It says 1985 on the tapes, but if you look at the small print on the handwritten sleeve, it claims that this compilation was actually committed to ferric oxide between May 17th and May 22nd 1986. What took me so long? I'd imagine it was down to me doing all the things you'd expect a 22-year-old male to be doing once he'd been let loose in the capital.
1985 was my first full year of living in London, and a rather eventful one at that. I achieved my first promotion at work, although that was a standard thing after six months for a graduate entrant, unless you'd actually murdered someone on the job. I received my first ever eviction notice, which drove me out of a flatshare in grim tubeless south London to something that turned out to be a much better (and longer-lasting) arrangement. I continued to see a lot of movies, but I also started investigating London's live music scene, and that was probably the biggest development in my artistic life that year. By the end of 1985, I wasn't just an ardent gig goer, I was also a criminal, sneaking a series of ever-smaller cassette recorders into concerts and building a personal library of fuzzy-sounding live tapes that I still have to this day.
If home taping was killing music, I was murdering it in a couple of different ways, and this 39-song compilation counts as one more nail in its coffin. Some of the selections are baffling to me 28 years later - they're either songs I never realised I liked in the first place, or dull tracks off otherwise exciting albums. See if you can work out what the hell I was thinking, because I'm not sure I can.