Music was always a big part of my childhood. Back in the Stone Ages, we played things called “audio cassettes” that we’d put in “tape players” to hear our songs. I know, I know. That sounds crazy. Even crazier? We couldn’t instantly play any song we wanted. We’d have to actually rewind or fast forward the tape to get to a specific song.
Yes there’s definitely an advantage to the instant song access we have today. It’s amazing that with sites like Spotify, you can put together any collection or playlist you want. It’s a virtual library of just about every song ever created. I do love that but it doesn’t mean I don’t still have a box full of hundreds of CDs in my basement.
Now after audio tapes, we entered the world of compact discs (CDs) and with those, we could jump to any song we wanted without any rewinding or fast forwarding. The downside? They can scratch fairly easily. And even with CDs, I still loved saving all my favorites on a cassette tape and dubbing it… the Mix Tape.
Seriuosly, was there anything more romantic than a Mix Tape? I still have the one my college girlfriend (and now wife!) gave me. Call me sentimental, but there’s no beating the slow roll of the tape as your favorite songs of yesteryear blast through your boombox’s speakers.
After seeing Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, I felt a renewed love of cassette tapes thanks to Star-Lord (a.k.a. Peter Quill). The space-traveling hero may have lost his mother to cancer at a young age, but he never lost the Awesome Mix tape she made for him. And with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, that mix tape love continued.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is already out on Digital HD (check your On Demand now!), and the DVD/Blu-ray hits store shelves on August 22! I know I certainly can’t wait to snag my copy. But in the meantime, I figured I’d give ol’ Star-Lord a run for his money by creating my very own Andrew’s Awesome Mix tape!
Give it a listen and tell me you’re not banging your head along with me…
Let me break down each song for you with a quick note of what they mean to me.
Andrew’s Awesome Mix
King of Pain (The Police)
The very first cassette tape I remember buying was The Police’s Synchronicity. I loved every single tune on there, but for some reason, King of Pain had an almost mesmerizing effect on me.
Tarzan Boy (Baltimora)
If nothing else, the ’80s should be known for all those one-hit-wonder tunes. Tarzan Boy was one of my all-time favs and when it became the song used in a Listerine commercial years later it got me hooked all over again.
We’re Not Gonna Take It (Twisted Sister)
Hands down, my all-time favorite band. I don’t know how many copies of Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry album I had to buy because I kept playing and playing and playing that tape. Every tune is a winner and “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is really the perfect anthem for the band and all us kids from the ’80s.
Eat It (Weird Al Yankovic)
I must have been in fifth or sixth grade when this came out and I fondly remember all the other kids in my class laughing hysterically at it. It’s the album that put Weird Al on the map and I still have my copy buried somewhere in my closet.
Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
Okay, not an ’80s tune, but slightly different memory for me here. The Seattle music scene hit hard in the ’90s and no one nailed it better than Kurt Cobain’s Nirvana. After hearing this one for the first time, I remember playing it regularly on the college radio station that I was a DJ on. (Shoutout to WHRW!) The callers weren’t as excited as I was, though. Maybe five times in a row was a bit much?
Real American (Rick Derringer)
Besides music, video games and cartoons, my childhood in the ’80s consisted of the WWF (now known as WWE), with none other than Hulk Hogan leading the charge. The Hulkster’s theme song still elicits goosebumps in me when I hear it, as I wait for the big guy to race into the ring and take down King Kong Bundy or some other heel.
Glory of Love (Peter Cetera)
I actually don’t love this song. It’s okay but it has some real significance for me. As a fan of the Karate Kid movies, this was a theme song from Karate Kid II. It’s also the very first song I bought the sheet music for and learned how to play during my piano lessons.
Dream Warriors (Dokken)
Who remembers Rockin’ with Dokken? I loved these guys and just as The Police’s Synchronicity album was my first cassette, Dokken’s Back for the Attack was the very first compact disc that I bought. Dream Warriors (used in Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) even made it to the mainstream.
Back in Time (Huey Lewis and the News)
With Back to the Future being one of my favorite movie trilogies, it’s no surprise that Huey Lewis’ “Back in Time” gets me grooving every single time.
Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)
How can you discuss movies from the ’80s without mentioning the Rocky franchise, in particular Rocky III! Mr. T as Clubber Lang and Hulk Hogan as Thunderlips would be enough to get me beyond pumped for this film. But toss in a killer song by Survivor and I’m pushed over the edge! This is one tune that definitely has passed down from generation to generation, since my kids even got into it.
What songs are on your Awesome Mix playlist?