Archive for the ‘Cassette pets’ Category

Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 cassingles

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

In these days of digital downloads and the disappearance of the physical format, it no doubt seems quite quaint to think back on the multitude of ways record companies used to dream up ways to exploit multiple formats in order to get eager fans to buy the same thing again and again. These two cassette singles are examples of that very thing, record company venal zeal in full effect. Nevertheless, they are presented here for what they are, their own charm, or otherwise to enjoy (or not).

Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 re-issue cassingles - pack fronts

^ Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 re-issue cassingles – pack fronts

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Gary Numan ‘Berserker’ – Numa variations

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

‘Berserker’ was the first album released on Gary Numan’s own label after he decided to up sticks and move on from his previous long established Beggars Banquet/WEA home. Numan mentioned in his ‘Praying to the Aliens’ autobiography how he felt that he had outstayed his welcome there, with the attitude that his success had plateaued at an acceptably comfortable level of sales, as evinced by the lack of promotional support, particularly for 1983’s ‘Warriors’ album. Intended as a fresh start, this new home, ‘Numa’ records, would see three Numan album releases in its original incarnation from 1984-1987, before Numan inked a new deal with IRS records for 1988’s ‘Metal Rhythm’ – though Numa would be reactivated again in the 1990s for further new album releases (and reissues).

Gary Numan - Berserker - Numa editions vinyl LP, cassette and (re-issue) CD - front cover designs

^ Gary Numan – Berserker – Numa editions vinyl LP, cassette and (re-issue) CD – front cover designs

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Propaganda – ‘Complete Machinery’ Cassingle (ZTT, CTIS12, 1985)

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

A particularly fine example of ZTT and their multi-format splendour that helped to foist Propaganda into the consciousness of the world with the polished perfection of ‘P:Machinery’, styled here as ‘COMPLETE MACHINERY – A CASSETTE COMPILATION OF PROPAGANDA’S THIRD SINGLE’. It was one variety of the first outing for ‘P:Machinery’ as a single in August 1985, which came with standard 7″ and 12″ formats plus this lovely cassingle. (It would soon be joined, in the UK at least, by clear vinyl versions and a ßeta mix 12″ not long after – and then, just before the year’s end, a second life in ‘Reactivated’ remixed 12″ and 7″ form… but that’s another story…) A QUARTER HOUR OF ‘P: MACHINERY’ PLUS ‘FROZEN FACES’, the inlay card for this card spells out nice and clear in capital letters. COMPLETE MACHINERY IS NOW NUMBER 107 IN AN INCIDENTAL SERIES. BETTER STILL IT IS A PART OF NUMBER TWELVE IN THE ACTION SERIES, it adds further. 

Propaganda 'Complete Machinery' cassingle, front case design

^ Propaganda ‘Complete Machinery’ cassingle, front case design

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Cabaret Voltaire ‘1974-1976’ UK cassette (Industrial Records IRC35, 1980)

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

1980 was a productive enough year all round for Sheffield’s Cabaret Voltaire, what with the release of the fine ‘Voice of America’ LP and ‘Seconds Too Late’ 7″, ‘Three Mantras’ 12″ singles as well as the ‘Live at the YMCA’ lo-fi live LP. All prime examples of the earlier, low-tech, abrasive Cabs sound. That they found time to also revisit past recordings and compile the featured cassette here, ‘1974-1976’, released on Throbbing Gristle’s ‘Industrial’ imprint, was even better.

Cabaret Voltaire '1974-1976' cassette, front cover design

^ Cabaret Voltaire ‘1974-1976’ cassette, front cover design

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The Cure ‘Seventeen Seconds’ UK Cassette (Fiction, FIXC004, 1980)

Friday, August 31st, 2012

In selecting the items that appear on this blog, there’s no particular rhyme or reason. Sometimes I’ll choose to focus on genuinely rare and elusive items, other times go into almost forensic detail in displaying the contents of a particular re-issue or special edition – and on occasions like this, choose something that is not especially rare or unique but just has a little something odd from the more common release.

Cassettes are often one of those things that people could care less for. And with good reason – for a good long while they were (in the UK at any rate) very much the poor relation of the format family – often more expensive than the vinyl LP, but coming with only a a bare minimum of packaging – lyrics? inner sleeve? picture label? poster? gatefold? Nahh… just a simple J-card inlay with nary so much as any picture apart from the front. And more often than not hissy in the sound quality department. Little wonder they had their detractors.

This particular Cure cassette is a prime example of the bare minimum of packaging. (Not, I hasten to add, that the original vinyl LP pushed the boat out either, it didn’t even come with an inner lyric sleeve initially.) To be fair though, cassettes did have their moment in the sun for a period in the ’80s with the advent of the Walkman – then fold-out lyrics inserts, chrome quality and extra tracks would regularly be added as enticements.

The Cure 'Seventeen Seconds' cassette

^ The Cure ‘Seventeen Seconds’ cassette

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