Recording Songs off the Radio

When we were kids my brother and I used to record songs off the radio to make mix tapes.  Yeah, people really did that.  One of my most-missed mix tapes is one he made, which I remember had songs like “Green Eyed Lady“ and “Magic Carpet Ride“ mixed in with then-new tracks by artists like Don Henley and Cyndi Lauper.  I’m pretty sure one side started with “Start me Up“, and I still love the beginning of that song.

I kept recording things off the radio well into high school, when Rev 105 – Remember them? – would have interesting in-studio performances by touring and local bands.  It wasn’t as big a deal as the Live in Studio 3 stuff they still do on a familiar corporate rock station where the chiseled-voice guy lauds even the most tedious pop band if they were ever once, just once, in Rolling Stone.  It was informal and fun, with artists like Robyn Hitchcock ad-libbing new songs about being on the radio.  I didn’t keep any of those tapes, sorry.

It was so hard to record tracks off the radio and catch the beginning.  Most of the tapes sort of muddled into the songs ten seconds late.  With a song like Start me Up, this is what you really wanted…

start me up 2

But this is what you usually got…

start me up 1

Unless you were really, really lucky one day, and the DJ said something like this…

start me up 3

See you tomorrow, radioland.


  1. admin’s avatar

    Quest ce que c’est!

  2. Psycho Chicken’s avatar


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