8-track tape

The 8-track tape (formally Stereo 8; commonly known as the eight-track cartridge, eight-track tape, or simply eight-track) is a magnetic tape sound-recording technology that was popular in the United States[2] from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, when the Compact Cassette format took over.[3][4] The format is regarded as an obsolete technology, and was relatively unknown outside the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and Japan.[3][4][5]

Stereo 8 was created in 1964 by a consortium led by Bill Lear of Lear Jet Corporation,[6] along with Ampex, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Motorola, and RCA Victor Records (RCA - Radio Corporation of America). It was a further development of the similar Stereo-Pak four-track cartridge introduced by Earl "Madman" Muntz (marketing and television set dealer), which was adapted by Muntz from the Fidelipac cartridge developed by George Eash. A later quadraphonic (four-channel sound as opposed to earlier more widely used stereo/two channel sound) version of the format was announced by RCA in April 1970 and first known as Quad-8, then later changed to just Q8.

Stereo 8
Media typeMagnetic tape endless loop
EncodingStereo analog signal
CapacityFour stereo channels
Read mechanismTape head
Write mechanismMagnetic recording head
Developed byLear Industries
UsageAudio storage
Extended fromFidelipac / Mohawk cartridge[1]

History

The original format for magnetic tape sound reproduction was the reel-to-reel tape recorder, first available in the United States in the late 1940s, but too expensive and bulky to be practical for amateur home use until well into the 1950s. Loading a reel of tape onto the machine and threading it through the various guides and rollers proved daunting to some casual users—certainly, it was more difficult than putting a vinyl record on a record player and flicking a switch. Because in early years each tape had to be dubbed from the master tape in real-time to maintain good sound quality, prerecorded tapes were more expensive to manufacture, and costlier to buy, than vinyl records which could be stamped much more quickly than their own playing time.

To eliminate the nuisance of tape-threading, various manufacturers introduced cartridges that held the tape inside a metal or plastic housing to eliminate handling. Most were intended only for low-fidelity voice recording in dictation machines. The first tape cartridge designed for general consumer use, including music reproduction, was the Sound Tape or Magazine Loading Tape Cartridge (RCA tape cartridge), introduced in 1958 by RCA. Prerecorded stereophonic music cartridges were available, and blank cartridges could be used to make recordings at home, but the format failed to gain popularity.

Development of tape cartridges

8track inside
The inside of an 8-track cartridge. The black rubber pinch roller is at upper right.
Unitape-8-track-recordimg-cartridge
Blank cartridges could be used to make recordings at home

The endless loop tape cartridge was first designed in 1952 by Bernard Cousino around a single reel carrying a continuous loop of standard 1/4-inch, plastic, oxide-coated recording tape running at 3.75 in (9.53 cm) per second. Program starts and stops were signaled by a one-inch-long metal foil that activates the track-change sensor. (Bill Lear had tried to create an endless-loop wire recorder in the 1940s, but gave up in 1946. He would be inspired by Earl Muntz's four-track design in 1963.)

Inventor George Eash invented a cartridge design in 1953, called the Fidelipac cartridge.[7] The Eash cartridge was later licensed by manufacturers, notably the Collins Radio Company, which first introduced a cartridge system for broadcasting at the National Association of Broadcasters 1959 annual show. Fidelipac cartridges (nicknamed "carts" by DJs and radio engineers) were used by many radio stations for commercials, jingles, and other short items. Eash later formed Fidelipac Corporation to manufacture and market tapes and recorders, as did several others, including Audio-Pak (Audio Devices Corp.).

There were several attempts to sell music systems for cars, beginning with the Chrysler Highway Hi-Fi of the late 1950s (which used discs). Entrepreneur, marketer and television set dealer Earl "Madman" Muntz of Los Angeles, California, however, saw a potential in these "broadcast carts" for an automobile music system. In 1962, he introduced his Stereo-Pak four-track cartridge stereo system and tapes, mostly in California and Florida. The four tracks were divided into two "programs", typically corresponding to the two sides of an LP record, with each program comprising two tracks read simultaneously for stereo (two channel) sound playback. He licensed popular music albums from the major record companies and duplicated them on these four-track cartridges, or "CARtridges", as they were first advertised.

Introduction of Stereo 8

The Lear Jet Stereo 8 track cartridge was designed by Richard Kraus while working under Bill Lear and for his Lear Jet Corporation in 1963. The major change was to incorporate a neoprene rubber and nylon pinch roller into the cartridge itself, rather than to make the pinch roller a part of the tape player, reducing mechanical complexity. Lear also eliminated some of the internal parts of the Eash cartridge, such as the tape-tensioning mechanism and an interlock that prevented tape slippage. By doubling the number of tracks from 4 to 8,[8] the recording length doubled to 80 minutes.

In 1964, Lear's aircraft company constructed 100 demonstration Stereo 8 players for distribution to executives at RCA and the auto companies.

Commercial success

1967 Marlin gold ny-inf
Factory optional 8-track stereo player in a 1967 Marlin American Motors (AMC) vehicle mounted between the center console and dash
1978 AMC Matador sedan red NC detail of factory AM-FM-stereo-8-track unit
Factory installed AM/FM radio/8-track unit in a 1978 AMC Matador with a Briefcase Full of Blues cartridge in "play" position

The popularity of both four-track and eight-track cartridges grew from the booming automobile industry.[9] In September 1965, the Ford Motor Company introduced factory-installed and dealer-installed eight-track tape players as an option on three of its 1966 models (the sporty Mustang, Thunderbird, and the luxurious high-end Lincoln),[10] and RCA Victor introduced 175 Stereo-8 Cartridges from its RCA Victor and RCA Camden labels of recording artists catalogs.[11] By the 1967 model year, all of Ford's vehicles offered this tape player upgrade option. Most of the initial factory installations were separate players from the radio (such as shown in the image), but dashboard mounted 8-track units were offered in combination with an AM radio, as well as with AM/FM receivers.[12] Muntz, and a few other manufacturers, also offered 4/8 or "12-track" players that were capable of playing cartridges of either format, 4-track or 8-track. With the backing of the U.S. automakers, the eight-track format quickly won out over the four-track format, with Muntz abandoning it completely by late 1970.

Despite its problems, the format gained steady popularity because of its convenience and portability. Home players were introduced in 1966 that allowed consumers to share tapes between their homes and portable systems. By the late 1960s, the 8-track segment was the largest in the consumer electronics market and the popularity of 8-track systems for cars helped generate demand for home units.[13] "Boombox" type portable players were also popular but eight-track player/recorders failed to gain wide popularity and few manufacturers offered them except for manufacturer Tandy Corporation (for its Radio Shack electronics stores). With the availability of cartridge systems for the home, consumers started thinking of eight-tracks as a viable alternative to 33 rpm album style vinyl records, not only as a convenience for the car. Within a year, prerecorded releases on the eight-track tape format began to arrive within a month of the vinyl release. The eight-track format became by far the most popular and offered the largest music library of all the tape systems.[14]

Eight-track players were fitted as standard equipment in most Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars of the period for sale in Great Britain and worldwide. Optional 8-track players were available in many cars and trucks through the early 1980s.

Ampex, based in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, set up a European operation (Ampex Stereo Tapes) in London, England, in 1970 under general manager Gerry Hall, with manufacturing in Nivelles, Belgium, to promote 8-track product (as well as musicassettes) in Britain and in Europe, but it struggled and folded in 1974.

Quadraphonic sound on eight-track cartridges (announced by RCA in April 1970) were also produced, Ford being particularly eager to promote in-car quadraphonic players as a pricey option. Neither Chrysler, General Motors, nor American Motors of the other three of the "Big Four" American automotive companies however offered a quadraphonic tape player. The format enjoyed a moderate amount of success for a time in the early 1970s but faded by mid-decade. These cartridges are sought by collectors since they provide four channels of discrete sound, unlike matrixed formats such as SQ, which Columbia/CBS Records used for their quadraphonic sound vinyl records.

Early karaoke machines

Daisuke Inoue invented the first karaoke machine in 1971 called the Juke-8.[15][16]

Other use

Milton Bradley's (MB) OMNI Entertainment System was an electronic quiz machine game first released in 1980, similar to Jeopardy! or later You Don't Know Jack video game series, using 8-track tapes for playback analog audio for questions, instructions and answers as well as digital signals in magnetic tape data storage on remaining tracks to load the right answer for counting the score. In 1978, the Mego Corporation launched the 2-XL toy robot, which was similar.[17]

Decline and demise

Eight-track players became less common in homes and vehicles in the late 1970s. The compact cassette arrived in 1962, and by the late 1970s the eight-track cartridges had greatly diminished in popularity. In some Latin American countries as well as European, the format was abandoned in the mid-1970s in favor of the smaller tape cassette which was one-third the size.

In the U.S.A., eight-track cartridges were phased out of retail stores by late 1982. Some titles were still available as eight-track tapes through Columbia House and RCA (BMG) Music Service Record Clubs until late 1988. Many of these late-period releases are highly collectible because of the low numbers that were produced and the few customers who ever purchased them. Among the most rare is Stevie Ray Vaughan's Texas Flood. Another is Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's Live/1975-85, which was one of the very few boxed sets to be released on vinyl, cassette, compact disc, and eight-track tape.

There is a debate among collectors about the last commercial eight-track released by a major label, but the fan/enthusiast internet website "8 Track Heaven" cannot find a major label release past Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits in November 1988.[18] Radio Shack (Tandy Corporation) continued to sell blank eight-track cartridges for home recording use under its Realistic brand until 1990.[19]

The professional broadcast cart format survived for more than another decade at most local radio stations. It was used to play and switch short brief jingles, advertisements, station identifications, and music content until it was replaced by various computer-based methods in the 1990s. This format survived longer because it was used for relatively short sound loops, where starting from the beginning was more important than other criteria. The endless loop tape concept continues to be used in modern movie projectors, although in that application the spool is actively rotated and not drawn by tension on the film. That too, however, is now being supplanted by digital cinema technologies.

Some independent artists still release eight-track tapes, such as the U. S. band RTB2, who released We Are a Strange Man in 2011.[20] Also, bands sometimes release eight-tracks as special releases; for example, The Melvins released a limited-time, live eight-track album,[21] Cheap Trick issued a limited edition version of their album The Latest on the format on June 23, 2009,[22] and power electronics solo artist Waves Crashing Piano Chords has released multiple eight-track tapes since 2012, as well as starting an eight-track tape label, H8-Track Stereo. In the book Journals, Kurt Cobain wrote about wanting to release Nirvana's album In Utero as an 8-track tape, but this never happened. Apart from a select group of highly collectible artists, the record club issues, and the quadraphonic releases, many eight-track tapes seem to have limited value to most collectors, especially if the tapes have been misused or appear to be worn. They are however still to be found at some thrift second-hand stores, flea markets and internet auctions.

Design

In the Cousino, Eash, Muntz, and Lear cartridges, tape was pulled from the center of the reel, passed across the opening at one end of the cartridge and wound back onto the outside of the same reel. The spool itself was freewheeling and the tape was driven only by tension from the capstan and pinch roller.

With a reel turning at a constant rate, the tape around the hub has a lower linear velocity than the tape at the outside of the reel, so the tape layers must slip past each other as they approach the center. The tape was coated with a slippery backing material, usually graphite and patented by Bernard Cousino, to ease the continuous slip between the tape layers. While the design allowed simple, cheap, and mobile players, unlike a two-reel system, it did not permit rewinding of the tape. Some players offered fast-forward by speeding up the motor while cutting off the audio.

Muntz's cartridge had used two pairs of stereo tracks in the same configuration as then-current "quarter track" reel-to-reel tapes. This format was intended to parallel his source material, which was usually a single LP (long playing) record with two sides. Program switching was achieved by physically moving the head up and down mechanically by a lever. The Stereo 8 version doubled the amount of programming on the tape by providing eight total tracks, usually comprising four programs of two tracks each. Lear touted this as a great improvement, because much more music could be held inside a standard cartridge housing, but in practice this resulted in a slight loss of sound quality and an increase in background noise from the narrower tape tracks. Unlike the Stereo-Pak, the Stereo 8 could switch between tracks automatically, with the use of a small length of conductive foil at the splice joint on the tape, which would cause the player to change tracks as it passed the head assembly.

The cartridges have an audible pause due to the presence of a length of metallic foil, which a sensor detects and signals the end of the tape and acts as a splice for the loop. The foil passes across a pair of electrical contacts which are in the tape path. Contact of the foil closes an electrical circuit that engages a solenoid which mechanically shifts the tape head to the level of the next track.

Most players produced a mechanical click when switching programs, although early Lear players switched silently. Because of the expense of producing tape heads capable of reading eight tracks, most eight-track players have heads that read just two tracks. Switching from program to program is accomplished by moving the head itself. Since the alignment of the head to the tape is crucial to any tape system, and because eight-track systems were generally designed to be cheap, this configuration further degraded the sound of the eight-track tape.

The Stereo 8 system was fairly simple, mechanically, but presented difficulties in various primary areas:

  • Capstan wear and buildup. As tape residue, dirt and lubricant built up on the capstan, the tape speed would increase and, since the buildup was uneven, the tape speed would become correspondingly uneven. Similarly, some units were subject to the capstan wear, causing a decrease in tape speed. Technicians routinely kept a supply of new capstans on hand ready to install into worn decks for this reason, during the heyday of the format. Once the capstan wears only .001" the tape speed slows. Replacing or resurfacing the capstan would restore operation. The old matchbook-under-the-tape fix was done primarily because the worn capstan would no longer grip the tape and play it at the correct speed. Replacing or resurfacing the capstan restores proper operation without using a wedge under the tape.
  • Head alignment. This was an issue for two reasons: a) Azimuth misalignment results in reduced high frequencies, and b) Head height misalignment allows sounds from adjacent tracks to bleed over, an effect sometimes known as "double-tracking". This is due to the resultant time delay between the left and right channels resulting in a degradation of phase correlation. This effect is enhanced in an 8-track system, as compared to either reel-to-reel or cassette, due to the larger physical distance, on the tape, between the left and right channel tracks. Resetting head height and azimuth is a primary service procedure required, when refurbishing any vintage tape deck. Once set the player will perform accurately. This format, unlike other tape formats, features a movable head with four positions. Among audio service technicians, there used to be a joke that "the eight-track is the only audio device which knocks itself out of alignment four times during each album." When tracking/azimuth is set using a high quality (ex: Columbia) or alignment tape, correct operation will be restored. Some brands of 8-track decks had adjustable tape head thumbwheel knobs on the front panel, so the listener could adjust the tracking, much like the later Beta and VHS video tapes that were adjusted for picture quality. The listener could then adjust the tape head individually for each tape, avoiding double tracking.
  • The sensing foil that would allow the tape to switch programs, could dry up, fall off, and the tape would separate, and disappear inside the sealed cartridge. This was especially prevalent on bootleg tapes, that used cheaper sensing foils. Had the tape been reinforced on both sides at this point, the tapes would have been much more reliable. Many modern collectors replace the old sensing foil with a more robust, properly reinforced foil. As of 2014, rolls of new sensing foil and new pressure pads sell at a steady pace on eBay and other specialty online sites who cater to the format.
  • The movement of the head at program switch point could sometimes pull the tape up or down, causing the tape to fold over and start playing the back side of the tape. The tape would continue to play, albeit muffled and barely audible. Continued playing would flip the entire tape over, so the tape would be wound on the reel inside with the backside showing. Many vintage tapes can be found with the back side of the tape, facing forward. The program switch point is often the place where the tapes would be ingested into the player i.e. "eaten", when the tape head moved from program 4, to program 1- its furthest track change movement. While moving upward the head would grab the tape, fold it over, and when this fold hit the capstan, it would wrap around the capstan and ingest the tape into the player.
  • The "melted" rubber pinch rollers that can be found in many early 8-Track cartridges were the result of the rubber not being fully cured. After discovering this cause, later cartridges used only fully cured (hard) rubber pinch rollers that did not deteriorate over time.
  • Tape tension was another cause of unreliability. Prerecorded eight-track tapes tended to hold only a single album, about 46 minutes of content, or 11.5 minutes per track. Consumers wanted the ability to record more music on a single cartridge, so manufacturers came out with units of greater capacity, i.e. 60 and 90 minutes tapes. A few 100 minutes tapes do exist. With the corresponding increase in tape length, there was a greater velocity differential between the tape being drawn from the center of the reel and the tape being fed back to the outer edge of the reel as it passed the capstan/pinch-roller assembly (loop length). A 90-minute tape also exerts more drag on the tape deck motor, making a large AC 120 volt motor imperative to play the longest tapes. Over time, cheaper tapes may tighten, making it more difficult to feed, and to maintain a constant playback speed. Once a tape sheds most of its graphite backing, it will bind up and the tape won't play.

When the sliding tape pack would pull itself tight, for whatever reason, a jammed 8-track cartridge was the result. A quick solution was to hold the cartridge in one hand, facing down, while pulling out a section of, about 4-6' in length from the outer winding side. A quick tug on the tape would cause it to immediately wind in and the result was a loosened up tape pack that would play correctly.

Failing that, another solution was to open the cartridge, cut the tape at the splice, and relieve the excess tension by manually unwinding one or two sections from the outer edge of tape (loop length) while keeping the reel stationary, then re-splicing the tape, with a fresh piece of foil. Another, simpler fix was to shake the cassette in the plane of the tape reel with a rotary motion, sometimes this would cause the windings inside to rotate and loosen. If the cartridge has shed its graphite backing, it would have to be discarded. Small businesses that specialize in transferring audio tapes to digital format can remove the tape from the surrounding plastic cartridge box and play it on a small reel-to-reel player to extract maximum sound fidelity.

A decrease in the quality of the parts used in the eight-track cartridge, that is, plastic pinch rollers, lubricant quality and quantity, etc., was another blow to the faltering format. As these problems further reduced the reliability, sound quality, and consistent tape speed, the eight-track eventually developed a reputation for being unreliable.

Composition

The Stereo 8 introduced the problem of dividing up the programming intended for a two-sided LP record into four programs. Often this resulted in songs being split into two parts (the split was often made during an instrumental break or a repeated chorus), song orders being reshuffled, shorter songs being repeated, and songs separated by long passages of silence. Some eight-tracks included extra musical content to fill in time such as a piano solo on Lou Reed's Berlin, extra verses on The Rolling Stones' Some Girls and a guitar solo in Pink Floyd's Animals.

In rare instances, an eight-track was able to be arranged exactly like the record album version, without any song breaks. Examples of this are Quadrophenia by The Who, and some versions of Days of Future Passed by The Moody Blues. Other examples of this rarity are Freeways by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Live - Bursting Out by Jethro Tull, Live Bullet and Nine Tonight by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Caught Live + 5 by The Moody Blues, The Concert in Central Park by Simon & Garfunkel, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and The Dominoes, Octave by The Moody Blues, the US version of Three Sides Live by Genesis, Pictures at Eleven by Robert Plant and Coda by Led Zeppelin (a record club only release).

See also

References

  1. ^ TelePro Cartridge Patent Fails, Billboard vol. 79, No. 27, 8 July 1967 p. 3
  2. ^ "What Are 8-Track Tapes?". wisegeek.com. Retrieved 14 February 2015. While immensely popular in the United States for a period of time...
  3. ^ a b "Collector's Corner: The History Of The Eight-Track Tape". Retrieved 2014-01-22. Just as the signs were all pointing to eight-track toppling vinyl as the format of choice for music lovers in the United States, Canada and to a lesser extent, in Great Britain, along came the audio cassette
  4. ^ a b "What Are 8-Track Tapes?". Retrieved 2014-01-22. Outside of the United Kingdom, Canada, and a few other nations, the use of 8-track technology was virtually unknown.
  5. ^ http://www.8trackheaven.com/archive/world.html
  6. ^ Wilford, John Noble (1971-04-04). "Bill Lear Thinks He'll Have the Last Laugh". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  7. ^ "George Eash CARtridge inventor tells how it was born". Billboard. 78 (10). 3 March 1966. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  8. ^ https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~cochinea/html-paper/a-crews-03-magnetic-media.html
  9. ^ "Vintage Audio Recording History". Videointerchange.com. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  10. ^ Despagni, Anthony J. (1976). "Some Help From Debussy For the Hassled Driver". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  11. ^ "RCA Fires 175-Title Burst with Release of Stereo 8 Cartridges". Billboard. 77 (39): 3. 25 September 1965. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  12. ^ Mitchell, Larry G. (2000). AMC Muscle Cars. MBI Publishing. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-7603-0761-8. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  13. ^ Kussisto, Oscar P. (2 November 1968). "8-track market booms". Billboard. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  14. ^ Shatavsky, Sam (February 1969). "The best tape system for you". Popular Science. 194 (2): 126–129. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  15. ^ Raftery, Brian (2008). Don't Stop Believin': How Karaoke Conquered the World and Changed My Life. Boston, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306815834.
  16. ^ Mitsui, Tōru; Hosokawa, Shūhei (1998). Karaoke around the world: global technology, local singing. London ; New York: Routledge. pp. 29–42. ISBN 9781280140877.
  17. ^ Techmoan: MB OMNI Entertainment System - The 1980s 8-Track games machine, YouTube 6 August 2017
  18. ^ "Record Club Only 8-tracks". 8trackheaven.com. Archived from the original on 20 November 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  19. ^ http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/catalogs/1990/
  20. ^ Floorwalker, Mike (15 January 2013). "10 Music Recordings for the Insanely Determined". listverse.com. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  21. ^ "Slim's 8-Track". Themelvins.net. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  22. ^ Carnoy, David (15 July 2009). "New Cheap Trick album available on 8-track tape". CNET. Retrieved 14 February 2015.

External links

8-track

8-track or eight-track may refer to:

8-track tape, an analog magnetic tape format used for consumer audio distribution from the late 1960s to the early 1980s; also called 8-track cartridge

8-track, an eight-track reel-to-reel magnetic tape format used for multitrack recording in professional recording studios

8tracks, an online site for user-generated mixtapes

Aaron Dilloway

Aaron Dilloway is an experimental musician born in 1976. He is an improvisor and composer originally from Brighton, Michigan who works with the manipulation of 8-Track tape loops in combination with voice, tape delays and various organic and electronic sound sources. A founding member of the industrial noise group Wolf Eyes (1998 - 2005), Dilloway now resides in Oberlin, OH where he runs Hanson Records and Mailorder.

Album

An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album; this format evolved after 1948 into single vinyl LP records played at ​33 1⁄3 rpm. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have mostly focused on CD and MP3 formats. The audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s.

An album may be recorded in a recording studio (fixed or mobile), in a concert venue, at home, in the field, or a mix of places. The time frame for completely recording an album varies between a few hours to several years. This process usually requires several takes with different parts recorded separately, and then brought or "mixed" together. Recordings that are done in one take without overdubbing are termed "live", even when done in a studio. Studios are built to absorb sound, eliminating reverberation, so as to assist in mixing different takes; other locations, such as concert venues and some "live rooms", have reverberation, which creates a "live" sound. Recordings, including live, may contain editing, sound effects, voice adjustments, etc. With modern recording technology, musicians can be recorded in separate rooms or at separate times while listening to the other parts using headphones; with each part recorded as a separate track.

Album covers and liner notes are used, and sometimes additional information is provided, such as analysis of the recording, and lyrics or librettos. Historically, the term "album" was applied to a collection of various items housed in a book format. In musical usage the word was used for collections of short pieces of printed music from the early nineteenth century. Later, collections of related 78rpm records were bundled in book-like albums (one side of a 78 rpm record could hold only about 3.5 minutes of sound). When long-playing records were introduced, a collection of pieces on a single record was called an album; the word was extended to other recording media such as compact disc, MiniDisc, Compact audio cassette, and digital albums as they were introduced.

Baby, Come Back (album)

Baby, Come Back is an album by British group The Equals, which was released in the U.S. by RCA Victor, who had obtained the rights to manufacture and distribute the album in all of the Americas from the band's British label, President Records.

The record contains tracks culled from their first three UK albums, Unequalled Equals (1967), Explosion (1968), and Sensational Equals (1968). Two of the tracks were taken from Unequalled: the UK chart-topping single "Baby, Come Back", and "Hold Me Closer". Three tracks came from Explosion: "Police On My Back", "Teardrops", and "Leaving You Is Hard To Do". The remaining six tracks came from the band's third British album, Sensational.Because it was built around the group's biggest hit, "Baby, Come Back", this was the group's most commercially successful album in the U.S. The album has never been available on CD. The only other known alternate configuration for the album was as an 8-track tape cartridge – RCA catalog number P8S 1388.

Bernard Cousino

Bernard August Cousino (1 August 1902 – 29 December 1994) was a music technology inventor. He is known for inventing an endless loop tape cartridge design in 1952, known as the Audio Vendor, patented under US2804401A. The tape is pulled from the inside of a loose tape roll making is spin to wind the returning tape onto the roll again. Initially, this mechanism was mounted on a reel to reel tape recorder. Later Cousino developed a plastic housing to be hung up on some tape recorders. First, the magnetic coating was wound to the inside of the reel. This cartridge was marketed by John Herbert Orr as the Orrtronic Tapette. Newer cartridges had magnetic coating wind of the tape outside the reel, which required a special recorder to operate it, but offers comfortable simple inserting the cartridge without threading the tape. This more compact cartridges do not require any bottom spare for the tape head assembly. That would inspire George Eash to make the Fidelipac tape cartridge, which itself would inspire the Stereo-Pak tape cartridge.

Another invention, Cousino patented was a graphite coating bottom side the audio tape, supressing crumpling when pulling the endless tape from the inner reel. The coating was also used on 8-Track tape, causing the gray appearance of the tape bottom side.Cousino died in Lee County, Florida on 29 December 1994 at the age of 92.

Greatest Hits (1988 Fleetwood Mac album)

Greatest Hits is a 1988 compilation album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac. It covers the period of the band's greatest commercial success, from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s.

It is different from the similarly titled 1971 release by the Peter Green incarnation of the band, and contains an entirely different track listing. The 1988 album in fact omits anything before 1975 including "Albatross", one of the band's biggest hits.

The album has proven to be a major success since the time of its release. It peaked at No. 14 in the US album chart, and sold steadily over the years since its release, and has to date been certified 8x platinum for shipping 8 million copies there. In the UK it reached No. 3 upon release and has returned several times to the UK album chart and has been certified triple platinum for shipping 900,000 copies there. In both the US and the UK, the album has returned to the album charts as recently as 2017.

The album contains two new tracks, "As Long As You Follow" (which was released as a single to promote the album), and "No Questions Asked". The track listing for the US release differs slightly from that of other territories. It includes the 1975 track "Over My Head" but omits the 1987 track "Seven Wonders" (despite it being a top 20 hit in the US) as well as the 1982 track "Oh Diane" (which failed to chart there in 1983, but was a top 10 hit in the UK).

A number of sources state that this album was the last to be commercially released as an 8-track tape by a major label. (The 8-track tape was released only as a Record Club version, as regular retail 8-track tapes had long since ceased by 1988.)

Jimmie Walker

James Carter Walker Jr. (born June 25, 1947) is an American actor and comedian. Walker is best known for portraying James Evans Jr. ("J.J."), the oldest son of Florida and James Evans Sr. on the CBS television series Good Times, which ran from 1974 to 1979. Walker was nominated for Golden Globe awards Best Supporting Actor In A Television Series in 1975 and 1976 for his role. While on the show, Walker's character was known for the catchphrase "Dy-no-mite!" which he also used in his mid–1970s TV commercial for a Panasonic line of cassette and 8-track tape players. He also starred in Let's Do It Again with John Amos, and The Greatest Thing That Almost Happened with James Earl Jones. Walker continues to tour the country with his stand-up comedy routine.

Journey Through the Past

Journey Through the Past is a soundtrack album from the film of the same name by Neil Young, released in November 1972 on Reprise Records, catalogue 6480. It peaked at #45 on the Billboard 200. Its initial release was on vinyl, cassette tape, reel-to-reel tape, and 8-track tape cartridge. Although its follow-up Time Fades Away was finally released on CD in August 2017, Journey Through The Past has yet to see an official CD reissue.

Lady Samantha (album)

Lady Samantha is a UK exclusive DJM Records compilation album of songs by Elton John. Released only in cassette and 8-track tape formats in 1974, the album features rarities and B-sides from the earliest days of John's career. It would later be issued by DJM Records on vinyl in 1980. In 1988, it would be issued on CD, and then remastered and rereleased again on CD by PolyGram in 1998.

Open the Door – Live at Mietta's

Open the Door – Live at Mietta's is a collaborative live album by Jex Saarelaht and Kate Ceberano. The album was recorded in February 1992 on an 8-track tape at Mietta's Restaurant and released in November 1992. The album contains seven jazz standards, sung by Ceberano and six instrumental original tracks by Saarelaht.

In Ceberano's autobiography, I'm Talking, she said she and O'Donnell had been friends for years adding "Mietta's was a Melbourne institution. It was like a European coffee house where patrons could eat while enjoying poetry readings, jazz, opera, comedy - Mietta had such eclectic tastes you never know who she'd invite to perform there."The owner of Mietta's Restaurant, Mietta O'Donnell, said: "Kate is a warm chocolate tart".In February 1996, Ceberano married Lee Rogers at Mietta's restaurant.

Quadraphonic sound

Quadraphonic (or Quadrophonic and sometimes Quadrasonic) sound – equivalent to what is now called 4.0 surround sound – uses four channels in which speakers are positioned at the four corners of the listening space, reproducing signals that are (wholly or in part) independent of one another. Quadraphonic audio was the earliest consumer product in surround sound and thousands of quadraphonic recordings were made during the 1970s.

It was a commercial failure due to many technical problems and format incompatibilities. Quadraphonic audio formats were more expensive to produce than standard two-channel stereo. Playback required additional speakers and specially designed decoders and amplifiers.

Shattered (song)

"Shattered" is a song by The Rolling Stones from their 1978 album Some Girls. The song is a reflection of American lifestyles and life in 1970s-era New York City, but also influences from the English punk rock movement can be heard.

Recorded from October to December 1977, "Shattered" features lyrics sung in sprechgesang by Jagger on a guitar riff by Keith Richards. Jagger commented in a Rolling Stone interview that he wrote the lyrics in the back of a New York cab. Most of Richards' guitar work is a basic rhythmic pattern strumming out the alternating tonic and dominant chords with each bar, utilising a relatively modest phaser sound effect for some added depth. Due to the absence of bassist Bill Wyman, the bass track is played by Ronnie Wood.

"Shattered" was released as a single in the United States with cover art by illustrator Hubert Kretzschmar and in 1979 climbed to number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Rolling Stones performed the song live for an episode of Saturday Night Live.

A live version was captured during their 1981 tour of America and released on the 1982 live album Still Life. A second version, captured during the band's A Bigger Bang Tour, appears on Shine a Light. It would act as the opening song for the 1981 compilation Sucking in the Seventies, and the Stones included it on their career retrospective, Forty Licks, in 2002.

The 8-track tape of the Some Girls album features an edited version of "Shattered" clocking in at 2:45, with a shortened intro and guitar break. An instrumental version circulates among collectors.

During a 2013 fundraiser, Eddie Vedder played the guitar while Jeanne Tripplehorn sang "Shattered" doing a Julie Andrews impression.

The Best of The Doors (1973 album)

The Best of The Doors is a compilation album by the American rock band the Doors, released in August 1973 on Elektra Records. It was the third compilation album to be released by the band.

The songs on the album were re-mixed for four channel quadraphonic sound and the album was originally released on LP in the CD-4 Quadradisc format. It was also released on the quadraphonic 8-Track tape and Reel-to-reel tape formats. In 1980 the LP was reissued in a two channel stereo version through the Columbia House record club.

In 2015 Audio Fidelity released the original quadraphonic mix of The Best of the Doors in the hybrid Super Audio CD format. Steve Hoffman mastered the release at Marsh Mastering. This version also contains the same content in stereo.

In 2017, the quad mix was released on Blu-Ray Audio, in the triple disc edition of the compilation The Singles.

The Byrds discography

The Byrds were an American rock band that were formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. Although the band only enjoyed the huge commercial success of contemporaries like the Beatles or the Beach Boys for a short period in the mid-60s, they were pivotal in originating the musical styles of folk rock, psychedelic rock, raga rock, and country rock. The band underwent several line-up changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn remaining the sole consistent member of the group until their disbandment in 1973.The Byrds' discography was originally released on the vinyl format, as full-length LPs, shorter EPs, and singles. Since the 1960s, the band's back catalogue has also been released on reel-to-reel tape, audio cassette, 8-track tape, CD, MiniDisc, and, most recently, as digital downloads. Between 1965 and 1968, the Byrds' albums were released in both mono and stereo variations, with Sweetheart of the Rodeo being the first album to be released exclusively in stereo in the US (Sweetheart of the Rodeo and its follow-up Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde were both issued in mono and stereo configurations in the UK).The bulk of the band's releases were issued on Columbia Records or its subsidiaries, with a notable exception being their final studio album from 1973. This final album, titled Byrds, and its accompanying singles ("Full Circle", "Things Will Be Better", and "Cowgirl in the Sand") were all released on Asylum Records. In addition, the band released a single under the pseudonym of the Beefeaters in October 1964 on Elektra Records (Pye Records in the UK), before they had signed a recording contract with Columbia.The Byrds' albums began to appear on compact disc sporadically during the late 1980s and early 1990s, both on Columbia and on re-issue labels like Edsel and BGO. Starting in 1996, all eleven of the band's Columbia studio albums were reissued on Columbia/Legacy in remastered editions with bonus tracks.This article lists all of the Byrds' official US and UK studio albums, live albums, compilations, EPs, and singles. Releases originating from or exclusive to other international territories, along with quasi-legal, "grey market" releases, are not included.

The Distance (Bob Seger album)

The Distance is the twelfth studio album by US-American rock singer Bob Seger. It was released in the final week of 1982 (see 1982 in music). It peaked at #5 on Billboard's album chart and sold close to two million copies in the United States.

Seger, influenced by the Woody Allen film Annie Hall originally intended the album to be built around the theme of relationships but eventually that fell apart when Seger decided that sticking to the theme too strictly would make the album "maudlin." Several songs based on the original theme made it on the album: the hit single "Even Now," "Love’s the Last to Know," "House Behind a House" and the album closer "Little Victories."The album's lead single, "Shame on the Moon", was one of Seger's biggest hits, holding at #2 for four weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. It also hit #1 Adult Contemporary and crossed over to #15 Country.

Capitol Records had stopped manufacturing albums in the 8 track tape cartridge format by the time this album was released. However, Seger asked the label to include that format for this album, knowing that many of his fans still used 8 track players.

The Kitchen Tapes (Weezer album)

The Kitchen Tape is a demo tape by Weezer. It was recorded on August 1, 1992, prior to the band's signing with Geffen Records. Although the band had recorded some demos before, these were the band's most serious attempt at the time. According to Karl Koch, the band's webmaster and historian, the purpose of the tape was "...to get shows and also try to make an impression. There were no aspirations yet to try to generate real label interest, but the concept of 'creating a buzz' was being thrown around."The demos were recorded using frontman Rivers Cuomo's 8-track tape recorder, in a rented garage next to the "Amherst House", where Weezer rehearsed at that time. The name of the tape comes from the fact that the drums were recorded in a kitchen, where the band members felt that they sounded the best.Bootlegs of this demo have surfaced. However, they only feature five of the eight songs. One of the songs that doesn't appear on the bootleg, "Undone - The Sweater Song", along with one that does, "Only in Dreams", was released officially on the Blue Album Deluxe Edition Bonus Disc, Dusty Gems and Raw Nuggets. The Kitchen Tape version of "Say It Ain't So" and "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here" have not officially released but were circulated among fans in 2016 when a fan community paid for a copy of the cassette being sold online.

Vehicle audio

Vehicle audio is equipment installed in a car or other vehicle to provide in-car entertainment and information for the vehicle occupants. Until the 1950s it consisted of a simple AM radio. Additions since then have included FM radio (1952), 8-Track tape players, Cassette Players, CD players (1984), DVD players, Blu-ray players, navigation systems, Bluetooth telephone integration, and smartphone controllers like CarPlay and Android Auto. Once controlled from the dashboard with a few buttons, they can now be controlled by steering wheel controls and voice commands.

Initially implemented for listening to music and radio, vehicle audio is now part of car telematics, telecommunication, in-vehicle security, handsfree calling, navigation, and remote diagnostics systems. It is also used to create fake engine noise. For the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost, an "Active Noise Control" system was developed that amplifies the engine sound through the car speakers. A similar system is used in the F-150 pickup truck. Volkswagen uses a Soundaktor, a special speaker to play sounds in cars such as the Golf GTi and Beetle Turbo. BMW plays a recorded sample of its motors through the car speakers, using a different samples according to the engine’s load and power.

War (Bolt Thrower album)

War is a live album by Bolt Thrower recorded in Manchester 1992, on an 8-track tape. It was originally recorded by the band members in order to have some of their own live recordings for posterity. Later on Earache Records wanted to release a special edition of the ...For Victory album, thus it was packed with that album in 1994 in a limited 2CD package. I.e. they just replaced the box with a 2CD box and added the second disc. The album is sometimes known or listed as Live War.

It said Mosh 124 on the promo edition, that is a mistake, because Mosh 124 is a Fudge Tunnel album according to the official Earache catalogue.

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