I heard you making patterns rhyme like some new romantic looking for the TV sound

Mix Tape - Art by Studio GRRR

WE WERE SEVEN YEARS OLD WHEN 1980 arrived. The currency of music in the playground was without doubt the compact cassette tape and the beloved mix-tape. We spent hours sitting next to the radio trying to time the perfect recording of 1999 and hustling friends for their uninterrupted version of Take on Me or Mirror Man. We did have vinyl records too (mostly seven inch singles) and we purchased collectively to avoid overlap, with limited funds we would do anything to expand the music available. High fidelity technology (DON’T LAUGH) was pretty new to our generation and to an extent we have been culturally defined though the cassette and Sony Walkman (we had lesser brands). By the time the ominous year 1984 came along we were riding around on a BMX (probably a Raleigh Burner) in small tight–knit friendship gangs with portable cassette tape players listening to I Feel For You and Sweet Dreams recorded from the Top 40. It’s no surprise the first Now Music compilation was released in 1983, it tapped into the strange beauty of the mix-tape, how the songs can all mean something or link together in just the way you remember. The songs and artists for our 1980s house party are chosen for their familiarity, from or around the time of release and our seemingly never ending love of each (misguided or not).

IN PICTURES — 1980s 7inch Singles Covers

Relax - Photgraphy by Studio GRRR

Relax — Cover art by Yvonne Gilbert

Lucky Star - Photgraphy by Studio GRRR

Lucky Star – Cover art (designer unknown) of the German 7″ vinyl pressing, distributed in Europe, and also used for 1984 UK reissue.

1999 - Photgraphy by Studio GRRR

1999 — Cover art by Prince

They say, 2000-00, party over
Oops, out of time
So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999
Yeah, yeah