8 Track cover girl fun

Top Of The Pops 8 track cartridge editionWe’ve got a few pages devoted to those fab Top Of The Pops cover albums on ST33, but only on vinyl (of course). Yet there are still some people out there interested in more obscure formats, including the cartridge. Launched in America in 1965, the 8-Track cartridge enjoyed a fifteen year commercial run as a music carrier, before declining rapidly and disappearing from stores in the early eighties (albeit hanging on for a time through some mail-order firms). This of course brackets the Top Of The Pops albums nicely and it is no surprise that many of the bi-monthly titles were released in this format.
All such releases came shrink wrapped in clear plastic to save money (many major label 8-tracks were issued with card slip cases), the artwork simply printed on a label and stuck to the plastic case. These editions do not turn up very often. Given that for many years even the albums were regarded as very disposable, the 8-Tracks have mostly been trashed. I can’t recall ever finding any myself on my travels.
Have the survivors any value? There is undoubtedly a lot of retro fun to be had from displaying them, but unless you’re a really keen collector looking to fill gaps, they’re not worth more than a couple of pounds.
Top Of The Pops 8 track cartridge editionTo whet your appetite for the Top Of The Pops book though, here is a great shot of some of the author Tim Joseph’s 8-Track hoard, salvaged from car-boots and charity stores over many years. I’ve also illustrated a close up of one above. We’re hoping the book will get wrapped up in the next couple of months by the way.

About simon robinson

Having worked as a graphic designer in the music industry, mainly in the reissue sector, I now concentrate on the design and publication of books about popular culture - and even write some of them.
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