Star Wars The Force Awakens Soundtrack on Cassette

It was in November last year that my quest to get the very same Sony Walkman that I owned in 1988 started and I was successful, or at least – think I was. I ended up getting the model with the radio as I am sure mine had that feature, but I can’t be 100% sure. Still, it came in handy a few days ago when at midnight I decided to listen to my Transvision Vamp cassette followed by the Ryder Cup, on the radio.

On Sunday night just gone, as the time approached midnight, again, I happened to be browsing Amazon when I came across the soundtrack for Star Wars The Force Awakens on cassette tape. Now bearing in mind I already own this on picture disc vinyl, hologram vinyl and digital version – I still couldn’t resist and ordered it. There was something quite thrilling about ordering a recent release on cassette, something I’ve not done since 1993 when I bought the cassette single for Bon Jovi’s In These Arms, complete with replica backstage pass.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Soundtrack on Cassette

Thanks to Amazon’s exceptional Prime delivery service the cassette arrived the next day, before midday, so less than 12 hours after I’d ordered it. Out of the Amazon packaging the cassette looked very unassuming, and well, very much like the cassette it was, and in fact still is, unsurprisingly. Like I used to a few decades ago, my first port of all was to take the cassette out and study the inlay. At 4 double sides I was quite impressed – I’ve seen better but I’ve also had big releases in the past with just 1 double side inlay that contained little more than the track listing.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Soundtrack on Cassette Inlay

On the inside are photos of 4 of the main characters that we saw used to promote the film, and fit the dimensions of a cassette inlay perfectly. The OCD part of me likes how they are arranged, with ignited lightsabers book ending the two non light up weapons in the middle – bravo design team.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Soundtrack on Cassette Inlay

The outside panels contain the same text from JJ Abrams as can be found in the booklet that comes with the hologram vinyl set, and no doubt is in the CD booklet too. With credits and the familiar photo of Rey, Finn and BB-8 running from a First Order attack that’s all we get to accompany the track listing, which being a soundtrack has way more tracks than you’d usually get with an album on cassette.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Soundtrack on Cassette

I will admit, there was a tiny rush of adrenaline as I slotted the cassette into my Walkman and pressed play. The juxtaposition of hearing this new album on an assumed dead format and via an almost 30 year old player was quite lovely, and I am still listening as I write this article. The sound is really good, albeit for the ever present quiet hiss in the background. That however I find conforming rather than off putting – it’s how my ears started to appreciate music and it’s how now they continue to do so. I’m not expecting everyone to understand, we’re all strange creatures in our own delicious ways.

I do like physical media, and never felt comfortable with the shift from vinyl and cassettes to CDs, let alone the almost alien concept of invisible digital files. This year sees the 4th Cassette Store Day, one that my local charity store come music store is embracing. I didn’t recognise most of the releases this year but wanted to take part, and thanks to a recommendation from my great buddy Kendall I have Hattie Cooke‘s self titled release on order for me to collect this Saturday. Vive la cassette.

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