Cassette Singles

They were the same price as a 7" single but if you were lucky the 12" version and the 7" versions were included on the same piece of tape no more than 15 minutes long.
On the down side, like all tape, a few plays in and the sound quality started to go all weird and if you kept them in the car during cold weather it sounded like they were singing underwater.

The Cassette single, or the "Cassingle" as no one i know ever called them, was born in 1980 as far as i am concerned, although i read somewhere that the first was Howard Hughes by the Tights in 1978 (who ???...exactly!).
The first cassette single i ever owned was by Bow Wow Wow called Your Cassette Pet. Bought in 1980. It reached No 58 (UK) in December of that year and if i'm being honest i only bought it because it was sold as the first of it's kind.

Not that i didn't like the single, i just preferred Vinyl to Cassette and after trawling through a pile of old tapes tonight i can understand why. (they take forever to rewind and fast forward).
I don't think they ever really started to take off big style until the early 90s but It was of no surprise to me that they never replaced the vinyl version. However, when i worked in a record shop i was always surprised how many we did sell sometimes.

It all depended on the music though. Big Cassette single sellers were Boybands and Kids stuff (Take That, Mr Blobby) Crap sellers always seemed to be heavy rock and Indie music. In fact in the end a lot of rock bands didn't seem to bother with a cassingle version of a release. The reason was simple. Kids had little Sony Walkmans or cassette players, grown ups had record players and eventually CD Players.

But dance and rap fell somewhere in between the two. Credible dance music only sold on 12" Vinyl, mainly for budding DJs to bedroom mix with. Pop/Dance on the other hand sold by the bucket load in tape form to the masses. Probably the biggest selling Cassette single i remember from my shop days was Snap Rhythm is a Dancer. Outselling in quantity the 7" & 12" put together for us.

But then again, Vinyl singles were just starting to show signs of a huge decline in 1992. Who was to know that record shops themselves would go the same way ?. Like cassette singles, record shops are a remnant of the past that the next generation of kids will soon be asking, "What's a record shop ?". Before you can answer the question, you might first need to explain what a record was. I wonder what they will think of Car Compilation TDK C-90 tape ?.

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