July 1, 1992

N's Music Mix #4

Re-reading these cassette track lists is reminding me of my process back in 1992. A few minutes ago I was thinking "why do I keep repeating the same artists on a mix?" Now I remember: Making a mix tape in 1992 is a lot different than clicking and dragging an iTunes playlist in 2008. In 2008 I literally have 13,000 songs at my fingertips. In 1992, I would load a pile of CDs in a bag and head to the recording studio at school, so I could use more than one CD player, plus a mixing console and a professional quality cassette recorder. If inspiration struck mid-way through a mix, I couldn't just grab the CD or MP3 I wanted, I was stuck with what I had on me.
I think I would even intentionally repeat an artist on both sides of a tape. There are also some cases where an artist shows up early on Side A, then near the end. This was because I'd have some tape left over after my planned playlist, and I would fill out the side with a repeated artist. This was the way it worked back then!
NOTE: Some of you may think "professional" and "cassette" don't belong in the same sentence, but trust me, there's a big difference between pressing "REC" on your boom box with dual tape decks, and using a professional deck with input level dials, VU meters, and an expensive mechanism. I am listening to this cassette on my PC's internal tape deck right now, and it sounds great, 16 years later.
  1. Good Stuff, The B-52s (this song was also on mix 2. It's not even that good. What was I thinking?)
  2. You Make My Dreams, Hall & Oates. One of my all-time favorites. Must pace myself!
  3. Can't Get There From Here, R.E.M.
  4. I Won't Back Down, Tom Petty
  5. Blue Sky Mine, Midnight Oil
  6. "Lightning Paul" is a song from an Irish band called The 4 Of Us. When I was a DJ at my high school radio station WBMT, we were on the mailing list for Columbia Records, so we received the LP and CD of The 4 Of Us album Songs for the Tempted in 1989. I randomly listened to and liked the songs enough to include a bunch of their songs on mixes. Naturally, I never heard from them again and I feel like I must have dreamt the whole thing.
  7. Rattlesnake, Think Tree
  8. Cherry Bomb, John Cougar Mellencamp
  9. If You Love Somebody Set Them Free, Sting
  10. Sunshine Of Your Love, Bobby McFerrin
  11. Stay Up Late, Talking Heads
  12. Watching The Detectives, Elvis Costello & The Attractions
  13. Say It Isn't So, Hall & Oates
  14. When I saw the title "Tape Decks All Over Hell" typed on the cassette insert, I remembered the song but totally forgot the band until I Googled the song title and there they were: Boiled In Lead, the self described "Rock’n’reel. Punk-folk. Country music from many countries...BiL play fiddle, guitars, bass & percussion with loads of power and emotion." "Tape Decks All Over Hell" is from their CD Orb.
  1. Drag My Bad Name Down, The 4 of Us
  2. Good Lovin' Bobby McFerrin
  3. Runnin Down A Dream, Tom Petty
  4. Who Do You Love? George Thorogood & The Destroyers
  5. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac
  6. Love Is The Seventh Wave, Sting
  7. Listen To The Music, The Doobie Brothers
  8. The Valley Road, Bruce Hornsby & The Range
  9. Radio Free Europe, R.E.M.
  10. Check It Out, John Cougar Mellencamp
  11. Kiss, Prince