Encore Performances: Double feature.

Originally written for my old blog in April 2011. The Subaru mentioned in the post is long gone. For that matter, so too might the cassettes be, by the time this runs.

I’ve had a couple reasons lately to go rifling through the big lonely box of cassette tapes that lives in my basement storage room.

(I still have a place to play them, too, as my gallant 10-year-old Subaru wagon actually has a tape deck. It is the last car I will ever own with one of those once-omnipresent devices, which makes me unaccountably sad. I remember the days when I didn’t go anywhere without a big stack of tapes — usually enough to render at least one of the seats of the car unusable.)

What has me musing tonight is the random — and once very familiar — combinations I’m finding on my homemade tapes.

After all, you could fit an LP on each side of a 90-minute Maxell or TDK with room to spare (unless it was “A Wizard/A True Star” or “Abbey Road,” whose vast sweep demanded more space.)
So each tape was two LPs and some filler.

Only rarely did I coordinate the two LPs on a single tape to suit a matching style or mood.
There was a tape with Aerosmith’s “Draw The Line” and “Rocks” LPs, and Aerosmith filler to run out the blank space.
Grand Funk’s “We’re An American Band” and “Phoenix” albums received similar treatment.

But more frequently, I’d record LPs (and, later, CDs) to tape as I bought them … if I acquired two records, and liked ’em both, they’d end up back-to-back, whether they liked each other’s company or not.
It was all in the interest of getting new LPs into the car and the Walkman as quickly as possible.

A couple examples, then, of some interesting combinations in my collection.
The A-side is listed first, not that it matters to anyone, including me:

* Steely Dan, “Katy Lied,” and Deep Purple, “Burn.”

* The Beatles, “Abbey Road,” and Jethro Tull, “A Passion Play.”

* J. Geils Band, “Bloodshot,” and AC/DC, “High Voltage.”

* The Stooges, “Fun House,” and the Velvet Underground, “White Light/White Heat.” (Now, that actually makes sense.)

* The Grateful Dead, part of the “One From The Vault” CD, and Patti Smith, “Horses.”

* Elvis Costello and the Attractions, “Armed Forces,” and Spirit, “The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus.”

* Parliament, “Mothership Connection,” and Costello and the Attractions again, “This Year’s Model.”

* Alice Cooper, “Billion Dollar Babies,” and Costello yet again, “Get Happy!!!!!”

* Talking Heads, “More Songs About Buildings And Food,” and Bruce Springsteen, “The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle.” (Some sort of record for wordiness, anyway.)

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