The death of the cassette single | The Popjustice Forum

The death of the cassette single

Discussion in 'Comeback corner' started by Iggypig, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. In 2003 most of the big labels made the decision to no longer release their mainstream singles in the cassette format.

    10 years on and it seems no one but me could really give a fuck.

    However, let's bow are heads for a minute and remember this oft forgotten gem of a format.
  2. I never even really got cassette albums, so cassette singles, or cassingles as they tried to call them, bemused me even more. I went from vinyl to CD.

    I only ever bought a cassette single because it was 49p and I wouldn't ordinarily have bought that artist's music on CD.

    Now BLANK cassettes I got. You could listen to music on the go in your Sony Walkman.

    I'm quite shocked cassette singles last til 2003 given digital music had obviously been the way forward for several years at the time.
  3. The cassette is having a bit of a renaissance at the moment, She & Him have just released their latest album on cassette.

    I guess the cassette single was good for people who didn't have a lot of money to spend, most cassette singles were between 99p-£1.49.

    Also, there is the collector and fan, to help their artist get more sales, sometimes they'd buy both CD and cassette, kinda like how some artists still release a CD single or 7" these days.

    Also, some used to have exclusive b-sides or remixes which weren't on the CD format.
  4. Yeah, Mansun were bastards for that - I was forever buying their cassette singles due to their being an exclusive acoustic track or suchlike on it. I didn't even want them, I just had to have them for completism's sake.
  5. I only bought a handful of cassingles...two of them in 1987 (when did they first come out?) - I got I Want Your Sex and the PSB/Dusty ones.
  6. The resurgence in interest for the Cassette mirrors the current fashion trend with thrift/vintage shops. It's the recession - people want to hold onto something that reminds them of a better time and not spend as much money.

    I always had arguments with my cassettes. They're so easily broken.
  7. I had a couple of 'limited' cassette singles - a Faith No More (with free sticker) and Therapy? (with free badge) ones. They came in kind of clamshell 'ciggy box' cases.

    Something that Oasis put to good effect for their 'Cigarettes & Alcohol' cassette single (and I think this now goes for a few bob these days) :

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  8. Now we have Spotify and to a lesser extent iTunes surely we don't need to fetishise cassettes? The ugliest of all the formats.

    Life would be so much better if we all just went to Shoreditch and mocked relentlessly, wouldn't it.
  9. There is nothing uglier than an mp3. Because you can't even see the bugger!
  10. I always hated cassettes, the worst format ever : horrible sound, disgracious object, fragile band. Cassette singles were even worse. I think I only bought one, the Don't Drop Bomb one.
  11. I used to have a bit of a fetish for the Warners/CBS ones in the 80s...they had their own little mini "frosted" logos, and would make the inlay fill both back and front all the way around. And the Warners ones were all-black. Very swish.

    Course, the actual tape made the album sound as though as it was beamed direct from New York, thousands of miles away, through somebody's cupboard, but hey.
  12. My first cassingle, was actually a Maxi-cassingle. It was for Scritti Politti's "Wood Beez". It came in a cloth pouch, housed in a cardboard box that said "Out of the strong..."

    I was gravely disappointed that not all record companies took such pains to merchandise their cassingles.
  13. Tribal Spaceman

    Tribal Spaceman Oh, OK.

    Cassette singles remained popular with kids right up to the end thanks to their pocket money price. I think the last one I bought was 'Right Now' by Atomic Kitten.
  14. When I was young, I only had a cassette player, and the first cassette single that I purchased with my own money was 'Sometimes' by Britney Spears, I then found 'Baby One More Time' still floating at the bottom of the charts so purchased that too.

    For some reason, despite having a CD played by the 'Oops' period, I made sure to purchase the cassette single with each release. I was so dismayed when 'Toxic' was released and despite hunting high and low, could not find a cassette single. I found out later that they had been replaced with the DVD single.

    Personally, I never had a problem with playability of a cassette, they never got stuck, never sounded warped. I think it depends on how you kept them, if you half played them then left them in a room with a light source near, then yes they deteriorated.
    I recently bought a cassette single, and must have been 15 years old, yet plays perfectly, as well as a CD.

    .......I always quite liked the hiss of a cassette, it's like the pop and crackle of vinyl.
  15. This man talks a lot of sense, listen and learn.
  16. Bollocks. Mp3's can be burned to whatever visible source you wish. You could even record them onto a CD, to then record them onto tape if you so wished. So whilst they may not be physically visible in their original form, they are probably one of the most versatile methods of keeping music.

    I used to religiously buy cd's for the artwork, but album artwork is fucking dire these days. I haven't seen a good inlay in the past decade.
  17. Mp3s are amazingly versatile, but you still can't see them...there isn't anything tangible about them other than an icon on a screen. I was being slightly facetious anyway....

    CDs - the original 80s ones that were silver/metallic all the way to the middle - could look beautiful.
    Vinyl looks beautiful.
    Casettes - like the 80s Warner ones - could also look pleasing from a design aspect.

    But can't really compare, so that makes me suspicious of them...I like to have a tactile relationship with my music, even a visual one, haha.
  18. [​IMG]

    "Ta da."
  19. When I see one of those labeled 'MKS - Flatline,' it will most likely be the most beautiful form of music I have ever seen
  20. ...there isn't anything tangible about them other than an icon on a screen. Haha.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.