Cassette Tapes: The New Vinyl


You may have thought cassette tapes had died with the 90’s. We’re excited to say that they are back! The resurgence of vinyl has been steady for the past decade, but it isn’t the only media that has come back. In 2016, cassette tapes sales rose nearly 75 percent. And yes, cassette sales are still on the rise today. Here’s a taste of what led this seemingly obsolete music format to see a dramatic increase in popularity.

“You shouldn’t have killed my mom and squished my Walkman.” -Peter Quill, Guardians of the Galaxy

In 2017, cassette tape sales had a bumper year (a period of time when sales increase dramatically). This is thanks to the Guardians of the Galaxy. In the films, Peter Quill (played by Chris Pratt) loves his vintage portable cassette tape player. Guardians of the Galaxy weren’t the only ones to spark this nostalgic epidemic. During the same year, both the Stranger Things and the Hamilton soundtrack were released on cassette. And then more famous musicians followed suit.

Once the cassette tapes started to become popular again there was no stopping them. Artists like Eminem, Twenty One Pilots, Death Cab for Cutie, Kanye West, the Weekend, and Justin Bieber jumped on the bandwagon. Often times, bands use cassettes and vinyl as an outlet for their aesthetic. It’s also an attempt to give hardcore fans something to collect. That helped cassette tape popularity blow up!

Playback of cassette tapes does not offer the same quality of sound as vinyl or CDs. However, this format continues to rise. There is just something nostalgic about hearing the clicks of an old tape as it rewinds. It’s comforting. It feels like home.

Bookmans wants to express our appreciation for this media. On October 13th, we will be celebrating National Cassette Store Day as an official NCSD vendor! Bookmans East (6230 East Speedway Blvd) will be selling official Cassette Store Day merch, teaching customers how to create their own mix-tape, as well as making an official Bookmans mix-tape! Join us from 12:00-2:00 for trivia, prizes, and more!

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