Mixtape Monday: SONGS

Today's mixtape is simply titled SONGS and is believed to have been recorded while HERC was house-sitting for his best friend's family in late Spring or early Summer of 1985.  It is simply a collection of HERC's favorite songs from the vinyl collection of HERC's best friend's older brother, Steven. HERC distinctly remembers recording two cassettes during his stay but has yet to find the other cassette nor does he know which tape was recorded first.
As you'll see later, there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to HERC's selection or the order of the tracks (other than multiple songs from the same album were grouped together) though he can attest that the albums were in strict alphabetical order by artist then title on the shelf.   Steven was into the graphical arts, somewhat of an artist himself and very meticulous and orderly in nearly every aspect of his life. Through the years, HERC and Steven bonded over music - Steven was the main reason HERC never bought any Pink Floyd albums; Steven bought them so HERC borrowed them. (The same could also be said for the albums of R.E.M. and The Cure.)  Steven was also the first person HERC knew to acquire a compact disc player, a Fisher AD-933 model in late 1985 or early 1986 and for months, HERC would haul his own burgeoning CD collection over to Steven's house and listen to them or <gasp> record them onto cassette tapes.  
Despite their shared love for music, Steven and HERC only ever attended two concerts together, both of them Pink Floyd shows, one each in support of the albums pictured above.   The two would sometimes meet for lunch or a movie and then discuss music for hours upon hours afterwards.  Once HERC got married in 1987, he saw Steven less and less because that is what happens when you are the first among your friends to get married.  In the early 2000s, a woman from Steven's past came back into his life and proposed marriage to him.  He accepted, they were married and moved to a suburb of Washington D.C., which is where she works. HERC and Steven still get together on his infrequent visits to see his brother and on one such visit three years ago, Steven invited HERC to help him clean out the last of his local storage lockers.  This particular climate-controlled locker held Steven's vinyl collection and he sorted it into four piles: "mail these to me", "burn to CD and mail to me", "burn to CD and keep for yourself" and "for you". HERC acquired nearly 50 vinyl albums that day.  And thirty cassettes Steven had recorded.  Three of them are pictured below:
As far as HERC knows, Steven never made mixtapes.  All the tapes he recorded were merely dubs of complete albums and every single tape he ever recorded was a Maxell - he wasted many hours trying to convince HERC that Maxell was superior sounding to HERC's preferred TDK and HERC would listen rather than debate which only seemed to further intensify Steven's need to convert HERC. And except for a few tapes, he always typed up the j-cards.
If you look closely at the image above you can see words showing through in the lower right part.  You might also notice that there are no gridlines or at least not the usual amount.  HERC carefully peeled the glued and taped paper back to reveal Steven's original typed jcard, below.
Looks like Steven had planned to record the double album Billy Joel's Greatest Hits Volume 1 and Volume 2 and typed up the jcard before realizing that the first album would not fit on a 45 minute side of a 90 minute tape.  He then did a little rearranging like they used to do when formatting albums for 8-track tapes and even substituted a few of his favorite tracks on the tape necessitating an updated jcard.  If you're like HERC, you probably forgot we were here to document his mixtape SONGS not his friend Steven's custom Billy Joel comp tape.  So here's the jcard HERC typed up at the same typewriter Steven used to type up his own jcards.
An eclectic mix for sure.  The first track is just plain odd. Then it is followed by three tracks form Survivor's Vital Signs and two tracks from Blackfoot's Vertical Smiles, including a rather lame cover of Peter Cetera's rockin' "Living in The Limelight".  The title track from Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers album closes the A side while that album's opening track begins the tape's B side.  Then three tracks from Styx's Equinox and three tracks from The Hooters and their Nervous Night close out SONGS. Three other artists appear on the tape with single tracks. Two of them are legitimate classic rock staples while the third is rather unique but HERC likes it a lot.  Which is more than he can say for "Friends Of Mr. Cairo".

SIDE A44:10
1981The Friends fo Mr. CairoJon & Vangelis11:50
1984I Can't Hold BackSurvivor03:59
1984High On YouSurvivor04:08
1984The Search Is OverSurvivor04:13
1984Morning DewBlackfoot05:28
1984Livin' In The LimelightBlackfoot04:03
1976(Don't Fear) The ReaperBlue Öyster Cult05:08
1984Perfect StrangersDeep Purple05:21
SIDE B44:03
1984Knocking At Your Back DoorDeep Purple07:05
1981Sausalito SummernightDiesel05:08
1975Light UpStyx04:20
1975Suite Madame BlueStyx06:31
1973Dream OnAerosmith04:27
1985And We DancedThe Hooters03:48
1985Day By DayThe Hooters03:23
1985All You ZombiesThe Hooters05:58
One last Steven passage before we get to our playlist. Steven's last embrace of modern technology came and went with the compact disc.  He does not own a PC, an iPod or a tablet.  His cellphone is not a smartphone -  it just makes or takes calls and he prefers not to use it at all.  He does not text and rarely goes online, so chances are he'll never read this post.  That won't keep HERC from dedicated it to him and his invaluable role in expanding HERC's musical palette as well as his unselfishness in regards to his CD player. HERC's friends would all pitch in and buy him his own player for Christmas 1986 and HERC's been told that Steven was both a major donor and the leading technical advisor.  A few months before his 50th birthday in 2013 (which, like all of his birthdays since his twenty-first, he refused to acknowledge or celebrate), Steven's personal physician confirmed his fears that he had Parkinson's disease and that the uncontrolled hand-shaking he had been experiencing would only get worse.  His brother said that Steven took a liking to his iPad while they were visiting their Mom recently so HERC remains hopeful that someday, his once close friend will join the 21st century and drop HERC a text or, at the very least, an email. Or a comment on this post.

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