Weak teeth, strong voice. I’m a great kisser.
I thought hard and chose to showcase audio tape sleeves on these pages in addition to vinyl record covers. In record collectors’ pantheon audio tapes generally hold little importance. Magnetic tape has a very limited shelf life. It’s a product designed to autodestruct in fifteen or so years whether you play it or not.
The best thing about audio cassettes is that many small record companies that could not afford production of vinyl records or CDs could afford to put out inexpensive tapes. Over the last thirty years the audio tape has been the poor man’s record preserving (at least for now) some of the best artists that never made it to vinyl.
Bappi Lahiri is a superstar. The fact that this is a sleeve of a tape and not an album cover does not diminish his role in Indian pop music. He composed music for over 300 feature films and cranked out more songs than can fit on a Time-Life collection. Click here to watch a scene from a film with Bappi’s unlicensed appropriation of Video Killed the Radio Star. Although not a beautiful man he also appeared in a number of films as a performer.
At some point in the eighties Bappi came up with a revolutionary idea that pop songs can exist independently of film musical productions. This tape is a record of that – Hits of Bappi Lahiri Volume 2. It’s a truly great tape. Each and every one of these songs has a propensity to get stuck in your head so listen at your own risk.
Oh, yes, a corner shop merchant a few blocks away from my house says that his brother is Bappi’s buddy and that Bappi’s been to his store. A small world it is.