Happy birthday! Sony Walkman turns 35

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If you think that the Apple iPod revolutionised how we listen to music, then think again.

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All the way back in the dim, dark days of 1979, the Sony Walkman came along and made music on the go truly possible.

Kids today probably don’t know that the Walkman completely changed the way we listened to music. (Kids today probably don’t even know what a “cassette tape” is.)

Before the Walkman, the only way to listen to music portably was via a transistor radio – and the DJ decided what music you would hear – or via the tape deck in your car.

But all that changed when the Sony Walkman hit the streets in July 1979. Since then, the portable casette tape player has gone on to sell in excess of 380 million units.

The Walkman was the product that turned Sony into the global powerhouse that it is today. The Walkman was THE must-have gadget of the 80s and 90s – just as the smartphone is the gadget that all kids want today.

The first Walkman, called the TPS-L2. hit UK stores in 1980. It came with stereo playback, two mini-headphone jacks for dual listening and cost around £100.

The new CD technology saw the Sony Discman launched in 1984, although this portable music player never matched the success of the Walkman.

The Walkman was such an iconic device that Cliff Richard even sang about it …

What’s your favourite memory of the Sony Walkman? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

Stuart O’Connor