The Power of the Playlist

Posted: June 19, 2013 in Storytime
Tags: , , , ,

Everyone over the age of 35 most likely made, at one point in their lives, a mixed tape. Today we make digital playlists, but since those are easily edited and not time-limited, they’re not the same as mixed tapes. Usually I put a lot of thought into the order of the songs on my tapes. Because I was a mobile DJ, I had a lot of 45s, and I made far more than my fair share of mixed tapes. Some of them lasted a few weeks, while others lasted for years – my enjoyment of them, that is, not the physical tapes themselves … every single mixed tape I ever made still exists and lives in a box.

One tape in particular defined the summer of 1991 for me. Side A (remember sides?) started with:

    Right Here, Right Now – Jesus Jones
    Unbelievable – EMF
    Losing My Religion – R.E.M.
    Silent Lucidity – Queensryche

I listened to that tape incessantly, and the order of the songs got so burned into my memory that, when I was at the gym four years later and heard Right Here, Right Now followed by Unbelievable on the radio, it stopped me in my tracks. I was instantly transported back to 1991, and I fully expected Losing My Religion to be next.

That … is the power of the playlist.


  1. Suspicious Chihuahua says:

    Agreed. I made many a mixtape as well, and as the years ticked by I can still recall the feeling of disappointment when hearing one song that was on an old tape but was not followed by the appropriate song.

  2. Suspicious Chihuahua says:

    Reblogged this on Suspicious Chihuahua and commented:
    I was also a fan of the old school mixtape, and I totally get this.

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