Good old cassettes are coming back in fashion

music news 30/08/2019

Remember the portable little music things called cassettes? Well, we thought they would be gone for good, but it appears that sales are increasing!

In the UK, sales went up by 112% year on year in the first half of 2019 which sums up to about 36,000 cassettes sold. Discogs has reported that they have sold about 200,000 units in 2018 alone, which was an increase of 24% from 2017.

Discogs also revealed its 100 most expensive cassettes, all worth at least $500 per tape.

Sitting at the number one spot is Prince's 'The Versace Experience - Prelude 2 Gold' under his new stage name, The Artist. The tape sold for a crazy price of $6,502 NZD in 2016. According to Discogs, a number of Prince's tape were handed out to attendees of a Paris Fashion Week show in 1995 and was just recently re-released for the first time on Record Store Day 2019.

Guns N' Roses' Appetite For Destruction – Locked N' Loaded Edition: The Ultimate F'n Box sold for $1,654.32 NZD while the Pixies' self-titled album sold for $1594.34

It seems that the interests around cassettes these days came from pop culture and possibly a subconscious psychological reason. Many popular TV shows and movies like Guardians of the Galaxy, Baby Driver, Stranger Things, and 13 Reasons Why have been highlighting the usage of cassette tapes.

Audio producer Craig Eley wrote in a 2011 essay, "Today's cassette culture, by eschewing contemporary media forms for more esoteric ones, is building on the older cassette culture tradition of rejecting dominant industry formats."

Popular musicians like Billie Eilish and The 1975 played an important role in bringing the cassettes back. The 1975's A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships album sold for a whopping 8,000 units since it was released in November 2018.

Billie Eilish who was born in 2001, way after cassettes were viciously crushed by CDs, took the title for the highest-selling cassette of 2019 for selling 4,000 units of her debut album on cassette since it's release in March 2019.

The decade's highest sellers goes to Australian popstar Kylie Minogue's 'Golden' and two 80s-inspired Guardians of the Galaxy film soundtracks.

The rise of the cassettes also happened to coincide with the ever so famous Sony Walkman's recent 40th anniversary this year.

Meanwhile, an American startup company, Mixd Media has announced their plans to reimagine the cassette tape in a "true digital format... a Bluetooth, powered digital cassette in the exact scale and form of the original tapes". The company has raised over $148,000 so far.