Before the advent of CD-Rs, cassettes were the important means by which I got my music out to people. I produced numerous cassette albums in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Cassettes were vital and often the only format on which to get my music heard.
You were very lucky if you managed to get someone to release vinyl as it was very expensive to produce and had to be pretty much a sure bet as regards sales for whoever was going to release it.
I suppose that my first proper release on cassette was called “A Delicate Talking Mechanism”, produced in 1980. It was really the first opportunity I had to concentrate on my own songs after playing in new wave bands for years, writing in collaboration with other people. After I had completed the recordings for “A Delicate Talking Mechanism”, I had 25 copies professionally manufactured through a local tape copying service and gave most of them away to friends. The remaining copies I sent out to various magazines in the hope of gaining some interest in the project. One of the tapes I sent to a great national UK trade magazine of the time called Making Music.
A few weeks later, I received a very nice letter from them which explained that “A Delicate Talking Mechanism” had won their “Demo Of The Month” competition and the prize was a review plus 15 free copies of the tape, once again professionally manufactured. This meant that they replaced the copies I had given to friends. The motto I took from this was “Practice the art of random kindness”. It definitely pays off in the end!
I was extremely encouraged and it made my music feel like it was really worth something and very precious to me. Not to mention great for my self esteem and confidence. Feedback is so important.