Do any songs mention the cassette tape format?
May 10, 2012 4:43 PM   Subscribe

Are there any song lyrics that directly mention cassette tapes? Wording doesn't have to include the exact phrase "cassette tapes"--could use the words tapes, mix tapes, cassettes, etc. The better-known the song, the better for my purposes. Thanks!
posted by GaelFC to Media & Arts (54 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
There's a song on the Avenue Q soundtrack called "Mix Tape"
posted by citywolf at 4:45 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

c30 c60 c90 go.
posted by bondcliff at 4:48 PM on May 10, 2012 [12 favorites]

There's a whole band called Tapes 'N Tapes, if that counts.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:50 PM on May 10, 2012

But it's nuthin', ya frontin', ya girl I am stuntin'
And my radio's loud enough to keep you gruntin'
My name is Cool J, I'm from the rock
Circulating through your radio non-stop
I'm lookin' at the wires behind the cassette
And now I'm on the right, standing on the eject
Wearin' light blue Pumas, a whole lotta gold
And jams like these keep me in control
I'm the leader of the show, keepin' you on the go
And I know I can't live without my radio

LL Cool J - I can't live without my radio
posted by neilkod at 4:52 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

There's a Bauhaus live album called Press Eject and Give Me the Tape
posted by The World Famous at 4:53 PM on May 10, 2012

Jack's Mannequin: The Mix Tape
posted by FlamingBore at 4:54 PM on May 10, 2012

Stereo Hearts- Gym Class Heroes
posted by lemonwheel at 4:59 PM on May 10, 2012

Notorious B.I.G. - Juicy: "I let my tape rock 'til my tape popped."
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:05 PM on May 10, 2012

"Twisting" by They Might Be Giants

"She doesn't have to have her Young Fresh Fellows tape back"
posted by Rock Steady at 5:05 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nas - Halftime "I'm Max like cassettes/I flex like sex/In your stereo sets/Nas'll catch wreck"
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:08 PM on May 10, 2012

Jay-Z - Nigga What: "So all I do is rap and sex, imagine how I stroke/See how I was flowin' on my last cassette?"
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:11 PM on May 10, 2012

In the Car by Barenaked Ladies.
posted by procrastination at 5:11 PM on May 10, 2012

We may all be missing the mark here on "better known" songs, but for the sake of posting a great song, I'll go with Nick Drake Tape by Clem Snide.
posted by twinight at 5:12 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Singing in my Sleep" by Semisonic has several lyrical references to tapes, including the opening line, "Got your tape and it changed my mind."
posted by serialcomma at 5:12 PM on May 10, 2012

Buck 65 - "50 gallon drum" and "wicked and weird"
posted by michaelh at 5:29 PM on May 10, 2012

Brand New - Mix Tape
posted by ChuraChura at 5:33 PM on May 10, 2012

Mix Tapes by Tift Merritt.
posted by backwards guitar at 5:41 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Play the tape machine/
make the toast and tea/
when I'm mobile
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:44 PM on May 10, 2012

Better Than Ezra - Rewind
posted by candyland at 5:51 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Mike Jones - What Ya Know About: "Still jammin gray tapes in this Lone Star state"
Trae - Grey Cassette: "Pop in your gray cassette"

There are probably a ton more references to "screw tapes" or "gray cassettes" in other rap songs of Houston origin; these are the two that came to mind quickly.
posted by thack3r at 5:54 PM on May 10, 2012

Nas - N.Y. State of Mind: "Never put me in your box if the shit eats tapes"

There are a ton of them in rap music, where mixtapes are an important part of the culture. Unsigned rappers used to distribute home recorded cassettes of their song performed over instrumentals. This is still done, but mostly in the form of free downloads that are still called mixtapes.
posted by chrchr at 6:08 PM on May 10, 2012

February Third by Steve Goldberg and the Arch Enemies, which appeared in demo form on the mefi mix CD a few years back, contains the following stanza:
I've got records and casettes
a broken marionette
and all our conversations on index cards
posted by ludwig_van at 6:10 PM on May 10, 2012

Mixtape by Butch Walker
posted by COD at 6:19 PM on May 10, 2012

Beck's "Qué Onda Guero" finishes with spoken talk about picking up the new Yanni cassette.
posted by porn in the woods at 6:22 PM on May 10, 2012

Song for a Mix Tape by The Ataris.
posted by axiom at 6:28 PM on May 10, 2012

"When all words fail she speaks
Her mix tape's a masterpiece...."

Ben Folds Five, "Kate"
posted by kimota at 6:29 PM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

"Your Face" by the Frames. When they do it live, occasionally the lead singer talks about mix tapes. Anyway, the pertinent lyrics:

And I'm gonna wait for you
I've got to send this tape to you
And I'm gonna wait for you
'Cause I know something about you
posted by punchtothehead at 6:40 PM on May 10, 2012

"Levi's Stubbs Tears" by Billy Bragg

"She took of the Four Tops tape and put it back in its case."
posted by Leontine at 7:06 PM on May 10, 2012

Oops -- "Levi Stubbs' Tears"
posted by Leontine at 7:08 PM on May 10, 2012

Mrs. Rita - Gin Blossoms
"I've been keeping myself busy with my books and with my tapes"
posted by SisterHavana at 7:24 PM on May 10, 2012

I'm surprised I'm the only one to note Advance Casette by Spoon.
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated at 7:44 PM on May 10, 2012

"Drive Slow" by Kanye: I used to love to play my demo tape when the system yanked/ Felt like I was almost signed when the shit got cranked

"Headphones" by Björk: My headphones, they saved my life/ your tape, it lulled me to sleep
posted by milk white peacock at 8:30 PM on May 10, 2012

De La Soul - Jenifa Taught Me

"I brought records, she cassettes"

The lyrics are a little racy.
posted by nanojath at 8:38 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Jackson Browne - The Load-Out / Stay. "We got 8 tracks and cassettes and stereos..."
posted by evilmomlady at 8:43 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

The new Maroon 5 song, Payphone.
posted by agatha_magatha at 9:02 PM on May 10, 2012

Phil Ochs, Tape From California.
posted by Crane Shot at 10:39 PM on May 10, 2012

I'm surprised I'm the only one to note Advance Casette by Spoon.

That reminds me, "I Summon You" by Spoon also has a casette tape mention.
posted by Lorin at 10:46 PM on May 10, 2012

An "old school" reference, not a cassette. Nonetheless, a lovely Joni Mitchell song


No regrets Coyote
We just come from such different sets of circumstance
I'm up all night in the studios
And you're up early on your ranch
You'll be brushing out a brood mare's tail
While the sun is ascending
And I'll just be getting home with my reel to reel...
posted by she's not there at 10:59 PM on May 10, 2012

Strangely, the first thing that comes to my mind is Jurass Finish First by Jurassic 5.
posted by klausman at 11:39 PM on May 10, 2012

Wired for sound.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:42 PM on May 10, 2012

Eminem's "Stan"
posted by springload at 12:26 AM on May 11, 2012

From the Beastie Boys, a fairly thorough selection
Root Down, "On the way back up, hearing battle tapes"
Flute Loop, "I feel like a winner when I make a mixtape"
Do It, "I play the tape forward, it's not time to rewind "
Professor Booty, "A good mix tape to put you in the right mood."
The Grasshopper Unit (Keep Movin'), "Rewind the tape and punch me in." (LGT remix by this DJ AK47, not the Alicia Keys alter ego)
Pop Your Balloon, "Yo I bust into your radio station chuck a smoke bomb/Put on my gas mask and put my tape on.", "I got the tape spinnin' in the echoplex..."
posted by knile at 12:29 AM on May 11, 2012

Ben Folds Five - "Kate"
Her mixtape's a masterpiece.
posted by emelenjr at 4:16 AM on May 11, 2012

"I'll see their tape recoreder and grab it
No, you can't have it back silly rabbit"
Public Enemy - Don't Believe the Hype. (this is talking about a journalist's tape recorder).

"Gave you a tape full of dope beats
To bump when stroll through in your hood"
Dr Dre - Forgot About Dre

(Bonus, also contains the following rap from Eminem:
...Wanna resolve things in a bloodier way
Just study your tape of NWA.
One day I was walkin by
With a walkman on...)
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:35 AM on May 11, 2012

Welfare Music - Bottle Rockets.

"Buys cassette tapes in the bargain bin
Likes Carlene Carter and Loretta Lynn."
posted by timsteil at 7:08 AM on May 11, 2012

"Press rewind if I haven't blown your mind."--Redman, 'Blow Your Mind'
posted by box at 7:09 AM on May 11, 2012

N.W.A. - "8 Ball"

"Put in the ol' tape - Marvin Gaye's Greatest Hits"
posted by porn in the woods at 7:36 AM on May 11, 2012

Mixtape — Avenue Q soundtrack
posted by brentajones at 8:11 AM on May 11, 2012

"A worn out tape of Chris LeDoux,
Lonely women and bad booze
Seem to be the only friends I've left at all."
Garth Brooks, "Much Too Young (Too Feel This Damn Old)"
posted by Fuego at 1:43 PM on May 11, 2012

Billy Joel "Goodnight Saigon":
"We passed the hash pipe and played our Doors tapes
And it was dark
So dark at night night night night"
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 8:46 PM on May 11, 2012

How about "Mix Tape" by the fabulous Michael Shelley?
posted by mintcake! at 7:20 AM on May 12, 2012

Response by poster: Great answers! I didn't end up using any (Goodnight Saigon came closest), but I so appreciate everyone's suggestions. Also, I miss my mix tapes.
posted by GaelFC at 8:00 PM on June 13, 2012

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