The legend of C81

Monday, October 11th, 2010 at 11:05pm | Comments


Did you ever record songs onto tape directly from the radio as a youngster, trying to avoid the talky bits? Good wasn't it. This is the first, brilliant, experience of making mixtapes for most of us but curating a compilation of true quality takes incredible skill - and absolutely no talky bits.

In 1981 NME released a free cassette which would go on to greatly influence the music of the next three decades and stake a claim as the best compilation of all time.

Rough Trade, who were celebrating their fifth anniversary, put together the cassette with the help of NME hack, Roy Carr, with spectacular results and all for the reasonable price of £1.50. The release gave a huge nod to the ever-growing cassette culture of the time, capitalising on the recent release of the Sony Walkman.

This playlist, put together by jasongale, in his own words is 'more of an homage,' as many of the tracks on the original are not available on Spoitfy. He has captured the mood of the compilation brilliantly, however, with Orange Juice, Cabaret Voltaire, The Buzzcocks, The Specials, The Beat, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, Aztec Camera and the inimitable John Cooper Clarke - so perhaps you do need the talky bits to make a great mixtape after all.

Alongside C86, which is perhaps even more heralded, C81 is a massive part of our musical heritage and as such we implore you to listen to this playlist immediately and repeatedly by clicking here!

Long live the mixtape!

Gary Evans