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(My) Top 5 Tapes from ’88

March 30, 2015

1988 was probably one of the last great years for audio cassette sales.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, when it comes to 1988 releases in my collection, I have more tapes than CDs/LPs.

Somewhat more surprisingly however, four of the tapes featured today were purchased within the last four years!

(My) Top 5 Tapes from '88


5. Tom Cochrane & Red Rider, Victory Day
Last year I called Big League one of the Top 5 Hockey Songs.  No revision needed this year.

4. Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation
Alas, the double LP managed to fit on a single cassette.

3. k.d. lang, Shadowland
I enjoyed the two lang selections (Shadowland & Ingénue) that made the 1001 cut and I was left wanting to hear more.

When I want to read about the rest of an artist’s discography, I’m glad Rich Kamerman is so thorough in his full catalogue re-visitations.  Here’s what he said to say about the k.d. discography.

2. R.E.M., Green
Should we talk about the weather?  Should we talk about the government?  We should talk about the impressive run R.E.M. had through the 80s & 90s, including this everGreen 1988 release.

I enjoy ranking entire catalogues and I enjoyed FreeCitySound’s R.E.M. Albums Ranked Post.  Though Green would be higher than 8th for me!

1. The Waterboys, Fisherman’s Blues
There’s a common misconception that the 80s sucked.  One listen to this album should help disprove such nonsense.

Failing that, check out Ian’s Fisherman’s Blues review, or any of his other 499 misconception-shattering reasons, and that should be even more persuasive!


1988 is in the #2 spot on my Top 5 Duplicate Digit Years.

Living Colour & The Waterboys are on deck for this week, enjoy!


From → 1980s

  1. “Faraway from dry-land and it’s bitter memories” – I also have that cassette somewhere Geoff!

  2. I only had REM Green out of your cassette collection in 1988…and it was a dub from a friend. But I really liked it (still do!).

    • The friend dubbed cassettes were the best – for years I didn’t realize the Gin Blossoms ‘new miserable experience’ had a 12th song, as it didn’t fit on my dubbed copy of side A and on the handwritten track list, it was under the cassette case fold!

  3. Green! Love it!

  4. I’d need to hear Green again, but I remember not liking it much at the time. I dunno why it didn’t click then, might more now? Who knows. But BIG love for the Red Rider (I have that tape) and the Sonic Youth. I played Goo more, but this one was always a friend, for sure.

    As for the Waterboys, I haven’t given them a thought in years. I dated a girl who loved their stuff, and after that ended I stopped thinking about them. Bet if i played them again it’d take me right back. I remember it being pretty great.

    • I only had one of these – Green. Still one of my favourites, too.

    • The Waterboys are worth a re-investigation for sure – Green doesn’t have the big standouts like some of REM’s other records, more consistently solid throughout

  5. I bought the Green reissue with a live show included from Greensboro North Carolina from the 88 Tour! Man REM was cooking ….just love Orange Crush!
    I like this idea that your doing Geoff…..awesome stuff…

    • Thanks Deke – and the brief solo in Orange Crush was the song that taught me how to play ‘harmonics’ on an electric guitar!

  6. jprobichaud permalink

    Some pretty sweet picks at the numbers one and two spots. I still have “Green” on “metal” tape, whatever that means… But dude, “Fisherman’s blues”?! Phenomenal! My wife and I saw them at Bluesfest two years ago and Mike Scott and his buddy Wickham on fiddle put on a show!

    • I’ve noticed that formula on a couple of the tapes – CrO2, perhaps it was a better quality?
      I would have loved to see that show!

      • jprobichaud permalink

        I believe it was, though I’ve no idea what it sounds like these days. I haven’t had a tape deck since the Cavalier bit the dust in 2007.

      • The chevy cavalier – the first car for many Ontarians!

      • jprobichaud permalink

        It was my second. The first was a chevette.

  7. Never heard any of em. Feel like such a philistine lol

  8. Hackskeptic permalink

    I can remember a time in the early 80s when record companies used to put bonus tracks on tapes to try to woo people away from vinyl. I caught the bait on a number of occasions only to find that the sound quality was far inferior. That said, I can remember buying loads of blank tapes, going to the library every Saturday and taking out half a dozen LP’s to record. No money, but happy times nonetheless.

    • From ’88 – it’s worth getting Morrissey’s Viva Hate on CD (maybe tape too?) instead of LP for the track ‘hairdresser on fire’ – there aren’t many arguments in favour of getting the tape over LP, but you’re right, that would be one way to get people to invest!

  9. Everyone should have a shelf of cassettes, shouldn’t they?

  10. I only had one of these – Green. Remains a favourite. I did have that Sonic Youth album on CD.

    The Waterboys album is one I keep meaning to check out. Used to work with a chap who was mad about them. Literally rather mad about them!

    • There was method behind the madness – at least with this record, can’t comment on their others yet!

  11. Never liked Daydream Nation – I know its really good, I can tell that, but I just can’t like the rotter!

    • I’m hesitant to review it – so far I haven’t heard birds singing/food hasn’t tasted better after listening!

  12. If you lived in the subburbs, you got Tom Cochrane tapes in your maIlbox like samples of Shreddies.

    • And being from Burlington (next door to Cochrane’s hometown of Oakville) we had no shortage!

      • And Scarborough was where Columbia House was based…who really did put it in your mailbox!

      • Ahh Columbia house – that should be on one of those ‘you know you grew up in Ontario in the 80s/90s if…you signed up for the 7cds for 1 penny through BMG/Columbia House!

      • For us I think it was buy 12 get the 13th for free, plus pick a bonus free 14th, and get half off your first real purchase. 15 tapes in the mail!

  13. Marshall Gu permalink

    Hey, thanks for the shoutout!

    Be sure to check out the Go-Betweens – 16 Lovers Lane if you haven’t already.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 5 play – for an Irish Spring on a Good Friday | Cave of Fame
  2. Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking (1988) | 1001albumsin10years

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