassette tape. The cassette was created in the 60s, it’s growth accelerated in the 70s, dominated in the 80s (anyone remember the Walkman?), faded in the 90s, became antiquated in the 2000s, and somehow, at the tail end of the 2010s, has become appreciated. And kind of thriving,

The rebirth of the cassette tape can partly be attributed to Cassette Store Day, a day in which the world can take a moment to appreciate the cassette in all it’s glory.

From the compact design to the reality that it takes a special gift to rewind and fast forward exactly to the beginning of that one song, the invention once dismissed as being nearly useless is now being honored.

Discogs Blog has devoted a week leading up to October 13th to articles exploring the history of the cassette, and reporting sales figures. Using data collected from their online sales platform, they report that “cassettes sales rose in the Discogs Marketplace by 29.54% in 2017 and by 35.19% so far in 2018.”

Sean Borham of Burger Records — the driving force behind Cassette Store Day — told the story of sitting in a van in 2008 and coming up with the idea to release an album on cassette, and thus the idea of a day celebrating cassettes was born. His label has released quite a few since then.

What is the most important lesson of Cassette Day? Maybe that there is nothing new under the sun. Trends that fade out will fade in again, sooner or later. Unless it’s the 8-track.

Check here to find stores in your state that are holding events for Cassette Store Day.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Diamond is from Dallas, Texas. She is a recent graduate of Texas A&M University where she earned a double major in English and Performance Studies. In addition to writing, she plays piano and drums, and stays up to date on all hip-hop and R&B music.

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