[Jefito’s Note: This week’s Cassingle Vault comes to us courtesy of The Big Takeover’s Matthew Berlyant, whose past guest posts have included comprehensive Idiot’s Guides to Joe Jackson and Graham Parker. Who knew he had a soft spot for the tastefully loud stylings of Tangier? Or that he’d send me a dusty, coverless cassingle so he could share it with all of you? The sound is pretty dodgy — young Berlyant clearly played the tape at least a hundred thousand times — but that sort of adds to the charm. Enjoy! —J]

It was 1989 and I was 14 years old.

My favorite bands, generally speaking, were the ones I saw on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, Hard 30 and Dial MTV, the show that used to count down the day’s 10 most requested videos — among which happened to be this song. Since I used to see the video for “On the Line” (download) in fairly regular rotation in the fall of 1989 and liked it, I bought the cassingle and later the album Four Winds, which both songs come from.

Tangier also have the distinction of being one of the first bands I ever saw overall (the first two were Blue Murder and Bon Jovi, if anyone is keeping score). This was also in the fall of 1989, when they opened for White Lion and Cinderella at the Baton Rouge Centroplex. Of course, I was stoked, having only seen one concert before and being a fan of all three bands. I don’t remember much about the show, but I can tell you that their bluesy hard rock sound (positioned somewhere between The Black Crowes and perhaps Whitesnake or Kingdom Come) was a favorite of mine at the time. I liked it so much that when I (along with the rest of the students in my ninth grade English class) was asked to choose a particular song to play for the class and to describe why I liked it, I chose “Sweet Surrender” (download).

Later during my freshman year, I discovered Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Cream, The Doors and other similar classic rock acts, thanks, in large part, to WBRH (my high school’s radio station) and the record collections of several of my dad’s co-workers. By the following summer, due to my ever-increasing musical curiousity, I was listening to not only my classic rock favorites, but also The Cure, R.E.M., Midnight Oil and other similar bands. I began watching 120 Minutes every week, and hearing bands like The Specials, The Clash, X and Black Flag for the first time.

By the end of my sophomore year, I was a full-fledged punk rocker, leaving Tangier and their ilk a distant memory. Fittingly, I sold off most of my metal and hard rock cassettes, including Four Winds.

I was surprised, therefore, when I came upon this cassingle amidst boxes of cassettes that I recently salvaged from my parents’ house, all of which had been collecting dust for years. I hadn’t played it in 17 years, so I didn’t know how it would hold up. I was pleasantly surprised that, actually, it held up quite well — better than many similar songs from the era. Despite the fact that my tastes have changed a lot since then, I obviously still have a soft spot for this sort of stuff. Now I want to locate a copy of (the out of print and somewhat pricey) Four Winds.

About the Author

Jeff Giles

Jeff Giles is the founder and editor-in-chief of Popdose and Dadnabbit, as well as an entertainment writer whose work can be seen at Rotten Tomatoes and a number of other sites. Hey, why not follow him at Twitter while you're at it?

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