Thursday, 19 May 2011

Mix tape

For those of you under 35, this post is going to be incomprehensible, for the rest of you it is going to be a bit tragic and you are going to roll your eyes. When I was a young person (clears throat) and all of this was fields, I used to like making mix tapes of my Favourite Hits. This was in the days before iTunes (ha! iTunes was not even a twinkle in anyone's eye!) and the way I used to do this (come on, don’t tell me you didn’t do the same) was, I used to put a blank Maxell C90 tape, purchased from Woolworths, in my tape recorder, and sit on a Sunday listening to the Top 40 and pressing the record button when songs came on I liked. This meant I had a lot of Frankenstein-type tapes, which not only demonstrated execrable musical taste, but had presenters talking over the beginnings and ends of all the songs. I am still confused today if I hear a song which I remember from my mix tape and it doesn’t have someone saying ‘and new in this week! It’s those cheeky chappies from Newcastle!’ or similar over the opening chords.

Now I am going to be honest with you and say that my musical taste has never got any better despite loved ones’ sterling efforts (although Dan has had some success! Thank you Dan!) and sometimes I dig out my mix tapes (are you cringeing yet?) and I listen to them! Yes I do! I am listening to this one at the moment!
Bryan Adams AND Arnee and the Terminators! A vintage year for musical taste development! I can't remember when I made this. I hope I wasn't 23
But what I wanted to tell you was not how sad I am (you know that already) but about the Power of Google. Can you see Reviens nestling there underneath Bryan Adams? When I was young, I used to like French, and I had limited opportunities to hear it. I used to listen to French radio sometimes, wiggling the radio aerial about in my bedroom (this is not a euphemism) and trying to hear voices through the static, and once I did my pressing-record-quickly thing and out of the noise and static I captured Reviens. Reviens is a very strange song which has haunted me for years. I googled it years ago and I got nowhere. It begins ‘la boule de neige/ que tu m’avais jetée/ à Chamonix/ hiver dernier/ Je l’ai gardée.’ Which is about keeping a snowball someone threw at the narrator, who is dead and buried. Do you see? Odd. And it gets a lot stranger. Anyway I googled it again recently and, by Jove, I have got it! It is not called Reviens, it is called Adrien, and it is by Jacques Prévert (I imagine all of France probably knows this poem off by heart and it is just me who didn’t), who is actually a poet I like! Reviens! Brought under captivity! I think if you all have more modern browsers than me you can do a google translate thing - then you can see how odd it is! I am very excited, and actually I feel just like Kennedy when he captured the gerund.

I do not know about my recording, though, I have only tracked down Reviens as a poem but obviously someone sang it as well so, more googling for me. Never mind. It’s nice to have a quest, isn’t it. Anyway, I have now finished my quilt so what I need is another hopeless long-term project ;-).

12 comments:

Denise said...

I used to do that on Sunday mornings with the Top 100. I had to let it record through as my step-father made me go to church. Glad for 120 minute cassettes.

Wow, you had a Woolworths over there? I do so miss Woolworths.

Stitched Together said...

I too had tapes like that. I no longer have the tapes, but I do believe I bought extreme as a single. Oh dear.

Tink said...

I have a box upstairs filled with mix tapes my brother made for me when I was younger! He used to record the Top 40 every week, and then make his own radio shows. I had to be drafted in to play the parts of all the "guest stars" he would interview.

I keep meaning to dig them out, make a list of what is on them and download all the tracks I don't already have elsewhere.

Me said...

Memory Lane! I used to do this, and my sister and I also recorded our own radio shows. They're fab to look back on. I remember being so chuffed to discover that if you held down the pause button as well as 'record' and 'play', then released the pause, you got rid of the loud jerky noise at the start and end of the track. Fabulous! Much more entertaining than iTunes! x

♥ Tina said...

Loved reading this post! I used to do exactly the same, and was allowed to take my dinner upstairs to my room in case I missed a favourite song. :) I know exactly what you mean about hearing the songs today and feeling a bit of it is missing at the beginning or on the end, lol!

Glad I found your blog (via Rhonda at Down to Earth) xx

Marushka C. said...

Okay, I'll admit it -- not only did I sing along to Extreme's "More Than Words" back when I was a wee college student, but I have it in my itunes folder now. I love how it sounds, but have always been a little annoyed by the lyrics -- words don't matter, don't tell me you love me, just prove it thru your actions, etc. These days I'm too tired to work that hard -- I keep asking those dear to me to be clear & specific. Just tell me what you want, dammit. (Sorry, struck a nerve there, didn't we?)

Vivianne said...

How to lose hours of time: go to Youtube and put all this stuff in the search box ....

mooncalf said...

I used to stay up late taping hours and hours of John Peel, waking up every 45 minutes as the tape loudly clicked off. The next day I'd painstakingly assemble my favourites into mix tapes.

I think they've all been thrown away now. I'm not sure I'd want to listen to any of them anyway - even if I had the technology to do so. I'm amazed you still have a cassette player!

Rachel said...

Marushka, I'm with you on the lyrics of "More than words" - I hate them! I hear a teenaged boy saying to his reluctant girlfriend, "If you loved me you would." It really annoys me that it's such a good tune because I start to hum along to it before I remember what the song is and then I get cross!

I was never cool enough to make mix tapes. The whole of pop music was an alien world to me. Even when I got a radio, I didn't really know what to do with it. (My sister, on the other hand, was quite good at the whole being-a-teenager thing, hence my knowledge of dodgy lyrics.)

Ms C @ HappyElastic said...

I love that you still have your mix tapes! I dread to think what was on mine. I much prefer 'Get the Funk Out' to 'More Than Words'. I still have the former on my playlist now!

Emma said...

I am 22 and my friends dad made these for us...and then eventually mixed cds instead of tapes. I loved that her family always had a massive music collection:)

mrsbris said...

Hilarious! I did exactly the same. Me and my friend would exchange our "frankenstein" tapes also! Such great memories!