A niche category for sure. While precious few new titles are issued in this format, I suspect many of us occasionally seek out that elusive copy your collection can’t be without.
For me, my latest example arrived last night from a well known auction site. Tool’s Lateralus (2001) - sealed. It’s analog sibling is well known as an aural let down. A vinyl picture disc that fails to inspire. After some research a few commentators noted the tape sounds better than the vinyl. So I took the plunge on a sealed copy. While I have a lower spec Nak, and most certainly my vinyl copy when played through my Rega TT beats in numerous areas (I.e., frequency extremes and bass impact), the speed, music fluidity, and background noise all were improvements to the vinyl. The self-titled Lateralus was such a pleasant surprise I stopped the second half of the tape to repeat the performance. Finally a worthy alternative to the cd!
The only music cassettes I’ve bought were in the pre-recordable-CD days from small bands promoting their material, such as Liaison and Twelfth Night in the early 80s. Otherwise I bought blank tapes to record for playing in the car (pre car CD). I hate it as a medium - inherently limited sound quality and stupidly fragile. But I know some people seem to love it, and are nostalgic for it…
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon bought in the 70s so i could listen to it on my new cassette player. This followed the original purchase of an 8 track version for playing in my dads car. Later purchased the LP when i got a record player and finally the CD. First time i heard the album it was playing as i went into my first live concert Uriah Heep at The Kursaal Southend. My ears were ringing for days.
The last cassettes I can remember buying were a couple of in the Island Records plus one series. The tape had the album on both sides of a chrome cassette, you basically could record anything on side two which would erase the duplicate recording. Seemed a strange concept at the time for a record company to encourage home recordings. Needless to say it didn’t last for very long.