When I wrote a few lines about the twenty-third cassette tape compiled by NME released in 1986 and named simply as C-86I said that some critics and/or the like criticized her saying something like ‘a good tape was the C-81 because blah blah blah’. Well, today in one of those wonderful synapses made while listening to Pastels, I remembered this part of the story and decided to look for that ‘fucking tape’ (laughs) and here we are.

A C-81 was the result of the work of journalists Roy Carr (yes, the same one who helped set up the C-86) and Christopher Rose, accompanied the January 31, 1981 edition of the English weekly and in May of the same year it was officially launched and with some differences due to Rough Trade (the cassette came out in celebration of the label’s 5th anniversary, where Carr and Rose had worked).

As said by some detractors of her younger sister, the C-81 it really covers a lot of the musical scene of the time, ranging from industrial to punk, from post-punk to baby indie rock, including spoken word, dub, ska, in short, a good sound babylon. The differences between the ‘magazine’ version and the ‘store’ version mentioned in the paragraph above happened because Chrysalis did not want to release its artists’ tracks to Rough Trade, so Specials and Linx were replaced by Panther Burns and Television Personalities.

The version shared below is the one that accompanied the NME, for which readers collected two coupons and paid the small sum of £1.50; Next are the two tracks from the ‘official’ tape, because you can never have too much good music, and below is the complete list of tracks.

Listen to it and stay tuned!

Side A:

The Sweetest Girl – Scritti Politti
Twist & Crawl Dub – The Beat
Misery Goats – Pere Ubu
7000 Names Of Wah – Wah! Heat
Blue Boy – Orange Juice
Raising The Count – Cabaret Voltaire
Kebab Traume Live – D.A.F
Bare Pork – Furious Pork
Racquel – The Specials
I Look Alone – The Buzzcocks
Fanfare In The Garden – Essential Logic
Born Again Cretin – Robert Wyatt

B side:

Shouting Out Loud – The Raincoats
Endless Soul – Josef K
Low Profile – Blue Orchids
Red Nettles – Virgin Prunes
We Could Send Letters – Aztec Camer
Milkmaid – Red Crayola
Don’t Get In My Way – Linx
The Day My Pad Went Mad – The Massed Carnaby St John Coo
Jazz Is the Teacher, Funk Is – James Blood Ulmer
Close to Home – Ian Drury
Greener Grass – Gist
Parallel Lines – Subway Sect
81 Minutes – John Cooper Clarke

Source: https://pequenosclassicosperdidos.com.br/2023/11/24/va-nme-rough-trade-c81-1981/

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