Cassette single

Last updated
Cassette single
Cassette single logo.svg
Media type Magnetic tape
Encoding Analog signal
CapacityGenerally less than 10 minutes total (2-3 songs), sometimes repeated on both sides
Read mechanism Tape head
UsageAudio playback
Tina Turner's "GoldenEye" as a cassette single. CassetteSingle1.jpg
Tina Turner's "GoldenEye" as a cassette single.

A cassette single (CS, sometimes known by the trademark "Cassingle" or capitalized as the trademark "Cassette Single") is a music single in the form of a Compact Cassette.

Single (music) type of music release usually containing one or two tracks

In the music industry, a single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album.

Contents

History

Bow Wow Wow's "C·30 C·60 C·90 Go" was the first cassette single, released in the UK in 1980, [1] and I.R.S. Records released the first cassette single in the U.S. with the Go-Go's "Vacation" in 1982. [2]

Bow Wow Wow English new wave band

Bow Wow Wow are an English new wave band, created by manager Malcolm McLaren in 1980. McLaren recruited members of Adam and the Ants to form the band behind 13-year-old Annabella Lwin on vocals. They released their debut EP Your Cassette Pet in 1980, and had their first UK top 10 hit with "Go Wild in the Country" in 1982. The band's music was characterized by a danceable new wave sound that drew on a Burundi beat provided by Dave Barbarossa on drums, as well as the suggestive lyrics squealed into the mic by their teenage lead vocalist.

C·30 C·60 C·90 Go 1980 song performed by Bow Wow Wow

"C·30 C·60 C·90 Go" is the debut single by English new wave band Bow Wow Wow. It was written by Malcom McLaren, Matthew Ashman, Leigh Gorman and Dave Barbarossa. Originally only released on cassette, it was the world's first-ever cassette single.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, informally as Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

The ZTT label made good use of the format by 1984, with singles by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Art of Noise and Propaganda being issued in unique versions on cassette.

ZTT Records is a British record label founded in 1983 by record producer Trevor Horn, Horn's wife, businesswoman Jill Sinclair, and NME journalist Paul Morley. The label's name was also printed as "Zang Tumb Tuum" and "Zang Tuum Tumb" on various releases.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood British band

Frankie Goes to Hollywood is a British band formed in Liverpool, England in the 1980s. The group was fronted by Holly Johnson (vocals), with Paul Rutherford (vocals), Peter Gill, Mark O'Toole, and Brian Nash (guitar).

Art of Noise British band

Art of Noise were an English avant-garde synth-pop group formed in early 1983 by engineer/producer Gary Langan and programmer J. J. Jeczalik, along with arranger Anne Dudley, producer Trevor Horn and music journalist Paul Morley. The group had international Top 20 hits with "Kiss" and the instrumental "Peter Gunn", which won a 1986 Grammy Award.

American record companies began releasing cassette singles on a large scale in 1987, beginning with A&M's Bryan Adams "Heat of the Night" (March 13, 1987), when vinyl record album sales were declining in favor of cassette recordings; the cassette single was meant to replace the 45 record in a similar way. [2]

Album collection of recorded music, words, sounds

An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album; this format evolved after 1948 into single vinyl LP records played at ​33 13 rpm. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have mostly focused on CD and MP3 formats. The audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s.

The format was used as a promotion in the 1990s, with Disney giving a "cassingle" to attendees of Hercules promotional events. [3]

<i>Hercules</i> (1997 film) 1997 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures

Hercules is a 1997 American animated musical fantasy comedy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation for Walt Disney Pictures. The 35th Disney animated feature film and the eighth animated film produced during the Disney Renaissance, the film was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. The film is loosely based on the legendary hero Heracles, the son of Zeus, in Greek mythology.

Packaging

A relatively modern cassette single (by Tatu) in an O case packaging. This single is sold only in the O case and does not have an insert Modern Cassette Single in O-Case.png
A relatively modern cassette single (by Tatu) in an O case packaging. This single is sold only in the O case and does not have an insert

Originally, most cassette singles were released in a cardboard sleeve that slipped over the outside of the release. This was then usually shrink wrapped in plastic. Some singles contained one song on each side, much as 45s had done, but others repeated the songs on both sides. In some markets, cassette singles generally used the same packaging as standard cassettes, a plastic box with a paper insert.

Cardboard is a generic term for heavy-duty paper-based products having greater thickness and superior durability or other specific mechanical attributes to paper; such as foldability, rigidity and impact resistance. The construction can range from a thick sheet known as paperboard to corrugated fiberboard which is made of multiple corrugated and flat layers.

Shrink wrap, also shrink film, is a material made up of polymer plastic film. When heat is applied, it shrinks tightly over whatever it is covering. Heat can be applied with a handheld heat gun, or the product and film can pass through a heat tunnel on a conveyor.

As the cassette maxi-single was released, more intricate packaging was incorporated that looked similar to the packaging of a regular cassette release. These were placed in regular plastic cassette cases with a paper/cardstock insert. Unlike a full-length cassette album, these were generally only one two-sided inlay instead of a fold-out. Maxi-singles usually contained four versions of a single song, i.e.: unique mixes & edits, but some contained versions of two different songs.

Popularity

Although the cassette had reached a high level of popularity by the late 1980s, due to the ubiquity of mobile devices such as the Sony Walkman, the boombox and car audio cassette players, cassette singles never rivalled gramophone records to even near the same extent as cassette albums had done. In the U.S., cassette singles were completely phased out by the early 2000s. One reason for their lesser popularity was because they appeared to be an inefficient use of the media to consumers - a cassette single took up the same storage space as a full album. In April 2013, however, psychedelic rock band MGMT released the first single from their third album as a cassette single, and October 2014 saw the cassingle "Great Big Happy Green Moonface" from Polaris, the band's first release in fifteen years.

Related Research Articles

A-side and B-side the two sides of 78, 45, and 33 1/3 rpm phonograph records and cassette capes

The terms A-side and B-side refer to the two sides of 78, 45, and 33​13 rpm phonograph records, or cassettes, whether singles, extended plays (EPs), or long-playing (LP) records. The A-side usually featured the recording that the artist, record producer, or the record company intended to receive the initial promotional effort and then receive radio airplay, hopefully, to become a "hit" record. The B-side is a secondary recording that has a history of its own: some artists released B-sides that were considered as strong as the A-side and became hits in their own right. Others took the opposite approach: producer Phil Spector was in the habit of filling B-sides with on-the-spot instrumentals that no one would confuse with the A-side. With this practice, Spector was assured that airplay was focused on the side he wanted to be the hit side.

Extended play musical recording longer than a single, but shorter than a full album

An extended play record, often referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. Contemporary EPs generally contain a minimum of three tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well.

<i>Substance 1987</i> compilation album by New Order

Substance is a compilation album by English alternative dance band New Order. It was released in August 1987 by Factory Records. The album compiles all of the band's singles at that point in their 12-inch versions, along with their respective B-side tracks. The then-newly released non-album single "True Faith" is also featured, along with its B-side "1963".

Polaris (band) indie rock band

Polaris is an independent rock band that was formed as a one-off musical project in the mid-1990s involving members of the New Haven indie rock band Miracle Legion. They were commissioned specifically to produce music for the Nickelodeon television show The Adventures of Pete & Pete, which was later compiled into the group's first and only album. Nearly twenty years after the show was cancelled, Polaris reemerged with its first tour and a cassingle of two new songs.

CD single music single in the form of a standard size compact disc

A CD single is a music single in the form of a compact disc. The standard in the Red Book for the term CD single is an 8cm CD. It now refers to any single recorded onto a CD of any size, particularly the CD5, or 5-inch CD single. The format was introduced in the mid-1980s but did not gain its place in the market until the early 1990s. With the rise in digital downloads in the early 2010s, sales of CD singles have decreased.

Show You the Way to Go 1977 single by The Jackson 5

"Show You the Way to Go" is a song written by Gamble and Huff and recorded by The Jacksons for their 1976 CBS debut album, The Jacksons. Released as a single in early 1977, it was the only number-one song for the group in the UK. It was later covered by Dannii Minogue.

A maxi single or maxi-single is a music single release with more than the usual two tracks of an A-side song and a B-side song.

Rey Valera Filipino singer-songwriter

Reynaldo Valera Guardiano, better known as Rey Valera, is a Filipino singer, songwriter, music director, film scorer and television host. He wrote and produced songs that were recorded by various singers, most notably Sharon Cuneta. He is currently the head judge of the singing contest segment "Tawag ng Tanghalan" in a variety noontime show It's Showtime.

Annabella Lwin Lead singer of Bow Wow Wow

Annabella Lwin is an Anglo-Burmese singer, songwriter and record producer best known as the lead singer of Bow Wow Wow. Lwin was born to a Burmese father and an English mother in Rangoon, Burma. She is a practising Buddhist.

Handbags and Gladrags song written in 1967 by Mike dAbo

"Handbags and Gladrags" is a song written in 1967 by Mike d'Abo, who was then the lead singer of Manfred Mann. D'Abo describes the song as "saying to a teenage girl that the way to happiness is not through being trendy. There are deeper values."

Streets of Philadelphia 1994 single by Bruce Springsteen

"Streets of Philadelphia" is a song written and performed by American rock musician Bruce Springsteen for the film Philadelphia (1993), an early mainstream film dealing with HIV/AIDS. Released as a single in 1994, the song was a hit in many countries, particularly Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and Norway, where it topped the singles charts.

Vacation (The Go-Gos song) 1982 single by The Go-Gos

"Vacation" is a 1982 single released by the all-female rock band the Go-Go's. The song was the first single from the album Vacation.

I Want Candy single

"I Want Candy" is a song written and originally recorded by the Strangeloves in 1965 that reached No. 11 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. It is a famous example of a song that uses the Bo Diddley beat.

Leigh Gorman British musician

Leigh Gorman is an English rock musician, record producer, and composer best known for his work as the bass player for Bow Wow Wow.

Matthew James Ashman was an English guitarist with Adam and the Ants and Bow Wow Wow. He died at age 35 after lapsing into a coma due to complications arising from diabetes in 1995.

Dave Barbarossa is a drummer and an author of British and Mauritian descent. As part of both Adam and the Ants and Bow Wow Wow, he was instrumental in creating the tribal drumming trend that was popular among British and some American bands from 1979 to 1983.

Sanity (song) 1986 Killing Joke song

"Sanity" is Killing Joke's second single from their sixth studio album, Brighter Than a Thousand Suns. It was released on 30 October 1986. The single peaked at No. 70 in the UK Singles chart.

<i>Your Cassette Pet</i> 1980 EP by Bow Wow Wow

Your Cassette Pet is the cassette-only debut mini-album by English new wave band Bow Wow Wow, released in November 1980 on EMI Records. It included a cover of the 1940 Johnny Mercer/Rube Bloom pop hit "Fools Rush In".

References

  1. Johnson, Bobbie (2006-10-19). "CDs, downloads ... and now band launches the memory-stick single". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  2. 1 2 Pareles, Jon (2 September 1987). "Cassette Singles: New 45's". The New York Times . p. C21. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  3. "Billboard".