Pirating anime music in the 1980s

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Fireminer
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Pirating anime music in the 1980s

Post by Fireminer »

How did old school fans pirate anime music in the 1980s? I have read stories of fans recorded the opening and ending themes on 8-tracks and cassettes from the TV, but was there anyone copied music from official OST releases? I knew that some importers did brought cassettes and then CD from Japan to the states.

On a side note, did you have a Walkman back then? And was there any radio station that played Japanese music?

davemerrill
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Re: Pirating anime music in the 1980s

Post by davemerrill »

Person A would buy the LP and make cassette copies for Persons B and C and D, etc. I still have a cassette of Yamato music that dates from 1985 - side A is Arrivederci Yamato, side B is Final Yamato.

My girlfriend in the early 1990s was a college radio DJ and she allowed me to commandeer her show one weekend afternoon and play anime music - I didn't have a lot, but I played pretty much everything I had, from Yamato LPs to theme songs taped off VHS to my vintage 60s Astro Boy record that was the soundtrack to one episode ("The Three Magicians").

Fireminer
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Re: Pirating anime music in the 1980s

Post by Fireminer »

davemerrill wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:53 am
Person A would buy the LP and make cassette copies for Persons B and C and D, etc. I still have a cassette of Yamato music that dates from 1985 - side A is Arrivederci Yamato, side B is Final Yamato.
For curious's sake, which type of cassette did you use for the Yamato music? Did you have any Type III or Type IV tape, or just Type I and Type II.

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Re: Pirating anime music in the 1980s

Post by davemerrill »

I can't remember any standard "types" for cassettes, usually every different brand would have various grades of tape. The TDK I taped those Yamato albums onto was a "SA" grade, as seen here
cassette yamato.jpg
cassette yamato.jpg (97.9 KiB) Viewed 1718 times

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Re: Pirating anime music in the 1980s

Post by SteveH »

I don't think I would use the term 'pirate' for music sharing circa the '80s. AFAIK there was never a network of people bootlegging music cassettes. Let us not forget that the music industry worked with the music publishing community to build a 'tax' into blank tape prices to cover 'lost revenue' due to recording a LP onto tape. I consider that a de facto license to reproduce for private use.

Pirate definitely fits the SM/Son May/Evergreen and whatever else they were called CDs, an epidemic during the '90s to today.

Also I'm not aware of there being home recordable 8-track tapes. There may well have been but the nature of how an 8-track works is not consumer friendly.

I am one of those people who made cassettes for my friends. I even did 'mix tapes' of themes off of 45 RPM singles.

As to 'kind of tape' the different 'classes' varied from brand to brand, everybody had their own name. The only real guideline I ever considered was that major name brand cassettes were better than no-name or off-brand, regardless of the so-called 'grade'.

I found audio cassettes were much more 'standardized' across brands (A Sony cassette sounded as good as a TDK) compared to VHS tapes.

As much as I loved my cassettes and LPs, I really embraced the CD because it didn't self destruct with use. When I bought an iPod in 2011 I was in heaven, but it took forever to rip all my CDs to iTunes. I now had the perfect 'road trip' music device. And it turned into TOO MUCH MUSIC. See, in the old days you could tailor your music to synch with the length of your drive, and know that after 3 C-90 cassettes you would be at your destination. Yes you can 'cook' a playlist to do the same thing but you're still stuck unless you make a number of playlists. With cassettes you can reach into the rack and pull out a different tape to fit your mood and driving conditions.

My iPod has like 24 DAYS worth of music on it from my iTunes. It's daunting! And now I am paranoid because since my computer was seized by my stepbrother in 2017, if something damages my iPod, I cannot replace the music.

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Re: Pirating anime music in the 1980s

Post by SteveH »

davemerrill wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:24 am
I can't remember any standard "types" for cassettes, usually every different brand would have various grades of tape. The TDK I taped those Yamato albums onto was a "SA" grade, as seen here

cassette yamato.jpg
I want to point out here how forward looking some of the tape makers were. Look at that cassette. note the little square at the bottom right. You could tell by touch which end had the takeup reel, and which side it was! That's thoughtful design. They didn't have to do that but wow.

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Re: Pirating anime music in the 1980s

Post by DKop »

SteveH wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:38 pm


As much as I loved my cassettes and LPs, I really embraced the CD because it didn't self destruct with use. When I bought an iPod in 2011 I was in heaven, but it took forever to rip all my CDs to iTunes. I now had the perfect 'road trip' music device. And it turned into TOO MUCH MUSIC. See, in the old days you could tailor your music to synch with the length of your drive, and know that after 3 C-90 cassettes you would be at your destination. Yes you can 'cook' a playlist to do the same thing but you're still stuck unless you make a number of playlists. With cassettes you can reach into the rack and pull out a different tape to fit your mood and driving conditions.
I was using what I had as a kid in the late 90's and early 2000's. I was using Cassettes till 2004 till I got my MP3. I had my first CD player in '99 but the issue with CD players is if I wanted to make a mix CD of music I had I had to invest in blank CDs and a CD burner, which I didn't get till 2002 or so when my parents upgraded from the Gateway computer to the IBM they used for a few years. I'm still looking at my first MP3 player the Virgin Pulse that allowed additional SD Cards in its slot on the side. But my best way to mix anime music was on Cassette till I got an MP3 player, and that was using a Cassette Recorder with a mic that I held up to either my TV or computer speakers and record anime music that way. I just recently ripped those tapes to my computer, and I have most of them since I thinking the rest are lost in my brothers storage as of now (which is how I found some of my stash when we went through his storage closet months ago hahaha :lol: ). I dont know how well you guys had for your cassette recorders, but you can hear that "click" when you go back and listen to when you started recording, which is what mine did.

Yea I have the issue where my phone/iPod thingy has more music than I can listen too. My phone SD card is half full from just Super Eurobeat music that it might take me a decade to go through all 249 albums of stuff that nearly sounds all the damn same, but I don't care I still love it!!

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Re: Pirating anime music in the 1980s

Post by davemerrill »

I do a lot of junking and antique malling, and I have seen recordable 8-track tapes, but I never knew anyone who ever used an 8-track tape for anything other than being a weird collectible piece of history, and/or throwing it in the trash after attempting to play it, because every 8-track tape I ever had got snarled and eaten after two or three plays. Cassettes got eaten too, but not at the same horrifying rate as 8-tracks. It was a terrible format, it sounded bad, occasionally the tape would stop in the middle of the song to change "tracks," everything about it was a miserable experience.

Cassettes, on the other hand, were just about perfect. You could take them anywhere, you could listen to them privately on a Walkman, in the car stereo, in a boom box on a picnic, in a home stereo system at home. They sounded good, you could record anything you wanted on them, they even made dual-cassette boom boxes and cassette decks to facilitate copying from one cassette to another.

The record industry hated home taping with a vengeance and even devoted an ad campaign to try and stop it.
220px-Home_taping_is_killing_music.png
220px-Home_taping_is_killing_music.png (18.64 KiB) Viewed 1687 times
Of course, music fans and musicians themselves didn't buy this for a minute. Some bands even led counter-campaigns.
tometaping.jpg
tometaping.jpg (26.97 KiB) Viewed 1687 times
There's an extra tax on blank media in Japan that goes into a fund that's supposed to reimburse the artists and producers of recorded media for any loss of revenue due to home taping. That's part of why prices for commercial VHS, CDs, and DVDs are higher in Japan. Of course that solution is never going to fly in the US, but it's one way to handle it.

We spent a little time in used record stores on our last Japan trip. Lots of vinyl, lots of CDs, lots of cassettes and 45 singles. Didn't see any 8-tracks.

Fireminer
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Re: Pirating anime music in the 1980s

Post by Fireminer »

Did anyone here use MiniDisc when it came out? I always like the type of records/optical discs that you can play from the caddies--that is why I still stick with my PSP and a bunch of UMD.

Also, just curious, how do you guys deal with old official anime records? I am curious about whether is there a market for it?

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DKop
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Re: Pirating anime music in the 1980s

Post by DKop »

Yes i'd say there is still a market for anime soundtracks on vinyl, a small but devoted market. I've been collecting anime vinyls for a couple of years now on top of laserdisc collecting. The guy I ususally go to at cons for this stuff is Otaku Joe's. He sets his price for his stuff and they're usually online prices, but when your the only dog in town doing that an no one competing, you can kinda set your prices how you want. Some stuff im thinking its higher than it should, and others I don't mind paying the cost, it just really depends.

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