Lost Mix CD

Lost CD

Remember back in the day when we made mix tapes? I guess now the young people make mix CDs. When I was young, making a mix tape involved actually playing the song and recording it at the same time, and because it was such a laborious process, you really only did it for whomever you were dating at the time or were dating until two days ago.

You chose the music carefully to suit the occasion and had sit through every line by Foreigner, Marshall Tucker, ZZ Topp, The Commodores and Boz Scaggs. Who isn’t emotionally charged by such songs as “Lido Shuffle” or “Brick House?”

Nowadays, I reckon all you do is drag and drop, burn it and it’s done. No fuss, and it all happens in the background. It seems like such a cheapened form of emotional expression. That’s what makes it so disposable, I suppose, and why someone was not more careful with the CD above, found in the parking lot of my office. After all, you can always go back to that special someone and ask him or her to burn you another copy, because you, like, lost the first one. If you made this CD for someone, I am sorry to report the implications of your beloved losing such a thing.

Carl Weaver is a writer and brewer for RealHomebrew.com and has been making beer and wine for more than 20 years. He is also an avid photographer and writer and just finished his first book, about a trip he took to Thailand to live in Buddhist monasteries. He considers himself the last of the Renaissance men and the luckiest darned guy in the world. Follow him on Twitter.

10 thoughts on “Lost Mix CD

  1. just because it’s a CD and not a tape doesn’t mean you can choose the songs any less carefully to suit the occasion.

    crafting a mix of songs for a certain situation or a certain someone requires just as much thought and effort regardless of the medium it’s recorded too.

  2. Owen – I think it’s a little less personal now. Call me an old fuddy-duddy. CDs are too easy. Give me a tape player and an old Alice Cooper album any day to express my love rather than a CD burner and some illegal P2P downloading service.

    Max – I left it, figuring the owner might walk by there again and pick it up. In my imagination, it had this lineup:

    1. Feels like the First Time – Foreigner
    2. Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran
    3. You Might Think I’m Crazy – The Cars
    4. Lowrider – War
    5. Everybody’s Working for the Weekend – Loverboy
    6. Just my Imagination – The Temptations
    7. If This is it – Huey Lewis and the News
    8. I am Siam – I am Siam
    9. Fucking in Rhythm and Sorrow – The Sugarcubes
    10. I knew the Bride – Nick Lowe

  3. I have a friend with multiple children whose husband had to go away for a week-long business trip. He made each child mix CDs, tailored to the particular child, and one for each day he was gone for my friend to present to the children each morning. I agree with Owen- mix CDs are more efficient, but no less personal.

  4. Seems like you hit the nail on the head.

    I remember sitting around when i was in high / middle school, and making mix tapes.
    Like you said, you would have to sit there and listen to each track since things recorded in real time. I would have a list of songs that I wanted to include, but the list and order would change as I went depending on the song that was put on last.

    I would make sure the volume of each song was as close to all the others, and then spend a lot of time decorating the cassette and the sleeve for the case as well.

    sure, you can make a good mix cd these days, but it does not REQUIRE you to put more thought into it besides picking some song out.

  5. I think you could say that about a lot of modern, time-saving innovations, Mr. Freshy. I’m someone who puts a lot of thought into what to give loved ones as holiday gifts. I’m choosy. But I don’t think it makes a gift any less heartfelt because I order it online rather than slogging to a mall, finding parking, pushing my way through throngs of holiday shoppers, standing in line, toting it back to my car, fighting my way back out of the parking lot, and going home.

    Making the selection is the “thought” part of “it’s the thought that counts.” I’m pretty sure no one I care about ever said, “It’s the hassle that counts.”

  6. really, the only difference between a mix CD and a mix tape is that the tape does require manual interaction to record the actual thing.

    song quality varies depending on the source for both mediums. especially if you’re getting your CD tracks from a P2P network and not legally purchases.

    there’s a case to decorate. CDs come with jewel cases too that have the same inserts for custom art work.

    order of tracks is just as important with a CD as it is with a tape.

    i suppose a tape does REQUIRE more work due to the manual recording process. aside from that, there’s not much else. however, i highly doubt a friend/lover/child ever said, “gee! i can’t believe you sat around for 8 minutes waiting for Feels Like the First Time and Hungry Like the Wolf to record! i feel so special!”

  7. I once spent an entire week making a three part CD mix compilation entitled “33″. One CD was 11 songs – in order that told a story – dialogue, setup, denouement – the whole nine yards. One CD was songs fun to sing along to. One CD was just a mix of the best of the best. It was a gift for a friend. It was a shit ton of work. But yeah, it didn’t have the physical labor of rewinding, cueing and recording, playing, paying attention and waiting til just that right moment. But the physical labor to me was always the easy part. I’ll leave with a quote from High Fidelity…

    “To me, making a tape is like writing a letter. There’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention (I started with “Got to Get You Off My Mind,” but then realized that she might not get any further than track one, side one if I delivered what she wanted straightaway, so I buried it in the middle of side two), and then you’ve got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can’t have white music and black music together, unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can’t have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you’ve done the whole thing in pairs and…oh, there are loads of rules.”

  8. Well said, Scott. And I think that High Fidelity quote illustrates much better what I was trying to say with my fatuous, “It’s the ‘thought’ part of ‘it’s the thought that counts.’” :)