From the Stacks

From the Stacks: Various – Survival Sampler

various survival samplerThis is one of my favorite items from my stacks. The Survival Sampler is a 1984 Warner Brothers compilation that came packaged in a pull-top can.

I was working at Camelot Music when this came out, and the real-life Dan and I wrestled for this beast as soon as it came out of the box. Fortunately we received more, and real-life Dan and I ended up with two apiece — one to open, and another to collect.

Somewhere along the line my unopened one vanished. I don’t know if I lost it, somebody snatched it, or perhaps I wore my first tape out so I busted open my second can of sound rations. Regardless, I regret its loss.

I must have spent hundreds of hours working on my MGB with this tape on auto reverse, digging Tony Levin’s outrageous bass on King Crimson’s “Sleepless,” the wonderfully eccentric “Caterpillar Girl” from The Cure, and Carmel’s “More, More, More.” I put on my bravest face and suffered through Scritti Politti’s “Wood Beez,” and dug in for the Depeche Mode, The Smiths, and Modern English trifecta.

Now I’m all excited. Time to dig out the tape deck.

What’s it worth? No freaking clue. I’ve never seen a sealed Survival Sampler offered for sale, but I keep looking. I’d gladly pay fifty bucks to stick an unopened copy on my shelf.

2 replies »

  1. Like yourself, I had two, one opened and one unopened. However, I’m the opposite of you, I lost my opened can but still have the unopened one. That tape introduced me to a lot of new bands and really changed my musical perspective. Eternally grateful!


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