Ah… the humble mixtape!
Those older readers will no doubt fondly recall sitting with a handful of cassettes and their cassette recorders whilst connected up to another player or the radio. Even better if you had a twin deck!
In the age of drag-and-drop playlists and streams, the art of the mixtape is but consigned to history, myth, and legend.
I made hundreds of mixtapes back in the day. Then I progressed to mix-CDs and then mixed-MDs, before switching to mp3-CDs. The modern playlist, albeit good and all, lacks a certain something. Yes, you can create the exact same track listing as you did on a mixtape, but… it’s not real. You can’t hold a playlist. You can’t spend hours and hours working out the best order to maximise the amount of space you have. Despite what online stores will tell you, sharing a playlist with someone just isn’t the same as handing them a mixtape.
Sadly, technology is such that I cannot send every reader a mixtape. However, if you fancy sticking these tracks onto a cassette yourselves… have at it!
The playlist for EXIT is made up of 29 tracks… the entire playlist coming in at around 1h 53m. That would nicely fill both sides of one of my old TDK D120s.
In the past, I would write to cassettes. They were always cheaper than CDs. I would create mixtapes for genre and mixtapes for moods. Then, I would choose a tape and write to that. If I had a twin deck available, I would pop two cassettes in and switch between them. More often than not, however, I would go with one artist and play through. I always found that, after a few hours, I had formed a connection with the songs and what I had written. What the artist had intended hardly ever matched with what I had written, but that is the beauty of art. I can recall some songs that I play which most people who know me in real life probably wouldn’t think I’d listen to, yet they are all woven into some story or another.
These days, I generally listen to music on a portable device (a FiiO X5 2Gen for anyone interested). I usually go random, skipping tracks until something calls out to me as I write. Those tracks that appeal at the time generally get saved to a playlist for me to repeat as I wish. These are those tracks.
There is no real reason why I listened to these tracks. Some are from the original mixtape that I was listening to on that car journey back in 95. Some are obviously from later. Again, the videos below were chosen purely for their sound and not for any other reason (or because I couldn’t find another). Oddly, I couldn’t find a decent video/clip of Stiltskin‘s ‘America’ (the original 90s Stiltskin that is). It’s the only track that didn’t make this playlist, although I did listen to it a number of times.
I’d say, aside from The Cure, the tracks that got the most play were Mazzy Star’s Fade Into You (a big favourite of mine), The Animals’ House of the Rising Sun, Angel Olsen’s Shut Up Kiss Me (for nostalgic sound), and Soul Asylum’s Somebody to Shove.
So, with the preamble out of the way, here’s the mixtape. Enjoy.
- A Forest – The Cure
- Broken Wings – Mr. Mister
- Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
- Don’t Speak – No Doubt
- Bullet With Butterfly Wings – Smashing Pumpkins
- Violet – Hole
- Glycerine – Bush
- Dreams – The Cranberries
- Here’s Where The Story Ends – The Sundays
- Your Ghost – Kristin Hersh
- Everybody Knows – Concrete Blonde
- Losing My Religion – Tori Amos
- Shiny Happy People – R.E.M.
- California Dreamin’ – The Mamas & the Papas
- House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
- About a Girl – Nirvana
- San Francisco – Scott McKenzie
- Call Me – Blondie
- Common People – Pulp
- Not in Love – Crystal Castles (ft. Robert Smith)
- Disarm – Smashing Pumpkins
- There She Goes – The La’s
- Hey Jealousy – Gin Blossoms
- Somebody to Shove – Soul Asylum
- I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to Be Nicer – The Cardigans
- Happy When It Rains – The Jesus and Mary Chain
- Hazy Shade of Winter – The Bangles
- Shut Up Kiss Me – Angel Olsen
- When My Ship Comes In – Stiltskin