Nate and I have an on-going, years long project cleaning out the cellar. It’s so on-going, in fact, that it never gets any more cleaned out, because by the time we get around to getting rid of a batch of stuff, more stuff has accumulated to take its place. Yet we persevere.
A couple of weeks ago, we finally unpacked the very last box from our move, (ahem) 10 years ago. It was full of old picture frames and a Tape/CD player combo stereo unit. And… a little box full of my old mix tapes.
When I was in high school, before I could afford a CD player, I taped songs off the radio. I would have my little radio/tape deck on record-pause, and I would hear a favorite song come on the radio, and I’d leap across the bed and un-pause the record as soon as the DJ stopped talking. The worst was when he talked over the first bit of the song and I had to wait for them to play it again! I listened to KYUU, KMEL, K101, and there was also an oldies station that for the life of me I can’t remember. Anyway, I would flip back and forth across the dial, waiting for my favorite songs to play.
Unbelievably, we still have a working tape player in the house. It hasn’t been used in who knows how many years, but I loaded up “Radio Songs #1” and was instantly transported back to what must have been the first few months of 1987. Age – 13.
Please notice, first of all, that heaven is spelled “Heavan,” and that at least a quarter of the song titles are completely wrong. “Madeline Rain” is actually Bruce Hornsby’s “Mandolin Rain.” Some of these songs are great, enduring songs. Some of them I didn’t remember until I heard them again. It was like going back in time. Here is a complete track listing, just in case you want to visit 1987 for yourself:
Respect Yourself – Bruce Willis
Better Than Heaven – Stacey Q
That’s Just the Way It Is – Bruce Hornsby
Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles
Johnny – El Debarge
Will You Still Love Me – Chicago
Rumors – Timex Social Club
Land of Confusion – Phil Collins
Suburbia – Pet Shop Boys
Shout – Tears For Fears
Lean on Me – Club Nouveau
Control – Janet Jackson
Sheila – Ready for the World
True Colors – Cindy Lauper
Mandolin Rain – Bruce Hornsby
Peter Gunn – The Art of Noise
Coming Around Again – Carly Simon
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now – Starship
The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens
Wot’s It To Ya? – Robbie Nevil
La Isla Bonita – Madonna
(I Just) Died In Your Arms – Cutting Crew
The Finer Things – Steve Winwood
Let’s Hear It For the Boy – Deniece Williams
Sign o’ the Times – Prince
Human – Human League
You’re welcome, world.