It’s been over 40 years since the first Sony Walkman was available to consumers in Japan. Finally, there was a way to listen to music on the go! (Although carrying a stack of cassettes and spare batteries was still a bit of a hassle.)
Cassettes have not experienced the same resurgence in popularity that vinyl has seen in recent years, but they are still making a comeback. Unlike the most collected cassettes on Discogs, which offer a closer look at popular releases in the format, the most wanted cassettes give us a taste of exclusive, limited-edition releases. The following list is determined by the number of Discogs users’ Wantlists that you’ll find the cassette on.
Keep in mind these are cassette releases, not albums. A release refers to a specific format, year, and country. Therefore, we excluded any cassette that would have been included in a box set.
Madvillainy, the legendary collab between MF DOOM and Madlib, is both coveted and collected. The official 2014 cassette release ranks on the list of most collected tapes.
Charles Cohen was a free-jazz artist and early synth maestro. This recording was with a project called The Ghostwriters and serves as a great example of 1980s electronic music.
This is the debut album from the Wu-Tang Clan and one of the best hip-hop records of the 1990s (maybe of all time). Although many different versions and copies are available, this original cassette is highly desired.
No Life ‘Til Leather can be found on both this list and a ranking of the most collected. The original 1982 version of the demo is the most sought-after while the reissue for Record Store Day 2015 is in the most Discogs Collections.
There were only 100 copies of this cassette and, as one Discogs user pointed out, “Even the bootlegs are impossible to find now.” Eccojams is considered a gem when it comes to the vaporwave style.
This is Aphex Twin’s debut album. You’ll find CD and vinyl versions of the original release, but the cassette is more desired because fewer copies were created. Less than 100 Discogs users can say that they have it in their Collections.
One band, one album. Space Museum was only available as a cassette for about 30 years. There are now vinyl and digital versions of the release available.
Haruomi Hosono’s works have gained in popularity over recent years. This album (花に水 in Japanese) was commissioned by Muji, a Japan-based house goods chain, to play as background music in the stores. A cassette reissue finally dropped in 2020.
This self-released album was only dropped on cassette and only 33 copies were made.
The legitimacy of All Lights Fucked is still being debated due to its mysterious nature and the fact that none of the band members claim to own a copy. It also doesn’t appear to exist anywhere online.
Floral Shoppe is the perfect example of a recent release with a limited number of copies (100, to be exact) that leads to a hot resale market.
Originally dropped digitally in 2011, the 2012 cassette version was the first time this vaporwave album was released on a physical format. It has since been reissued, but the original run is obviously the most collectible. Beware of bootlegs. We’ve blocked the sale of some in the Marketplace, but you can still see them in the Database.