Great news. We recently secured space in the Edison Park neighborhood for our first store location. Renovations are underway and we hope to be open by Thanksgiving. Thanks to all that have provided support to get us this far. Stay tuned for more updates.

It’s true. The cassette tape format is gaining in popularity once again. More than any other format, the cassette tape format brings back fond memories of my youth. The ability to record the music you wanted and take it with you in your car or to a party was priceless. Key your eyes out for new or used tapes as they are in demand. Take a look at the link below for a very well-done history of this format.

Cassette Revival

Just last week Jerry and I were having a few adult beverages and listening to a few of the latest CDs that we picked up as we add to our inventory. In the pile was the 1971 release of Who’s Next by The Who. It turns out this was the 1995 remastered version MCAD11269. Included in this version are 7 additional bonus tracks that we supposed to be part of a double album concept called Lifehouse that was never realized.

We listened to the CD front to back and I was blown away by the clarity of the recording as well as the stereo separation that was clearly evident on the remastered version. I am not a fanatical The Who fan but this record rocks and is my favorite album by this band. Jerry expressed his opinion that this version was exceptional and stands above his original vinyl pressing. See the link below from the official The Who website with more details of this epic album from this hall of fame band.

Who’s Next

November 11, 1988, Chicago – Set at the iconic Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, Slayer raised the roof this night in support of the release of its latest album South of Heaven. Supported by Motorhead and Overkill, this was a show for the ages and I was there. Along with the crew of delinquents from the neighborhood, we made the pilgrimage to see one of the most influential bands of our youth. Favorite memory – Lemme walking past me with his bass on the way to the stage and $8 buckets of beer! See the link below for the setlist from the show. Seeing the setlist after these many years reminds me of the rendition of Chemical Warfare that I will never forget.

Set List – Slayer November 11, 1988 Aragon Ballroom Chicago

I was reminded this morning after scrolling the web that the cassette tape audio format is becoming more and more popular. I then remembered that my partner Jerry picked up a Nakamichi cassette deck a few months back. This triggered me to investigate what happened to the famed Nakamichi nameplate that manufactured audiophile quality cassette players. The Nakamichi Dragon cassette deck is revered as the best player ever created. The link below while specific to the UK market does provide a brief history of this legendary manufacturer. Enjoy.

History of Nakamichi Cassette Decks

Having been involved with music for the last 40 years I have seen the coming and going of several music formats.  I started buying vinyl 45s in the beginning and then progressed to LPs.  I remember fondly reading the liner notes and cover art of my favorite bands in the large format of the LP.  Next came the 8-track format and suddenly you could listen to your favorite music in your car.  In my case, it was a 1973 AMC Gremlin with a Krako 8-track ($60 eBay)  Favorite 8-tracks included Van Halen’s Women and Children First and the first Black Sabbath.

Next came the cassette.  Smaller, lighter, faster, and recordable, this was light years ahead of the 8-track.  I had a Pioneer Super Tuner III with Jensen 6×9 speakers in the rear deck of my 1977 Chevy Monte Carlo. I have great memories of cruising around Chicago listening to mix tapes with the like of AC/DC, Dio, Rainbow, and Iron Maiden.

Just when you think it could not get better the compact disc format was officially launched in 1980 and available to the masses in 1983.   In my opinion, this is simply the best format in terms of sound quality and portability.

We are now in the age of streaming services.  While I won’t debate the pros and cons of this format here it does appear this format has been embraced by society at large.  We will explore this in a forthcoming post.

The article at the link below does a good job outlining the history of the compact disc and its ultimate demise with the advent of the mp3 and sharing sites like Napster.   Having literally grown up with this format it is by far my favorite.  The fidelity of a digital recording being played on my MA6100 McIntosh receiver is unmatched.  I know some of the vinyl purists may take exception with that but I welcome a debate on the merits of each format.  Comment on this blog post with your vote for the best format.

Rise and Fall of the Compact Disc

Support your local record store on April 21st as this is Record Store Day!  Get all info at the link below.

https://www.recordstoreday.com/

Some of my favorite local record stores:

Bucket O Blood Books & Records –  http://www.bucketoblood.com/index/index.html

Reckless Records –  https://www.reckless.com/index.php

Record Breakers –  https://recordbreakerschi.com/

Dave’s Records – http://davesrecordschicago.com/

Get out and support your local record store!!