Know How

Young M.C. – Know How

It was hard to get back into the groove of the work week after a long weekend (I started early, taking Friday off too), so I thought I’d try to help myself out by bringing along a tape for the commute. That’s right, Young M.C., Stone Cold Rhymin’. Go ahead. I can feel you smirking at me through the screen. It’s ok, I’m not above admitting I have this tape in my collection.

Honestly, it’s a classic. Who doesn’t know “Bust a Move“? Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah just did a version of it on his show about a week ago. Or “Principal’s Office“. Did you know Flea played bass on those two tracks? I was wondering if you could still detach the little Delicious Vinyl order form that’s part of the cassette insert and order a t-shirt but it looks like you can order it online and it’s actually cheaper now than it was 26 years ago.

I bought this tape while working at the record store the fall after graduating from college. Even with the employee discount, I didn’t shell out the big bucks for a CD unless I felt certain that the album would be one I’d play over and over, forever and ever, amen. If I bought the tape it meant I liked it enough to want to hear it on demand, but probably mostly in the car or for the Walkman.

It’s strange the way the format pecking order has shifted over time. The record store I mentioned opened selling only tapes and CDs. Vinyl was on the way out. Now vinyl is commanding top dollar and CDs are on the way out. Cassettes are rarely produced anymore and usually only as a novelty item. MP3s have replaced them as the cheaper, easier, more portable option – if you’re going in for ownership at all.

I like the ability to listen to music online and I’m paying for a monthly streaming service, but my preference to really dive in to some music means I am always going to want to buy some physical format for the albums I like the most. I want the liner notes, the artwork, the whole package. You know what I’m saying?

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4 comments

  1. I do know what you’re saying, and I was just talking to a friend about this the other night. Hours spent sitting in my room staring at the Rumours album cover and liner notes and many others. The whole experience. I miss that.

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    1. Even when I buy the album now, I don’t usually have the time to spend looking it all over like I did years ago. I do a lot of my close listening in the car where I can’t be looking at the art work and liner notes so it feels like playing catch up. Not my preferred way but better than having nothing.

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  2. I’m of the camp that believes in owning physical copies of the music that you love, rather than relying on a service to provide it, a service which isn’t necessarily going to always be there, or always have the rights to the music that I want. Just as things go out of print in hardcopy, they can “go out of print” digitally, too — I have things on vinyl that never made it to CD, let along MP3 or streaming sources.

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    1. Yes, me too! And the streaming service I’m paying for will occasionally have an album, I’ll favorite it, then weeks later it suddenly says it’s unavailable. Many times it’s been replaced by a different version of the same thing (I can’t always tell why) but it will be a separate file and not retain my adding it to my collection. Not a big deal but if I’ve made a playlist and then a song on it becomes unavailable, I find out the annoying way.

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