Those boxes of music cassettes you gave away? They're back in fashion

Cassette tapes are following in the footsteps of vinyl and making a comeback. Source: Pexels.

Do you remember collecting countless cassette tapes of your favourite musicians? Perhaps you took a pen to them to wind the film back in each time you used them?

They were a huge development for technology in the 1960s, offering the chance to record, tape over, and listen to music on the go.

And now these much-loved tapes are making a comeback, 30 years after their decline and near-extinction.

First introduced in 1962, the ‘compact cassette’ came in two forms, either pre-recorded and already containing content, or as a fully recordable ‘blank’ cassette. They represented a huge step forward in both the music and technology industries, and had a surge in popularity right up until the late 1980s and early ’90s, when the compact disc was introduced.

However, there’s good news for fans of the small tapes, as they’re slowly making a comeback thanks to new and emerging artists in Australia.

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Perth musician Stella Donnelly chose to release her EP by tape as it was cheaper than vinyl, and recently told the ABC: “Vinyl is very expensive, so for a first EP that would come at a massive cost, and unless you have a big label backing you it’s not feasible.

“So I think that’s why a lot of people put it out on tape. I think it’s a collector’s thing. It’s that feeling of having something tangible.”

Fans of the classic tapes also have Netflix to thank for the surprising return, after teen drama 13 Reasons Why? featured them on the series. It follows a recent return to vinyl records, as people opt for a more tangible way to keep and store their favourite music. In fact, in 2016 sales of vinyl overtook digital downloads in the UK for the first time ever.

We all have fond memories of storing up boxes full of our favourite cassettes, before battling to keep them working and in a good condition.

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If you were lucky enough to keep your favourite songs intact without a family member taping over them, it was another battle entirely to stop the film from spilling out.

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A handy home trick many people may remember was using a biro or other pen to wind it back in again. Do you remember doing it?

As cassettes grow in popularity again, musicians are also jumping on the bandwagon, with Radiohead, Lana Del Rey, Metallica, Justin Bieber and Kanye West all some of the names choosing to release their music by tape too.

Are you happy cassette tapes are returning? What are your fondest memories of them? Which were your favourite tapes?