“To me, making a tape is like writing a letter — there’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention (I started with “Got To Get You Out Of My Mind”, but then realized that she might not get any further than track one, side one if I delivered what she wanted straightaway, so I buried it in the middle of side two), and then you’ve got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can’t have white music and black music together, unless the white music sounds like black music and you can’t have two tracks by the same artist side by side unless you’ve done the whole thing in pairs and… Oh there are loads of rules.“
Nick Hornby, from his High Fidelity, on making a mixtape. I remember reading this quote when I was making one as a birthday present for my boyfriend (which I’m 100% sure he hasn’t listened to it yet :p). Helped me a lot and I was satisfied with the result, but it was indeed not an easy job so I can’t really imagine doing it for anybody I love less, unless of course, I’m getting paid for it.