Cassettes Suck Vol. 2: Y’all Win, Cassettes Don’t Suck

Leading up to Cassette Store Day on Oct. 13, we’re celebrating the humble cassette tape and its influence with the help of thought leaders, cassette kingpins, and the Discogs data team. Welcome to Cassette Week at Discogs! Don’t forget to check out the CSD releases available in the Discogs Database.

By Brent Greissle, Discogs’ Discography Specialist

Back by popular demand, I’ve been coerced into returning to my most talked about blog post, the time I shouted “Cassettes Suck” from behind a megaphone into a a crowd and was met with righteous indignation. As predicted, a fair percent of readers never bothered to read beyond the title before commenting — much to my delight. Here I am, back again with another fresh hot take on everyone’s most favoritest formatiest format, the cassette.

The absolute truth of the matter is that I have no ill will, and have several self-released cassettes of my own work. They’re a wonderful format for these three styles in particular: vaporwave, black metal, and cloud rap. If you release any of these styles on tape, you’re almost guaranteed to have something of a cult following. This is likely due to it still currently being somewhat easy to cheaply get tapes. That makes it extremely attractive for underground artists who want to quickly produce items with little overhead.

Cassettes Dont Suck

Expertly dodging allegations of being a clickbait shill, I present you with another golden nugget of truthiness: cassingles suck. With their sad cardboard slipcases and repetition of the same tracks on both sides, cassingles occupied part of the ’90s conveniently ignored by the retro-revisionists in favor of day-glo clothing and Pepsiman.

Being the same size as a full cassette release, they offer none of the benefits that usually accompany more compact formats. These were truly meant to be a disposable medium with no longterm redeeming qualities. Given the choice between a cassingle and a CD single, I’d go with the CD version 100% of the time.

The awful dirty truth of the matter is that I’m just trying to get the good ones before everyone else does, so ignore everything I say. You shouldn’t be listening to someone who made their mark on the world in vinyl records on this subject. Every second you’re sitting here reading my drivel, you could be out there in the field getting good stuff. I will be. Yell real good down in the comments below about how I’m a blight on literacy.

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1 Comment
  • Oct 12,2018 at 6:22 am

    Actually Cassingles made more sense than a full album on cassette. That big spool really had to labor!

    The music industry around this time was changing in it’s sound rapidly and the more R&B, rap, and dance oriented your sound was, the more it made sense to release cassingles or singles in general. By the time the second, third, or fourth single was released, styles had changed. The cassette single is sort of an update where you could have the new mix on the A-side and the old mix on the B-side. There would hardly be any searching in an attempt to find the track. If you liked both versions, listeners or radio programmers would automatically have the alternate mix ready once the first side was finished.

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