Can we PLEASE stop pretending there’s a “cassette revolution?”

[This is my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca – AC]

As vinyl sales continue to surge upwards — its 11th straight year of double-digit growth and pacing at 52 per cent over last year — fans of another format are wondering if they can’t get a piece of this retro action.

Fans of the humble cassette, that analogue relic of the Walkman era, keep romanticizing (fetishizing is a better word) an old technology that’s seen its day. If vinyl can’t make a comeback, they say, why can’t the cassette?

Let me count the ways.

Have you tried to buy a new cassette player recently? How many people can find a working cassette player around the house? Where does one go to buy blank cassettes today? And when it comes to vehicles, the last car to come with a factory cassette player was the 2010 Lexus SC 430.

But these folks are certainly doing their best to bring back this format, which was invented by Phillips back in 1963.

Read the rest of my screed here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

4 thoughts on “Can we PLEASE stop pretending there’s a “cassette revolution?”

  • August 24, 2018 at 10:24 am
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    I have a soft spot in my heart for cassettes (I made more than my share of mixtapes as a teen in the early/mid 90’s), but they…don’t need a revival. They just don’t.

    Also, the thought of a Lexus with a tape player makes me laugh far too much.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2018 at 9:51 pm
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    I’d like the case to make a comeback- great ice scaper.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2018 at 7:39 am
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    404 link seems to be broken.
    I was a HUGE cassette fan. I recorded gobs and gobs of high end metal quality cassettes.
    But let’s be real here. Cassette is a physical medium that had run its course in practicality. I was leaps and bounds beyond 8-track. But that’s it. It was a nice stop gap to recordable cds and then MP3/flac whatever format. I have used most consumer music formats (except DCC) including minidisc. Sonically minidisc was the best sounding medium. Warmer, more present and spacial than iPod. I invested thousands in this one and actually sold all my equipment and discs themselves for way more than I paid for it. I should be a vinyl fan. But I’m not. I left the world of clicks and pops behind long ago. However, i do have 3200 cds. I’m going to rip them to flac and sell the lot. Signed, -Humble consumer of audio content.

    Reply

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