Back in 1984, I got my first blank tape. I don’t remember if someone gave it to me, if my parents bought it for me, or if I saved my own money to get it. It had a very distinctive smell to it (which lingers ever so slightly to this day) and ended up becoming the first tape where I recorded my favorite songs off of the radio and record (by holding my boombox up to my turntable’s speaker). This is the tape, a relatively unassuming Certron 90 minute cassette, scrawled with my horrible handwriting:

Certron Side BCertron Side A

For fun, I decided to throw together a Spotify playlist of all the tracks on the tape. I wasn’t able to include the “Michael Martian” version of “Thriller” (Michael Martian was an alien version of Michael Jackson that I drew, represented aurally by a 33 1/3 RPM record being played at 45 speed), which came after “The Stroke” on side B. I also wasn’t able to close out the mix with The Chipmunks’ version of “The Longest Time,” so I opted for Billy Joel’s original instead.