Blast from the Past: A compilation tape of songs was the ultimate expression of young love

"I've made you a tape” was once a key weapon in a young suitor’s seduction armoury.
A cassette tape of songs was the ultimate  love tokenA cassette tape of songs was the ultimate  love token
A cassette tape of songs was the ultimate love token

To have been in receipt of a C60 or C90 minute Maxwell or Sony cassette full of specially selected songs, with meaning, real meaning, was to have won the love lottery.

Rewind to those years, press pause and some of us might be lucky enough to remember discovering a love-struck Romeo (it was usually a boy thing) had furtively slipped a cassette into our schoolbag or locker on Valentine’s Day – the carefully curated playlist acting as a tool to tell the prospective love interest how they felt. And if they were really besotted they would make a collage to decorate the cover and use their best handwriting for the tracklist.

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If a couple were in the first sweet early days of romance, then both parties might swap cassettes, which would then be played ad nauseum on one’s Walkman or gigantic tape player and listened to forensically for hidden meaning.

But, one had to be so careful not to sound the death knell on a burgeoning relationship by including certain songs. Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’’ by the Righteous Brothers could be dubious selections.

Forget roses and Valentine’s cards, there’s never been a better expression of young love than the mixtape, because just like breaking up, a good compilation tape is hard to do.

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