Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cruisin' Classics

I finally decided to purge my audio tape collection, since I'm pretty sure that's a dying technology. My car still has a tape player, but I don't even listen to tapes there - I usually just listen to the radio (even though the LCD is partially broken so it's difficult to see the station), or, if I'm going on a long trip, I take my iPod and the radio adapter that broadcasts to an unused radio frequency. So, tapes are a thing of the past. Except that my friends made fun mixes for me over the years, and it would be nice to preserve the collection of music, if not the physical tape. So I'm trying to write down the playlists from those mixes with the intent of finding those songs in my library/buying them on iTunes and re-creating the mixes on my iPod. On the other hand, I also have many tapes that were direct recordings of CDs, so these went directly into the trash. It's quite cathartic.

Another set of tapes that I have is the Cruisin' Classics. These were tapes sold by Shell gas stations in 1989 and 1990 for $1.99 (with purchase of 8 gallons of gas). Each one had 10 songs from the 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's. My sister and I LOVED these tapes. We loved them so much we fought over them (though that's not saying much since we fought quite a bit in our childhood). To circumvent this particular predicament, I made copies of the cassettes by making my read-only "Annie" cassettes into writeable cassettes via the old scotch-tape-over-the-holes-on-the-top-of-the-cassette method (sorry, had to start calling them cassettes due to confusion with adhesive tape...). Well, being the packrat that I am, I still have 2 of the originals and one of the copies from 18 years ago. Yeah, I wasn't kidding about being a packrat.

Turns out it's harder to find information about Cruisin' Classics than you might think. These tapes were pretty popular when they came out, so it seems like someone would have chronicled their history and playlists somewhere on the internet. All I could find was eBay listings with patchy information and bad spelling. So, in case you're wondering and don't want to crawl through the interweb to find this information, here it is (Volumes I-III came out in the summer of 1989 and Volumes IV-VI came out in 1990):


Volume I: 60's & 70's
  • You Can't Hurry Love [The Supremes]
  • Kind Of A Drag [The Buckinghams]
  • I Heard It Through The Grapevine [Marvin Gaye]
  • (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher [Jackie Wilson]
  • Joy To The World [Three Dog Night]
  • Proud Mary [Credence Clearwater Revival]
  • Do You Believe In Magic [Lovin Spoonful]
  • Hot Fun In The Summertime [Sly & The Family Stone]
  • Lady Willpower [Gary Puckett & Union Gap]
  • Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season) [The Byrds]

Volume II: 70's & 80's
  • Uptown Girl [Billy Joel]
  • Rosanna [Toto]
  • Love Train [The O'Jays]
  • Your Mama Don't Dance [Loggins & Messina]
  • Crocodile Rock [Elton John]
  • Don't Stop [Fleetwood Mac]
  • What A Fool Believes [The Doobie Brothers]
  • Sara Smile [Hall & Oates]
  • Rock' n Me [Steve Miller Band]
  • Ramblin' Man [The Allman Brothers Band]

Volume III: 50's & 60's
  • Johnny B.Goode [Chuck Berry]
  • Great Balls Of Fire [Jerry Lee Lewis]
  • All I Have To Do Is Dream [The Everly Brothers]
  • My Girl [The Temptations]
  • Travelin' Man [Rick Nelson]
  • That'll Be The Day [Buddy Holly & the Crickets]
  • Blueberry Hill [Fats Domino]
  • He's So Fine [The Chiffons]
  • Reach Out I'll Be There [The Four Tops]
  • I Get Around [The Beach Boys]

Volume IV: More 60's & 70's
  • Come See About Me [Diana Ross & The Supremes]
  • Beautiful Morning [The Rascals]
  • Midnight Train to Georgia [Gladys Knight & The Pips]
  • Mr. Tambourine Man [The Byrds]
  • Build Me Up Buttercup [The Foundations]
  • Chain of Fools [Aretha Franklin]
  • You Didn't Have to Be So Nice [The Lovin' Spoonful]
  • How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [Marvin Gaye]
  • My Guy [Mary Wells]
  • Monday, Monday [The Mamas & The Papas]

Volume V: More 70's & 80's
  • Listen To The Music [The Doobie Brothers]
  • It's So Easy [Linda Ronstadt]
  • Ventura Highway [America]
  • Could It Be I'm Falling In Love [The Spinners]
  • Can't Fight This Feeling [REO Speedwagon]
  • The Heat Is On [Glenn Frey]
  • Wake Me Up Before You Go - Go [Wham!]
  • Kiss On My List [Hall & Oates]
  • September [Earth, Wind & Fire]
  • Footloose [Kenny Loggins]

Volume VI: More 50's and 60's
  • Sherry [The Four Seasons]
  • Blue Moon [The Marcels]
  • Oh, Pretty Woman [Roy Orbison]
  • Why Do Fools Fall In Love? [Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers]
  • Get A Job [The Silhouettes]
  • Runaround Sue [Dion]
  • Do You Want To Dance? [Bobby Freeman]
  • Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On [Jerry Lee Lewis]
  • Yakety Yak [The Coasters]
  • Oh, What A Night [The Dells]

70 comments:

Elaine said...

Cruisin' Classics are truely classics. You better make me a CD of the newly created mixes! Of course one of my favorites was Johnny B Goode ... we had quite the routine to that one!

gecko said...

Man, I wish I still had that cardboard guitar! :)

thomas said...

So THIS is what you do after you're a PhD!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much...I couldn't find these lists either! We wore those tapes out when we were little! Thanks again!

rarity said...

Thank you! A group of strangers were hiking in W Maryland and somehow Cruisin' Classics came up... i just made youtube links for all the volumes. you rock, mysterious shelltapecassette haver!

Anonymous said...

i LOVE LOVE LOVED crusin classics! my mom and dad wore those tapes out. thank you for posting the track listings - i totally just made CD copies of these for my sister and i.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH. I was trying to find the track listing for Volume 5, which my mom played over and over when I was little. I didn't know the name of the cassette, so I just googled some of the artists and "Shell," and found your blog! Ahh, More Hits of the 70's and 80's brings me back...

CTraised said...

I listened to volume 5 for hours before a fell asleep when I was a little girl. My dad made me a fan of 50's 60's and 70's because of these tapes. Thank you for making the lists. I only had 4,5, and 6 on the inside of the cassette.

Anonymous said...

These cassettes were the bane of my existence on family road trips - thank you for the set list - I plan on torturing my mother with CD recreations...

Anonymous said...

These cassettes were the bane of my existence on family road trips - thank you for the set list - I plan on torturing my mother with CD recreations...

Anonymous said...

ahhh thank you! i'm i guess what of you'd call the younger generation (16) and I still love these songs with all my heart. We used to play them on every road trip. I know more then half of the songs on vol. 1-3 (thats all we have/had) by heart.... THANK YOU

Anonymous said...

This is great!! any chance you could ad the covers? I'm creating CD versions of these but cand find the cover anyware...

Jes said...

Thank you so much for being so awesome! I loved my tapes to bits (literally), so it's great to have someone remember what all the songs were for you :)

Anonymous said...

i wore out TWO copies of the one with Footloose on it. Thank you!!! I've been trying to recreate... but couldnt remember a few. You rock!!

Stephen Staffieri said...

Thank You!!!

I just felt like listening to Volume I and found the songs and made a playlist for tomorrow (July 4). I was looking for Volume 2 and you are just amazing!!!!

These introduced me to old music that was good at 8 so I was happy to listen again 19 years later.

Anonymous said...

my late grandfather and i used to jam out to the johnny b. goode and great balls of fire tape on our rides to the shore...i was 4 when he died and still could sing you every song from those tapes by heart, thank you so much for bringing me back to those good old times

Chris said...

This post is nostalgic. I grew up in suburban Detroit during the 80s and 90s and we owned Volumes I-III. My younger brother and I often played these cassettes in the background, while we played with our toys and legos. C'mon Shell, I want my Cruisin Classics on CD!

Anonymous said...

Beyond nostalgia...

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU FOR THIS LIST!!! I grew up listening to these and wanted to recreate them for a party I'm throwing for my parents. These were the BEST!

Emmy Jane said...

Seriously ... Thank You ... You have no I dea how long I have been searching for those songs ... you just saved my sisters wedding! All she asked was I compile the Shell Gas station Cassette songs to a cd ... we had no idea which volume it was or anything ... You ROCK!

Anonymous said...

OMG thank you so very much for this. When I was 7 my parents drove me, my sis, and bro from New York to California. Our big move. One thing that got me thru, Shell's Cruisin Classics. I've been looking for them ever since. So many thanks you rock!

Anonymous said...

I wore volume III out so much you could hear one side of the tape playing normally and the other side of the tape playing backward at the same time. These tapes were a huge part of my childhood!

Lulu--Back in Town said...

I see you're getting a lot of this, but I've got to give you cheers, too. I couldn't find these lists, either--at some point the old tapes got purged, and I've been trying to cobble them together again for a long time. We had I, IV, and VI, apparently, I hadn't remember.

Thank you so much for posting these up.

Meghan said...

Thank you so much for posting this information!! These tapes (which I believe came out around 1990, 1991? Anyone know for sure) were a huge part of my childhood, driving around with my dad and listening to the music. They don't make music like this anymore, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I have been waiting for this! When I was a kid my father got one of these from the station and it was my only cassette for years! I would listen to it all the time.
I've been looking for the track listing forever!
Volume V was what I had, I think!

Awesome! Thank you!

Jody K. said...

THANK YOU! We love Cruisin' Classics (especially vol. 6) but misplaced it a while ago. We can't wait to recreate the tapes and the memories.

Anonymous said...

thanks you, music and art are the only pure things in this messed up world we live in

elise said...

Thank you for posting these playlists!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember a Children's Party Hits tape? It had snoopy vs. the red baron and mna mna, to name a few. It is impossible to find the playlist for this and I would really appreciate some help! I can't find a copy anywhere and my dad picked it up from a gas station when I was a kid. It came in a red case with a silver helium balloon, among other things.
Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

I used to listen to the 50s and 60s volumes non-stop on road trips when I was a little kid. Thanks for posting these lists, its great to be able to go back and find this music and remember those fun times now. Thanks again.

ML said...

I had Vol. I and VI as a little girl and L O V E D them. On repeat in my walkman constantly. I distincly remember my mom getting back in the car after buying gas at shell and she handed me the tape...i was just talking with her trying to remember all the tracks and had a really hard time finding results on google- Thank YOU for this blog entry!! and what a great collection of cruisin classics fans!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for these lists!! I have the cases for two of the cassettes but alas... no tapes. Can't wait to get some of these classics in digital@

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting these songs. My brothers and I grew up listening to these tapes on family vacations. I have been wanting to find the music to make cd's for our parents for a long time. You have made that possible!! Thanks again!!

man said...

Yay! Thank you!

Emtifah said...

Thanks for posting. I loved this series when I was a kid.

I dream of scrappin said...

I have so MANY memories with these tapes. Specially volume V you completely Rock!!

I will suprise my father with this and he will be so happy!

Seriously You ROCK!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to you, I was just able to reproduce my own Cruisin' Classics playlist. These tapes were the soundtrack to summer family vacations, and every time I hear any one of these songs I'm back in my parents' '87 Suburban, driving through the piney woods of northern Michigan.

marshallinphiladelphia said...

Thanks, Gecko, for this wonderful resource. If anybody would like a CD of these, let me know and I will send it to you. I think I may be missing one cassette, but I have most of them! You can e-mail me at marshal544@aol.com
Thanks, marshallinphiladelphia

Caroline said...

You have *NO* idea how awesome this is.. THANK YOU! My sister and I have endless memories to these tapes as well... now I can re-create them. WOOHOO!!!

Anonymous said...

I found this site using [url=http://google.com]google.com[/url] And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!

Sorry for offtopic

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

OMG!! THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!! SID

Anonymous said...

What is it about these?!?!? When I bought mine in '89 it was because I didn't have much else at the time to listen to. I fell in love with them. I still associate certain times of the year and smells and places with these songs! Thanks for chronicling these. (Now I will download individual songs (as needed) to re-create the collections.)

Blair said...

Thank you so much! I wanted to add these songs to my last.fm library, but I couldn't think what they were! I loved these tapes growing up, and it's really hard to find the songs on the internet. Thanks for posting them!

Jayme said...

I'm SOOO excited to have found your post! I think I only had one tape I think - Volume V - More 70's and 80's. Last summer, I heard "Ventura Highway," which I hadn't heard in a long time and it brought me right back to a road trip I took in 1989 with my boyfriend at the time. It was northern California and really hot. We had the windows down and that tape blasting the entire time. I think we actually got the tape when we filled up to head out. I couldn't even remember the name of the series at first, but when I finally did, couldn't find the tracks. So thank you thank you thank you!!

Anonymous said...

You are so awesome for posting this information! Thanks! I used to listen to these all the time when I was a kid and have a lot of fond memories, but I've lost the tapes.

Anonymous said...

Yeah man!, I remember those shell tapes, they were the best, I even bought the mix that came out on the radio later that year, and if I was part of your family, I probably would have fought you for them too, well all have to say good luck on your search, because I'm in the same predicament myself, try to Google it, or isoxbox360.com they have lots of good stuff.

Kuko,
Philly.

kari said...

Thanks!!! I wanted a track listing of Cruisin Classics and voila, you had it all! Brings me back to those eighties/nineties days when my parents would play these tapes. on bluberry hill...

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you! After searching for these tapes in my parent's basement, you have saved me!!! So many memories of listening to these in the car on the many trips we took back then! What a treasured memory you have put together! Thanks again!!!

Lauren said...

Wow!! This is so great! You have all the track lists from all the Cruisin Classics. Just like so many other people have posted, my family also wore out these tapes listening to them over and over on long road trips. I'm making a CD for my parents 40th wedding anniversary and my family is going to love this surprise! What great memories!! Thank you so much/1

groovflowr said...

We had the whole six-volume set and they were our long road-trip soundtrack. My brother and I, riding in the back of my Mom's station wagon while driving to northern Michigan for our annual camping trip, had the whole order memorized...

Mom's cleaning out some of her old stuff and we found the set, which I temporarily rescued with the same intention of recreating the playlist digitally.

Thanks for posting! :)

Laura said...

Thanks! My parents had volume V and we fought over it too! I've been looking for that list of songs for a little while and didn't know what to reference it as when searching!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. My parents had volume 3, and it was such a part of my childhood road trips. I too searched for "shell classic rock cassette" and found this blog. Now I have downloaded and recreated that tape. Thanks!

Maven Sage said...

Thanks So Much!!!! My tapes are dead and I wanted to buy the MP3s but I didn't know where to begin!!! <3

Erika said...

Thank you for the track list!

pete v said...

C R U I S I N ' C L A S S I C S !

Anonymous said...

Wow. Suddenly I'm in the backseat of my mom's car next to my big brother on a road trip all over again. Thanks for the memories!

Anonymous said...

I love you for this, thank you so much!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meghan said...

Thank you thank you thank you for this post! I was going to mention the cassette tape series on my blog and was looking for more information. I will link to your page. I grew up listening to these tapes when I was about 4 or 5 years old. Thanks!! Love it!

Anonymous said...

I can't even begin to thank you for posting this! My sisters and I were crazy for these tapes when we were kids (we were wise beyond our years to say the least). We've been looking for the song lists for awhile. You made three women very happy today! Funny how a mix tape can bring back so many memories. Thanks again. Take care.

Anonymous said...

I used to listen to volume 2 a lot when I was like 5-6. It was basically the first real music I chose to listen to on my own. I can't believe so many people remember them and its surreal to see all the comments. This was at least the 4th time I've hit Google looking for the playlists so THANKS for posting this. I had most of the songs but couldn't remember a couple.

Brian Neal said...

Not sure how late I am with this but I used the set list above and made out the playlist on spotify. I combined the 50's and 60's, the 60's and 70's and the 70's and 80's so it is 3 long playlist instead of 6 short ones.

Maxology said...

Words can not begin to express my gratitude for this post.

I have taken the liberty to create a playlist on YouTube for these.

Volume I

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjIrW7_Y7pcEwnAYM5QcMdQdUrpGPnub2

Volume II

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjIrW7_Y7pcFzcBCAJb9Cd_a1p12wkMcu

Volume III

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjIrW7_Y7pcG1mdxIKO7oP0TBdpkRYMsE

Volume IV

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjIrW7_Y7pcFVvGi0V3S41QgTbslVDAvh

Volume V

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjIrW7_Y7pcFe9WtGBYzP5aMcvi9C3UWi

Volume VI

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjIrW7_Y7pcGvyhlP_bhOx6PgkbnTCTD5

Anonymous said...

Thanks for compiling this list! I just found my vol 1 and vol 5 and was wondering if there was a song list somewhere on the internet.

Cacy James said...

Thank you for posting this! I have been wanting to download all of the songs as playlists and you made it so easy for me! Great memories with my dad and these tapes playing in his truck!

Suzie Gonzalez-Pender said...

Was there a "summer time" version with the following songs: Buster Poindexter's "Hot Hot Hot"; Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy"; and Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine?

Gary Saxton said...

adding to the lists of thank yous... This list is amazing, and I guess it shouldn't surprise me that so many people had the same nostalgic connection to a bunch of freebie tapes handed out by a gas station, but it somehow does. You've done an amazing thing here adding such an easy to find list on the interwebs. much thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you VERY much.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful List. I used to listen to these tapes on summer road trips. We had all 6--I say we because my brother got them!