Things that never quite grow old, or what I loved when I was only 4

When I was about 4 or 5 years of age, I stumbled upon a cassette tape in my dad’s vast collection. I don’t actually remember how it happened, or why it was that that particular cassette piqued my interest – after all, there was nothing especially attractive about it at first sight. Except, maybe, the small picture of a long-haired man picking wildly at his guitar. It may have been that, or it may have been something entirely different which I can no longer remember. Be

Still don’t know who he is. Still think he’s hot.

that as it may, I had learned how to use my parents’ huge cassette deck  – they still have it, but I have successfully managed to break it in the meanwhile – so I decided to play that tape. On max volume. (I’ve always had a “thing” for blasting my music out loud – it just doesn’t feel the same if the volume’s turned low.) I loved it. From the very first, I absolutely loved it and that cassette tape became my favourite – and it stayed like that for many years. The songs were all in English – it didn’t matter that I couldn’t understand the language at the time, to me it was as though I were listening to magical chants. My theory is that my early love for the songs on that tape tipped the balance and gently helped me become who I am today, because most of the songs on it stayed with me even though I wasn’t aware of it. The cassette had the cheesiest title ever – Super Rock ’85 (produced by Atlantic Records and “made in Singapore”) – and it was a compilation of allegedly some of the best rock songs of said year. Who decided which songs to include and based on what criteria is completely beyond me. Anyway the choice of songs and bands now seems pretty limited and perhaps not as brilliant as it could have been… The track list was as follows:

SIDE A

1. Teacher Teacher – 38 Special
2. Had A Dream – Roger Hodgson
3. Hammer To Fall – Queen
4. We’re Not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister
5. Ruby Tuesday – Nazareth
6. Heaven’s On Fire – Kiss
7. Don’t Let It Go To Your Head – Xavion
8. Hell Is On The Run – Jakata

SIDE B

1. Morning Dew – Blackfoot
2. One Man Mission Of Love – Jim Capaldi
3. On The Dark Side – John Cafferty
4. I Can’t Hold Back – Survivor
5. Ten American Girls – Bolland
6. Don‘t Wait For Heroes – Dennis De Young
7. Girls With Guns – Tommy Shaw
8. Foolin’ Around – Freddie Mercury

Regardless, back then I loved the mix, and I still do right now. I had forgotten about the tape for a loooong time, but a few months ago I stumbled upon it again. Nostalgia ensued. I proceeded to look up all of the songs on online, and although I initially couldn’t find them all, listening to as many of them as possible together made feel as happy and carefree as when I was 4. I looked up and downloaded as many of the songs as I could. Between then and now I lost some of them. I enlisted more capable help, and finally managed to gather them all. I just wanted to share the original compilation, because I’m sure many of those bands/singers have now fallen prey to oblivion, and I find that heartbreaking. I’ll admit I like some songs more than others – Teacher Teacher, Nazareth’s fantastic cover of Ruby Tuesday, I Can’t Hold Back – but I do believe that all of them are worth a listen.

Cassette tape cover.

I’ve embedded my playlist below, and here I go, sending it off into the world!

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