This mixtape is called 1979

(click here?)

A few months back I created a timeline feature so I could get a visual of both the years that were represented in these mixes as well as the number of songs from said years. I was motivated only by the questions "can I do it?" and "I wonder what it will look like?"

When stylizing the timeline I felt like it needed another bit of context so I added a reference mark for the year I was born: 1979. On completion I noted that my timeline contained no songs from that year.

Timeline animation

Every so often I would check back on the timeline (mainly to make sure it was still working) and kept noticing that I’d still yet to use a song from arguably the most important year of my life. Perhaps making a mix with only songs from 1979 would be a fun prompt?

And now a few words on audio quality and process

I am not an audiophile. I am not an audiophile to the point where I have perhaps taken pride in the fact that audio formats and expensive stereo equipment mean little to me. I have a friend who’s dad has a counter on his record player so he knows exactly how many revolutions it has done so he can replace his needle in a timely manner. As a nerd I can appreciate this but as someone who just wants to listen to some songs this seems like a vibe killer.

A running joke between my dad and I is “vinyl is so much warmer”. This gets tossed in conversation to poke fun at people who we feel give more of a shit about their equipment and/or record collection than the songs coming out of it. In retrospect it just sounds like I’m being a snob about what I view as snobbism which just ends up just being another form of snobbery.

Why do I bring any of this up? Well I suppose I want to broach the fact that eleven out of the fifteen songs on this mix come from records. If you’ve hung out in my living room you know that a significant amount of space is dedicated to records. It makes me kinda look like a “vinyl is warmer” type of person… The reality is that I started buying records because they were cheap. In the early 90’s I owned a DiscMan but I still bought a lot of records because I could usually get 4-5 records for the price of one CD.

There was also a neverending internal debate regarding the convenience of skipping directly to tracks versus discovering more bands/songs. So especially when I was trying to learn about bands/albums from the 60s, 70s and 80s it often made more sense to grab a bunch of records than to pin all my hopes on a single ‘remastered’ CD. Fast forward to 2022 and I look like a rejected character from High Fidelity.

When researching this particular mix I hit up this page and made notes of which albums I owned. I realized that I owned a sizable number of them on record so I pulled them out and gave them repeated listens. In addition to this I researched and streamed several albums I was unfamiliar with. Life long learner y’all!

In regard to audio quality I just want to mention that I’ve attempted to level out the songs so they aren’t sonically all over the place. Even though I am not an audiophile this process has taught me a lot about audio waveforms and compression in digital versus analog formats. I think at this point I’m supposed to have an opinion on it all but I really don’t. I can visually (not audibly) recognize the difference and conceptually understand what is going on. However, I don’t have the energy to defend one over the other.

What I do know is that the mix of records, cds and digital on this mix meant putting a bit more work into sonic cohesion. And while I did work to remove some of the “hiss” from the records I only removed a few “skips/pops”. I started to remove all of them from one song but it was a record that I inherited from Serena’s mom and it just didn’t feel right…

Cuz you know… vinyl is warmer.

Larson's birth year on the timeline

BONUS CONTENT

Love You Inside Out - Bee Gees fun fact “During recording, the Bee Gees played a prank on their manager Robert Stigwood, sending him a version with the line "backwards and forwards with my cock hanging out" to see if he was paying attention to their work.” source

I was all set to have "Here Comes My Girl" from Tom Petty's "Damn The Torpedos" but my record had a major "pop" that I was unable to to fix via neither analog nor digital means. After working on it for like 45 minutes I decided maybe I should move forward.

A few weeks ago I happened to listen to this podcast The Song That Changed My Life: Lisa Loeb (spoiler alert) The song is “Chuck E’s In Love” by Rickie Lee Jones which is a song I wasn’t familiar with. However, the name Rickie Lee Jones was familiar and I went to my record collection and sure enough I owned the album thanks to Serena’s mother. Turned out to have come out in 1979.

Sign up. I dare you.

Song
Album / Compilation
Timestamp
ABC introduces 1979
00:00:00
Elvis Costello and The Attractions - What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding
Armed Forces (1979)
00:00:07
Thin Lizzy - With Love
Black Rose: A Rock Legend (1979)
00:03:33
The Clash - Lost In The Supermarket
London Calling (1979)
00:07:58
Rickie Lee Jones - Chuck E.'s In Love
Rickie Lee Jones (1979)
00:11:40
Norm Abram's first appearance on This Old House
00:15:06
The Fall - Rebellious Jukebox
Live At The Witch Trials (1979)
00:15:10
Led Zeppelin - Fool In The Rain
In Through The Out Door (1979)
00:18:01
Sparks - The Number One Song In Heaven (Single Version)
No. 1 In Heaven (1979)
00:24:09
"wearing a t-shirt that says 'Bull Shit'" - The Jerk
00:27:47
Nick Lowe - Cruel To Be Kind
Labor Of Lust (1979)
00:27:52
The Jam - Wasteland
Setting Sons (1979)
00:31:15
Bee Gees - Love You Inside Out
Spirits Having Flown (1979)
00:34:01
Fleetwood Mac - Angel
Tusk (1979)
00:38:10
News clip on 1979 Solar Eclipse
00:42:53
Marianne Faithful - Broken English
Broken English (1979)
00:43:02
Talking Heads - Heaven
Fear Of Music (1979)
00:47:29
Joy Division - Shadowplay
Unknown Pleasures (1979)
00:51:24
Electric Light Orchestra - Need Her Love
Discovery (1979)
00:55:09
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