Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Beatles on 8-Track

As a kid, I remember our family had the Revolver eight-track. It was my first experience with a Beatles' album in a different format. We must've listened to that tape a million times.

The truly weird thing about eight-track technology was that the albums had to be divided into four "Programs". Because each program only lasted so long, some songs had to be split in two. The people in charge of sequencing the songs would find an appropriate spot in the song, fade it out, and after the eight-track switched to a new program, the song would fade back in. For example, on "Tomorrow Never Knows", they picked to divide the song half-way through the guitar solo. To this day, when I hear that guitar solo, I expect it to fade out. Ah, memories.

In the late 60's, cassettes came along and the eight-track died a slow death. The last eight-track I remember seeing was a copy of Never Mind the Bullocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. A buddy of mine bought a dozen of them thinking they'd be collector's items. I have no idea what one is worth these days, but I'm guessing $30 or $40 max.

I have a few Beatle/Solo 8-Tracks, including a mint, still in the wrapper Wedding Album. Can you imagine anyone actually listening to that thing in their car? Good way to get somebody to leap out on the freeway.


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