Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In the Days Before Mixtapes, K-tel Was King

Minnie Ripperton, Elton John, Barry White and Kung Fu Fighting, Carl Douglas were all to be found on K-Tel collections

I pulled up my mp3 player a little earlier today and it tells me that I have 6436 individual songs that if I left alone to play would go on for almost 19 days without repeating a single cut.

This doesn't really surprise me very much since I spent a good hunk of the last 10 years with CD after CD and album after album slowly ripping the entire mess until it all took up about 40gb of computer space.

It's just another example of the wonderful technological world we live in.

But as you may remember, that's not always how it used to be.

In the late 1970's and throughout the 1980's, many of us took ourselves very seriously in our design and production of mixtapes collecting the very best music out there in a perfect order for playing at the next great party just over the horizon.

The art of the mixtape though really did not come into being until the later part of the 70's which meant that before then, we only had a few options.

You could play a pile of singles, or you could play DJ and be ready to flip disk after disk, or you could take the easy way out and send $5.99 over the telephone and get yourself whatever this months latest collection of rocking hits had come out from the worlds busiest record company K-tel.

K-tel, Pure Power Ad

K-tel specialized in putting out collections of one hit wonders and getting former stars to re-record their hits on the cheap.

K-tel, 22 Explosive Hits

I wanted to put up as many examples of K-tel commercials as I have, not only because I have a real love for the loud, overblown style of the things, but I also get a kick out of being reminded of songs and bands that appeared on the scene for only a second and then vanished like smoke.

K-tel, 22 Fantastic Hits

Of course it wasn't all hit collections with K-tel, they also were known for country, gospel, humor, and oh yeah, a two album set of the music and wit of William Shatner.

K-tel presents, William Shatner, Captain of the Starship

So, here's to K-tel, for silly commercials, and decent songs, and being able to put on a side and have time to make out with a girl before having to turn the thing over.

K-tel, Believe in Music


1 comment:

  1. Somewhere in storage, I still have my K-tel "White Hot: Masters of Metal" cassette tape. Damn near played that thing to death as a teenager.