I've gone from about 200 cassettes to 100. I initially started to just toss 'em all, but thought better of it. There is some local and difficult to recreate history there - Berlin Airlift? The Stompers? Go Van Gogh? early Dar Williams (pre Honesty Room)? early David Johanssen? the New York Dolls? And I am envisioning a different life once I move into my own place - with hopefully space and time for more conscious music listening. So I decided to hang on to some stuff.
I ended up tossing anything (purchased or dubbed) that I had access to in another format (CD or digital). Tapes that folks have given me over the years that I never really listened to (mostly folk artists). Exceptions were made for Springsteen and The Clash. And I probably chucked a few things that I did not have another copy of but was not really interested in.
I ended up going over to the CD rack quite a few times. Do I really have Marc Cohn? Freedy Johnston? Specific Indigo Girls or Suzanne Vega CDs? Most often, yes, I did have them.
I was struck by some unusual trends. I'd consider myself a big Warren Zevon fan - yet I only have two CDs - Greatest Hits and his penultimate Sentimental Journey. His debut and Excitable Boy - cassette only. Similarly, a lot of Neil Young on cassette only (although a lot of CDs as well) - because back in the day I'd find and buy his stuff in the cut-out bin. The Clash (as I mentioned) - all their stuff through Sandanista on cassette. I do not own any Talking Heads except on cassette. I think I own one John Hiatt CD (greatest hits) yet probably 3 or 4 dubbed cassettes (my ex, I recall, was a big fan). I own no Joni Mitchell, yet 4 of her early works made it into my dubbed cassette collection.
And a lot of the dubbed stuff that I copied from vinyl (long since sold) - I remember owning the albums. So a little bit of a trip down memory lane. And I still have a dozen or so cassettes of my usical history (a tape of a sophomore year in college jam session, an entire evening of music (180 minutes) at the Westboro KofC hall, a tape of studio recorded songs, and perhaps a 6-8 tapes of me solo - open mics recorded from the board or just hacking around with a small cassette recorder. need to go through those more carefully.
A more or less successful cleansing. Although later tonight I was in the basement working on another project in preparation for the move and found a showbox full of more cassettes. Doh! I went through those as well....