I remember liking the sound of Tears For Fears when I was growing up, but I never bought any of their records. These were the days where you could tape the songs you liked straight off the radio, when BBC Radio 1 did the Top 40 rundown on Sunday afternoons.
It’s a wonder anybody ever made any money from selling records in the 1980s, when you could just get a blank tape and record your favourite songs. If I remember correctly, it was every new entry from 40 up to 21, and then each song in the Top 20. Screw illegal downloads, this was probably worse for the record industry. Home taping killing music? No doubt.
The only issue with taping off the Top 40 is that you always had to get a nice clean recording. If you were lucky enough to have a double-deck stereo, you could tape the whole thing and then copy tape-to-tape just the songs you wanted, but what was the fun in that? You’d also get a little bit more tape hiss going down that route. No, instead you’d be perched next to the stereo, with RECORD, PLAY and PAUSE all pressed down, awaiting Bruno Brookes to announce the song you were waiting for, so you could set your C60 or C90 running.
In my first or second year at secondary school we once had a day at the end of term where we had no lessons. I can’t remember what we were doing instead of learning, but we were sat in our form room waiting for the hours to pass. One girl said she had taped the chart show and brought it in. Great, we thought, something to listen to. She set the tape running. It wasn’t the Top 40 she had taped off the radio; instead she had made an ambient recording of the previous night’s Top Of The Pops off the television. She had put her tape player next to the TV, and recorded the sound through the tape player’s inbuilt microphone. Needless to say it sounded horrible, with the latest Go West single drowned out by the sound of her family eating their Thursday night chippy tea.
Hit: Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Hidden Gem: I Believe