I remember around 10 to 15 years ago when I was still in 2nd level school, students regularly swapped tapes and all the main electrical stores use to have a wide range of double-cassette recorders. Those who didn't want to buy music use to tape it off the radio also.
I do agree on the quality of modern music. While there are a few good songs, there are no where near as many as in the 80s that you'll still listen to again and again in a few years time. E.g. try browsing an online music radio library (e.g. shoutcast) and you'll see plenty of 80's music dedicated radio stations. However, try finding a few radio stations that plays the hits of 2000 to 2008.