This topic recently came up with a few people I went out for drinks with as we were secretly trying to figure out each other’s music taste, and simultaneously how old we each were. One person was able to take their memory back to their first record, and as we talked about how the next generation will be asking something along the lines of, “what was the first song you ever downloaded?,” I was proud I could recall my first tape.

It was Aaliyah, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, released the summer of 1994. I remember the first time my cousins played “Back and Forth” for me, I was hooked. Not long after I went on a car trip to an amusement park and one of the people riding with us played the tape the whole way there and back. As soon as I got home I had to have it for myself.

I can’t remember my first CD, but I know I was notorious for buying a bunch of single discs rather than anybody’s whole album so that’s probably what mine was. Something tells me the first single CD I bought was Imajin, “Shorty (U Keep Playin’ With My Mind),” but I’m not owning up to that until I find proof—other than the fact that the disc is still in a CD case with a bunch of other singles at my mom’s house.

Do you remember the first CD or tape you ever bought?

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