Norm Houseman: Compilation Albums

Let’s face it, mixtapes are a throwback to the days when people listened to music that had been recorded on vinyl albums, and later tape cassettes, and even later CDs. It was way back in the mists of time, before the days when everyone streamed their music. I remember all those iterations and I cherish them. One reason is that not all the music that I love is available from streaming services. Anticipating mixtapes, record companies often put out compilation albums with songs from a variety of the artists they had under contract. Columbia had their own record club and would release these albums at a cut rate to entice people to listen and buy full albums by artists that they liked. I’m sure other recoding companies did similar things, but my father joined the Columbia Record Club shortly after he bought our family’s first stereo. We got some of their compilation albums. Later, when I got my first stereo, the place where we bought it threw in a few compilation albums. I even got a reel-to-reel compilation when I got my first tape deck. Over the years I’ve collected several of them in vinyl, tape, and cd format.

Most of the compilation albums that I own are folk music albums, but I also have many jazz and rock compilations. Over the years I’ve made many of my own on tapes and CDs to give to friends and to keep for myself. Many of the songs that I love from those albums are not available on Spotify, but I found enough to put together this mixtape.

As part of my new mixtapes project, I have asked select friends to curate playlists for me. This mixtape is specially curated for us by Norm. He quickly became a true friend and confidant 7 years ago when I correctly recognised a floppy disk for what it was. Since then, he has seen me through all my ups and downs through perfectly timed memes, several postcards, lessons on the American presidency, and music, music, music. When not spreading positivity by sharing his song of the day on Twitter, you can find him blogging at Classical Gasbag.

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