The cassette generation


It's confession time: I am from the cassette generation, although only just. My best friend in very early childhood was an old electric Bush gramophone with a lift-up lid and built-in speaker, capable of playing at all three speeds featured in my parents' record collection: 45 rpm (Have You Ever Seen The Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival), 33 rpm (complete Beethoven symphonies, each disc with a differently coloured centre, like a box of musical chocolates), and 78 rpm (Tubby the Tuba and other vintage gems of my father's).

By the time it mattered, in other words when I...