For me, this trend still lives on, but for many, burning a CD is a lost art. Laptops don’t even have CD drives! You can’t burn a mix tape from your tablet and some cars are manufactured without CD players. The next generation won’t even know what CD stands for (it’s compact disc).
What happens when your best friend goes through a breakup? How will you cheer her up? With a Spotify playlist? No! You make her a breakup mix CD, that’s the only way to combat heartbreak.
Mix CDs are personal, unique, and portable. Only 18 songs, maybe 20 if you’re lucky, fit on a single mix CD. This makes choosing your songs the hardest part. If you put 3 Avril Lavigne songs on the mix, they can’t be one after the other. The order of the songs is all about creating the perfect balance. Maybe for the breakup CD you want the first half to be a little sad in order to get all of the crying out. You put, Beautiful by James Blunt first, followed by Someone Like You by Adele, next comes literally any song from Coldplay’s album Yellow, and to finish up the sad portion of the mix throw in Mad World by Gary Jules. The next songs with be from the ‘I don’t need a man category’ which includes, You Need Me I Don’t Need You by Ed Sheeran, Stronger by Britney Spears, Since You’ve Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson, and finally Independent Woman by Destiny’s Child. The last songs will probably be party anthems that make you want to dance and forget about your ex: Tipsy, Shots, Bottoms Up, Anaconda, you get point.
This group of songs would take time and effort to put into a playlist and send to your bestie. A CD is essentially a gift, presenting your friend with the ultimate breakup mix is like giving her a present on her birthday. Plus you get to write all over it in sharpie. You can write the song names, or give it an awesome title like ‘Screw Matt, You’re a Free Woman’ or ‘Get over it Stacy!’.
As someone who still makes mix CDs, it saddens me to know that in a couple of years compact discs will be totally obsolete. In high school I made a mix CD for all of my friends. My car was filled with homemade mixes that were for all sorts of occasions. I had a homecoming mix, a lacrosse CD for warming up, a CD just for my ride to school, and even one labeled LubeRulez that was chock full of my favorite songs of all time. I made CDs for my friends going through breakups, I gave them out when I found a new band, and even for other athletes that needed some pump up music.
A mix CD is more than just piece of plastic, it’s more than a donut shaped silver disc, and it’s more than a Spotify playlist will ever be. No commercials, no .99 cent fees, and certainly no buffering. Mix CDs are not just wonderful objects that hold up to an hour of content, they are a carefully crafted, personalized pieces of art.