The Mysterious Mixed Tape (A Musical Interlude)

The mixed tape (or mix tape or mixtape) is an art form that is dead, in this day of playlists and digital downloads. Putting together a mixed tape for you or someone else, the importance of song placement and the meaning that connected the songs, creating unique liner notes, and the rush of introducing new or different styles of music to your friend or crush; all were part of the creative process. These things all made the experience unique and rewarding. It was like sharing a piece of yourself with someone else, or having the satisfaction of bringing mixing others art into your vision.

But I want to speak of another type of mixed tape, the cassette you find perhaps titled Awesome Mix Vol. 1 on the label, in a blank case with no liner notes, no song listings. So, you slide it into your tape deck and you listen, the music fills the room and you don’t know the song. When I was young, one such tape as this was mixed tape that my Uncle Brian gave me. (Read One more for the Road to find out some of what was on it.) The exploration and joy of learning what those songs were and who they were by was a musical journey and education that has stayed with me.

So, I would ask this of you, tell me about your favourite mixed tapes, what songs were on them, what they meant to you when you made them or received them, what songs on them had the most meaning to you and what did they mean.

Tell me a tale of your mixed tapes, and share with me your fond memory of music past.


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