Apparently we were wrong to assume that we had heard the last of cassette tapes. Along with LPs and record players, the nostalgia surrounding cassettes is leading to a big revival.
It has been two decades since CDs replaced cassettes and now, CDs are being replaced by digital downloads and streaming services. In 2011, the Oxford Dictionary dropped the term “cassette player” from their latest edition (apparently a little too early). Sony stopped making cassette players the year before, but Phillips actually continues to make them today. Despite its lack of convenience and overall user frustration, sales of cassettes are continuing to rise throughout the UK and North America.
What started as a way for underground musicians to distribute their music has gained some momentum with mainstream artists as well. Marina and the Diamonds, Kanye West, Justin Bieber and more have all recently released their albums via cassette tape. Sales are rising so quickly that the Recording Industry Association of America is trying to find a way to track the sales of cassettes for the first time in over a decade. The sale of cassettes occurs mostly online, however, they can be purchased at some fashion retailers like Urban Outfitters.
Lee Rickard is the co-founder of Burger Records, which is an independent record label based in Orange County. They plan to release their own ‘Burger Buddy’, a cassette player that also converts cassettes into MP3 files. Rickard discusses the revival of cassettes, saying:
“Music just sounds different on tape, sometimes as it was originally intended to sound. Cassettes are compact, tangible, instant collectables, often with original and numbered artwork — and as cheap as a cup of coffee, so you can support your local artist without buyer’s remorse. We worked with Green Day to produce a cassette version of their Dookie album, but most of the acts are young and unknown — for now.”
Source: Daily Mail