Before the CD player, before the iPod, there was the Walkman. Today (July 1) marks 35 years since the way we consumed music was forever changed by the introduction of the first Sony Walkman portable cassette players in 1979.
They were clunky and difficult to navigate at times, sure, but there was nothing like cranking up your favorite tunes in your headphones over and over that you ultimately wear out the tape – and it was all in the palm of your hand. As the first widely-used portable and personal music player, the Walkman certainly did revolutionize the way we listened to music and brought music-lovers even closer to the bands they idolized.
When it was first released, the Walkman cost $150, just under $500 in today’s dollars, according to TIME, and even though it didn’t fit in your pocket, the Walkman quickly became a fashion statement on all the teens’ belt buckles in the ’80s. The rise of the Walkman even helped start an exercise boom because now people could walk, jog, and do aerobics while listening to music!
So in honor of its 35th birthday today, we toast to the Sony Walkman for making it possible to listen to music on the go!
Now, push rewind and relive all your memories of the Walkman with these classic commercials we dug up online.
Getting fit with the Sony Walkman:
Sony Walkman Monkey commercial:
Super Sony commercial:
For even more memories of The Walkman, watch how kids today react when they try a Walkman for the first time here.