Carol singers

Strangers standing on your doorstep singing about Good King Wenceslas? A vanishing rarity.


Taping the charts off the radio

This activity fits comfortably in the category of “things our children will never do”. After all, if you want to listen to a song, you can go to Spotify, right?

It wasn’t once so simple.

8-track cartridges

Just another obsolete audio format? Or was the 8-track stereo cartridge part of the conspiracy to make us keep buying our music in different media over and over again?


Jukeboxes were essentially an automated music-playing device. What you would do (usually) is put a coin into the machine, then press some buttons with numbers and letters on them. You told the machine which song you wanted to hear, and it played it.

B sides

An explanation for the Spotify generation: Our old 45-rpm singles were vinyl records that confusingly did not contain a single song. They contained one song on each side (sometimes two).

The mixtape

On a mixtape, you had to get the tracks in the right order, depending on what effect you were attempting to induce in the recipient. Was this a declaration of love, or simply a demonstration of your irreducible coolness when it came to good music?