Sony Walkman

Once upon a time, someone invented a way to carry your music with you…a small, portable player that meant you no longer had to schlep a huge boombox, or, worse yet, resign yourself to just listening to dad’s old transistor radio.

Just plug in some headphones, and presto!— music on your hip. It was compact and lightweight and cool as all get-out.

No, not an iPod or iPhone, you ridiculous millennials. We speak, of course, of perhaps the greatest invention of the 80s. (Sure, there was the Space Shuttle and the artificial heart, but come on— compare those with something that lets you take your copy of the Footloose soundtrack around with you all day? Puh-leeeze.)

First hitting US stores in 1980—after a roll-out in Japan six months earlier—the Walkman (originally known as the Soundabout) was an instant hit, and almost overnight it became as ubiquitous as the VCR. It was just assumed that everyone had one. “Headin’ to the mall, dude! Grab your Walkman, and I’ll pick you up in my MR-2!”

Sony’s original sales estimates projected around 5,000 units would be sold in the first few months.

Try 50,000.

In 1983 sales of cassette tapes outpaced sales of vinyl for the first time in history. And we have to think the Walkman played at least a small role in that.

In 1986 the world “Walkman” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

The Walkman, of course, would go on to birth the Discman in 1984, the awesome yellow Sports Walkman in 1988, and the MP3 version in 2004.

And, yes, Steve Jobs cited the Walkman as his chief inspiration for the iPod. He just wanted to make HIS portable music player cleaner and neater and smaller.

Eh, we’ll take the Walkman any day. Preferably with bass boost. LOVE that bass boost.

We ♥ the Sony Walkman.

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~ by weheart80s on May 26, 2017.

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