Category Archives: Listen

That Whole Compilation Thing

Nick Hornby has a bit in “High Fidelity” where he talks about making compilation tapes.

I used to make lots of compilation tapes when I was at college, and Ashley reminded me of one in an email he sent today. Back in those days, unlike Hornby, I wasn’t principally making compilations for my girlfriend, but for friends and my brother, Nick.

These tapes were made around 1986-1988, so had all sorts of stuff on them. I wasn’t much of one for arranging playlists by mood or type of music, I just slung stuff that I thought was good onto tape, in pretty much any order, sometimes trying to find a theme for each side of the tape. Ashley’s tape was a fairly typical one, featuring Tackhead Age of Chance and Was (Not Was ).

I used to take a lot of time making the tapes, and printing out cassette inlays using my Atari ST and dot matrix printer, each had a full track listing and often a few decorative touches, like an illuminati pyramid if there was a JAMMS track on the tape. Pretty much everything was recorded from vinyl because I didn’t buy a CD player until 1987, and most of the stuff I liked wasn’t easily available on CD then.

Looking back, there were a lot of tracks that I really ought to get CD or MP3 copies of, as I haven’t used my turntable in about a year. One favourite track was Boris Badenough’s “What’s Up Rocky” on a “House Sound of Chicago” compilation. Loads of samples from “Rocky & Bullwinkle” over a great Chicago House tune.
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Through Being Cool!

Finally got the last two Devo studio albums (Smooth Noodle Maps and Total Devo. As I feared, they’re not terribly good, no where near the level of Q: Are We Not Men? or Duty Now For The Future but I’ll give them a chance and see if they grow on me. I think I’ve got all the normal Devo albums now, and a few compilations, along with some very strange stuff like the E-Z Listening Disc which is an album of Devo songs recorded in the style of “muzak”.