It’s a Greatest Hits kind of day over here at The Groove. The 8-track player is fired up and ready to churn some of the best technology 1974 had to offer. Janis, Jim, and Waylon are on display to offer up their Greatest Hits in pure, 8-track glory. The 8-track collection is rapidly growing… more to come on that in the coming days.
Endless Summer is a compilation album of Beach Boys classics from 62-65, released in 1974. It sold over 3 million copies. I own two. One, a double LP and two, this 8-track cartridge. I don’t use the word cartridge enough. Moving on… the LP version comes with a poster. The 8-track however does not. Endless Summer would spend a crazy 155 weeks on the Billboard album chart, and would become the band’s 2nd chart-topping album. It has an anniversary coming up. June 24th, for whatever that’s worth. But since we here in Los Angeles are suffocating under a blanket of fog (ol’ June Gloom), let’s look to another source of light for our summer entertainment. Even if The Beach Boys aren’t your bag, Endless Summer is certainly a must-have, in any format.
The eventual overflow of media consumption often yields an entirely new media with which to consume. 8-tracks aren’t new around these parts, we’re just finally starting to get serious about them. With any collection, the bar is set, achieved, then moved. This endless cycle continues without rest or hesitation. The current bar is The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society, an 8-track only two people in the online community own. Both have refused my offers to purchase this holy grail of magnetic tape sound recording technology, so this dimly lit search trudges on.
Special thanks to my folks for nabbing up $0.25 8-tracks on their many thrift store adventures.
Hunting for elusive and quintessential records while at the same time tracking down (see what I did there) casual listening and essential 8-tracks is a bit of a full time job. Lucky for me, my folks support and encourage this practice, and gobble up each and every much needed 8-track they can find. Perfect example, this double 8-track comp by the Beatles titled, 1967 – 1970 from 1973. They were presented to us just the other day, and by the sounds of it, were nabbed for a cool $0.50. Thanks, M & D for the mounding stash of GR-8-tracks, for the constant support, and for turning me on to The Beatles!
Interesting slight of hand with this vintage 8-track. I’m curious to find out if Benny Goodman actually appears on this Big Band Series / Collector’s Edition, or if it’s just a collection by those who list him on their resume. Either way, we can’t wait to plug in this beast on our next Throwback Thursday. (Please note that tomorrow’s Throwback Thursday has been postponed due to previous obligations.)
Is it weird that I’d rather house quarter of a brick of cheese than a thin slice of chocolate cake? I kind of feel my musical intake follows this same allusive guideline, in one form or another. Anyway, nothing to do with that, here is a picture of my latest 8-track snatch. $10 at a brick and mortar up in Ventura, County. She was purchased untested, but plays perfectly fine on the Hitachi home stereo system. This Friday was one for the books… more to come, when I have time. Happy listening weekend!
Tonight’s rendezvous with social abnormality was Gin Rummy and the Beatles’ self-titled release on 8-track. What I lost in strategy, I gained in audio entertainment, and solid company. It’s all about the random Tuesday evenings in front of a lifeless television listening to vintage mediums and playing card games made famous by our grandparents… or, at least, it damn well should be.
I was all excited to post about my favorite Beatles album on an obscure and improbable medium… until I test them out. Part 1 works like a champ, but Part 2 done do shit! I contacted the seller and he suggested that the tape may have flipped over… not at all sure what this means. Anyway, White Album party will have to wait for the damn Part 2 to get its shit together.
I’m so absolutely beside myself to finally own a working copy of Muswell on 8-track that I’m thoroughly on board with the complete reworking of the playlist for this bass-heavy medium. Have a Cuppa Tea, followed by Skin and Bone, wait… TO CLOSE OUT THE ALBUM?! I continue to tell myself how fortunate I am to have finally found this 12-song, 8-track cartridge of perfection, and will, obviously, welcome it into the family with open, outstretched arms despite its, lets say, unorthodox and creative reordering. I now own Muswell a total of four times, but really, who’s counting?
I set out to acquire the Jaws soundtrack on 8-Track for the upcoming annual Jaws Day (July 3rd, don’t forget), and I ended up with a dirt cheap, fully functioning set of the following, all on glorious 8-Track: Jaws (Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Star Wars (The Original Soundtrack from the 20th Century-Fox Film), and this copy of Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back. All in (just about) perfect working condition. I never thought I’d enjoy the romantic static and bass-heavy warmth of 8-Track sound as much as I do… makes me glad I keep the player in the living room. My SO on the other hand…
So, as far as I’m concerned, Amoeba Hollywood, and the collective employees with which they frequent, can kiss my collecting arse! I got burned on a $30 Dark Side… picture disc a few years back, and I got burned today on a Van Morrison 8-track that does exactly one thing correctly… not fucking work. Their overpriced population has taken its toll, and I for one am over their rhetoric.
We touched upon the unauthorized “collateral” vinyl version a few years back, but I just got my grubby mitts on an 8-track copy of the 1973 lawsuit-inspiring classic comp, The Great Lost Kinks Album. Featured here are both the cartridge and the original sleeve (which is essentially the same sticker used for the tape, covering a generic black cardboard sleeve). I need to get an 8-track cleaner to fully enjoy this historic little gem, but my 8-track obsessed mind can gleefully cross off yet another Kinks Stereo 8. Next on the coveted list of “must haves” is 1971’s Muswell Hillbillies, arguably my favorite Kinks package. The Prudent Groove… collecting obsolete and sub-par music formats since 2013, and not second guessing a minute of it.
“In your home… in your car… or wherever you roam!” So true is the versatility that RCA stereo 8 cartridge tapes bring to, (well placed comma, don’t you think?) your home, your car, your jet, and your cruise ship (icon to specify, just in case you can’t determine between the options).
The new and exciting way to enjoy Eddy Arnold and Perry Como on virtually any extended day travel situation. With “up to 60 minutes playing time,” your 8-track stereo cartridge tape will get you from Wilshire west to Burbank, in only 4-full cartridge flips (only 19 miles). RCA knows your need for portable, cumbersome libraries, and having been “adopted by all major U.S. auto companies,” your mundane trips to and from the unemployment office will feel like a warm, summer’s breeze… if that warm summer’s breeze came complete with the entire back catalog of Mr. Floyd Cramer.
Roam, to the blissful, warbling sound, of RCA stereo 8 cartridge tapes.
Just like how function trumps fashion, so too shall quality (eventually) trump quantity here at The Prudent Groove. For too long I’ve been lacksadaisically (it’s a word… I think) thumbing my procrastination button and parading through an inferior product (since day one). So, as a mission statement (if only to myself), I, out-of-turnly proclaim, that tomorrow’s focus will showcase a much more thought out analysis (read: sarcastic observation).
What you see here (obviously), is an 8-track cassette of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album. Acquired today for a cool $1.99, this lil’ jammer will squat within the vacant garage currently residing in our living room in the shape of an empty (wood-paneled) 8-track player. Gone (and thoroughly missed), is my red cassette copy of Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., and in its place, and abridged version of Zeppelin’s most commercially proclaimed outing.
“Do you own an 8-track player?’ – Record story Guy
“Have you read The Groove?” – Me (to myself, and several hours later)
When 7-tracks aren’t near good enough, it’s time for the heavy artillery. Here is, save for a few, the “less than complete” 8-track collection. The player ate Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., so we’ve been reeling Janis Joplin, CCR, and the brothers Doobie as of late. Analogue entertainment is still prominent around these here parts, and with any collection, the end is never near.