Pop Culture Lost and Found: Eight track tapes

eight tracks three stack

If you were of a certain age, you got your music from vinyl albums and singles. But if you wanted to take your music portable, there was a period when you did it via eight track tapes.

From the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, eight track tapes provided a handy if aurally substandard portable medium for music. The thick and boxy eight track cartridges were an important bridge for the delivery of music between vinyl albums and cassette tapes.

eight track tape player

Eight tracks were just another delivery system for our favorite albums. Used in portable players – including both hand-carried and dashboard models for cars and cool home systems – eight tracks had a lot of weaknesses. The running order of tracks on an album often had to be rearranged to fit on the tapes’ multiple tracks. And sometimes songs had to be broken into pieces, with the first part on one track and the rest on another.

But eight tracks seemed to me to be a cool and trendy alternative to unwieldy and fragile vinyl. Not that eight tracks weren’t of limited lifespan. I can’t count the number of cartridges I lost to unspooled and broken tape.

8 Track Tapes

FYi, there are eight-track tapes and components available for sale online, but there’s probably no greater depth of information about eight tracks available than at http://www.8trackheaven.com/

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