Well, it’s The Swing…on cassette!

In my bathroom there is a cassette player. It’s the only one in the house, and the only time I ever listen to a tape is when I’m cleaning the bathroom. At those times, I take a trip down memory lane, (and around the toilet bowl), and listen to some album from the 80s that I only have on cassette.

I’m pretty lazy about changing the cassettes over, though, since most are packed away in roof storage. (Yes, I know….one day I’ll throw them away, but not today.) Obviously, I am not going to climb into the roof to forage for cassettes every time I clean the bathroom. What I’m saying is that I rarely bother to change the cassette at all, so I’ve listened, without resentment, to Sweet Dreams, the Eurythmics album from the early 80’s, for approximately the last 12 months.

INXS The SwingBut since my last post about my best friend from childhood, I’ve been thinking of the 80’s, and the music that I listened to then. Suddenly, cleaning the bathroom yesterday, I felt like a change. I popped out Sweet Dreams, and put in an old cassette of The Swing, by INXS.

The Swing was released in 1984 when I was 15. At that point, being completely besotted with Michael Hutchence was just another thing that bonded my “best buddy” Jane and I. It’s almost impossible to recall my total absorption in INXS at the age of 15, without thinking of Jane, so it was an inevitable association to make.

There’s nothing like a common love of something, whether it be a sporting team, movie star, or in this case, rock star – to cement a friendship together. For teenagers, it can be a full time hobby just talking about your shared obsession! According to my research on this topic, that is because teenagers still have a lot of empty headspace, that is not yet required for tedious tasks like paying bills on time, organising home repairs, or undertaking the complex logistical planning required to know where their kids are going to be for each day of the school holidays. They also have a lot of spare time, especially during maths lessons, so they utilise all that spare time and headspace by daydreaming about their idols, and drawing pictures of them in the columns of their history notes. At least, some of us did.

Thus revelling in our teenager-ness, Jane and I spent a lot of quality INXS bonding time:  watching INXS on Countdown!, buying and sharing copies of  “Smash Hits” magazine to see if INXS featured in it, discussing our favourite INXS song, listening to INXS albums,….etc.

INXS The Swing cassetteSo when I brought home The Swing on cassette in 1984 and placed it reverently into the cassette player for the first time, I was almost beside myself with anticipation.

Skip to 2011, and, listening to the album yesterday, I didn’t feel that same thrill. Of course I didn’t! I’m not 15 any more, I’m not in love with Michael Hutchence, my musical taste has moved on from that slickly produced rock sound of 1984, and, last but possibly not least, the sound quality of an old cassette on a cheap cassette player with only one speaker, in a bathroom, is not exactly comparable to Carnegie Hall. Or even Festival Hall.

To my slight surprise, I found that while I enjoyed it, (some songs more than others), I distinctly prefer other albums of the era, including their own earlier album, Shabooh Shoobah.  I can’t even recall now which song on The Swing was my favourite 26 years ago – when that was such a matter of importance, and no doubt, warranted lengthy discussion, at the time!

I thought I should give the album another listen with better quality sound, so I went to Itunes – and there discovered what the rest of the world probably already knew – that The Swing has just been remastered and re-released a month ago! Wow – it’s almost as if I’m psychic. (Except that instead of predicting something that is going to happen, I co-incidentally discovered that the album I’m writing a post about has just been re-released, so, nothing like psychic, really.)

Hmmm, The Swing, remastered…..maybe I’ll fork out $11.99 and download it….or at least spend $1.69 on “Melting In The Sun,” which was definitely yesterday’s favourite.

Then at least I can throw out one cassette.

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Dori

     /  July 18, 2011

    Don’t throw out the cassettes!



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