The cassette and the magic of the ‘Mixtape’

At Virgin Money we’re really proud of the rich heritage the Virgin name has in music, and it’s something we’ve been keen to celebrate with over the last few years both in exciting events like ‘The Big TV Throw’ and stand out credit card designs with our Sex Pistols and Cassette cards.

cassette-circle-cardIt’s this cassette card design and some of the famous Virgin Records artists like Culture Club, Rolling Stones and of course the Sex Pistols that got us reminiscing about the glory days of the cassette tape and the ‘art of the mixtape’.

It may be the norm now with iTunes and Spotify but mixtapes were the first time you could listen to music in the order you wanted – there was nothing stopping you from combining Meat Loaf and Mozart if you so wished and getting the right mix turned into an art form.

Popular mixtape themes

Although every mixtape was unique there were of course some standout themes of which everyone has their favourite songs, we’ve picked out some highlights below.

Road Trips – From the first drive after passing your test to a big road trip with friends, the right music is vital for a long journey. Stand out favourites include classics like ‘Born to Run’ by Bruce Springsteen or ‘Little Red Corvette’ by Prince.

Impressing a love interest – Whether it’s your first crush at high school or a new love interest at work, when it comes to impressing them nothing beats an impeccably selected mixtape to show off your musical taste be it a mix of well-chosen ballads like Foreigners ‘I want to know what love is’ or cool rock anthems like Guns N Roses ‘Sweet Child O Mine’.

Running – Every long run needs the perfect mixtape to keep the miles ticking over and there’s nothing better than hearing Queens ‘Don’t stop me now’ just when you need that extra kick of energy, or ‘Eye of the Tiger’ to make you feel like Rocky Balboa.

The ulitmate mixtape…Now yours to enjoy

We’ve had some fantastic entries for our ultimate mixtape competition, with some hidden gems even we’d forgotten about.

They’ve all been compiled into a Spotify playlist (which we’ve had on loop in the office) which everyone can enjoy.

We’ll announce our three favourite submissions and the lucky winners by the end of the month.


Thank you to all of our entrants. Our winning entries were:

Susan: Imagine by John Lennon, Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen and We Are The People by Empire of the Sun

Nicola: It Must be Love by Madness, Move Closer by Phyllis Nelson and Crazy for You by Madonna

James: Lets go Crazy by Prince, We Close our Eyes by Go West and Dream Come True by The Brand New Heavies


Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions

1. Who can enter?

  • All UK residents.
  • Aged 18 or over at the date of entry.
  • Employees of Virgin Money cannot enter.
  • Anyone directly connected to the Competition or operation of the Competition cannot enter.

2. When can you enter?

  • The entry period will open at 12:00 on 13 October 2016 and will close at 23:59 on 21 October 2016.

3. How do you enter?

  • You must post a ‘three song playlist’ on either Twitter or Instagram using the ‘#VirginMoneyMixtape’ or submit a response to the Virgin Money Facebook posts promoting the Competition. Links to our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages can be found in the article above.
  • You can only enter once.
  • You cannot enter on behalf of anyone else

4. How will the winner be selected?

  • All valid entries received within the entry period will be entered into the Competition and three winners will be chosen at our sole discretion from all qualifying entrants.

5. What is the Prize?

  • The Prize is Apple iTunes gift cards for the value of £100. There are three Prizes in total.
  • The Prize is subject to further terms and condition which will be confirmed when the Prize is awarded.
  • The Prize is non-transferable.
  • No cash alternative will be offered.

6. How do you know if you have won?

  • We will notify the winners by their chosen method of entry (Twitter, Instagram or Facebook) on 11 November 2016. You may need to accept a request from our Virgin Money account before we send you a message.

7. What else do you need to know?

  • Your personal information will be used to administer the Competition.
  • You may be asked but are not under an obligation to participate in non-paid publicity.
  • The winners agree to allow Virgin Money to confirm their names and counties of residence to other entrants.
  • You can request the winners’ name and counties of residence by sending a stamped addressed envelope to: VirginMoneyMixtape Competition, Virgin Money plc, 1 Eagle Place, London SW1Y 6AF.
  • You understand and agree that you are providing your information to us and not Twitter, Instagram and/or By entering this Competition, you release Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook from any action or claim arising out of the Competition. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding this Competition must be directed to us, not Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook.
  • The Competition is subject to English law.
  • Events may occur which render the Competition itself or the awarding of the Prize(s) impossible due to reasons beyond our control and, accordingly, we may in our absolute discretion vary or amend the Competition and you agree that no liability shall attach to us as a result thereof.

8. Who is the promoter?

  • We are Virgin Money plc.
  • Our company number is 06952311.
  • Our registered office is at Jubilee House, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 4PL.
  • Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook are not the promoter(s) of this Competition. This Competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or in association with, Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook

Famous mixtapes

cassette-circleIn both film and TV, mixtapes have played a starring role, here’s a few memorable examples:

High Fidelity – No one can forget the final scene where John Cusacks character walks the audience through the art of the mixtape – including how to use pace and mood of the song to decide the order.

Friends – The One With the Unagi, sees us treated to a brilliant scene where Chandler agrees to make Monica something special for Valentines Day, but instead digs out an old mixtape his ex Janice had made for him. What plays out is a perfect example of the importance of knowing firstly what’s on the tape and secondly recording only what you wanted which became such an art form.

Guardians of the Galaxy –Peter Quill was left a mixtape by his mother full of songs from the 60’s and 70’s which took on a prominent role in the film. The spotlight on it was reflected in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol.1” being released on cassette in 2014 when the film hit screens.