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(Loudwire)   How did the 8-track become popular? More importantly, why?   (loudwire.com) divider line
    More: Awkward, Compact Cassette, National 8-Track Tape Day, Compact Disc, 8-Track Tape, 8-track tape, good time, honor of the long lost music platform, CD collections  
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929 clicks; posted to Fandom » on 14 Apr 2021 at 5:18 AM (3 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2021-04-14 5:57:33 AM  
Try buying a vehicle from that era with an original radio in it.

We had a 70s pickup. AM only. No cassette.
 
2021-04-14 6:03:52 AM  
No record players in cars?

Just a guess.
 
2021-04-14 6:05:36 AM  
It's probably because it's younger brother didn't work well. I'm not saying the eight track was a stellar performer (we always had matchbooks handy for them) but it was better than what existed at the time.

Every time someone writes about eight tracks they never mention the younger sibling.

I once had an eight track I took apart to fix and had the tape in two different rooms. I got it all wound back into the cartridge and spliced it back together. I have no idea how I got it right but it worked fine after that.

Being stoned in the 70s took one in many directions and sometimes it makes no sense at all.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereo-​P​ak
 
2021-04-14 6:07:33 AM  
Because you didn't have to fart with rewinding.
 
2021-04-14 6:12:32 AM  

puffy999: Try buying a vehicle from that era with an original radio in it.

We had a 70s pickup. AM only. No cassette.

Pop and Miracle Whip: No record players in cars?

Just a guess.


They weren't only used in cars. I had an eight track recorder back in the day and played them through the home stereo.

I did hate the timing of the farking foil thing. It was never between the songs and if you timed it to let it go by so you could start the second side there was a lot of empty space.
 
2021-04-14 6:17:48 AM  
Because you couldn't insert the cartridge in 1st or 3d gear.

Oh, you meant GOOD things...,
 
2021-04-14 6:19:03 AM  
The worst ever splice ever was the quad Dark Side Of the Moon. It faded then clicked between Brain Damage and Eclipse.

Yes, they made quadraphonic ones and they were one of the best for separation. On LPs you had SQ, QS and CD-4. SQ and QS were matrixed (processed quad) while CD-4 was discrete (four totally separate channels). The quad cartridge was true four track separation too.

The problem with the CD-4 LPs was noise. They never figured that part out.

I loved my Sansui quad system. I still have my two sets of Bose 901s I used for it. I have one set still up nd running.

/old person checking in
 
2021-04-14 6:19:22 AM  
7 tracks wasn't long enough, and 9 tracks wouldn't fit on the tape.
 
2021-04-14 6:42:07 AM  
Please shut up about it.
If you say the name of an obsolete technology to a mirror in a dark room three times, some effete loser will appear and start lecturing you on how much better it was, and how his little store in Brooklyn has the most authentic stuff for it.
 
2021-04-14 7:10:12 AM  
They weren't really a thing here in Australia. I mean, you sometimes saw them in cars, but it wasn't pretty uncommon.
 
2021-04-14 7:15:53 AM  

Laobaojun: Please shut up about it.
If you say the name of an obsolete technology to a mirror in a dark room three times, some effete loser will appear and start lecturing you on how much better it was, and how his little store in Brooklyn has the most authentic stuff for it.


I got the authentic shiat, bro.

I've been cleaning out my grandma's house. Conway Twitty'shiats AND Elvis: Live from Honolulu.

And oddly enough I think a Hank Williams Sr...
 
2021-04-14 7:16:55 AM  
Oh Fark filter.

Never change
 
2021-04-14 7:28:59 AM  
Honestly, it was great tech for the time. I've even seen them used as data storage.
 
2021-04-14 7:41:06 AM  
I have a few hundred.
But that is for the sound system in the barn.
 
2021-04-14 7:43:31 AM  
Because you can't play 12" vinyl records in cars, subby.
 
2021-04-14 7:46:23 AM  

Ishkur: Because you can't play 12" vinyl records in cars, subby.


You can, but the 16oz of tracking force + summer heat made for vinyl destrction.
 
2021-04-14 7:50:00 AM  
You ever try to install a reel-to-reel in a car, Smitty? Because that was your option before cassettes rose in popularity and the rise of FM radio.
 
2021-04-14 7:58:39 AM  

puffy999: Laobaojun: Please shut up about it.
If you say the name of an obsolete technology to a mirror in a dark room three times, some effete loser will appear and start lecturing you on how much better it was, and how his little store in Brooklyn has the most authentic stuff for it.

I got the authentic shiat, bro.

I've been cleaning out my grandma's house. Conway Twitty'shiats AND Elvis: Live from Honolulu.

And oddly enough I think a Hank Williams Sr...


I was cleaning out the workshop/garage of an 85 year old man and found a Love Gun 8 track.
 
2021-04-14 7:59:32 AM  

Great_Milenko: I was cleaning out the workshop/garage of an 85 year old man and found a Love Gun 8 track.


wilwheaton.typepad.comView Full Size
 
2021-04-14 8:08:50 AM  

italie: Honestly, it was great tech for the time. I've even seen them used as data storage.


This is pretty much always the answer for when a kid asks "why did you do some primitive thing when now we have awesome stuff?"
 
2021-04-14 8:10:16 AM  
Jimmy Buffett hit the nail on the head when he opined in You Had to Be There, "I wanna hear that ONE song! I just wanna to hear that ONE song!"

Before that, you had to either pick up the stylus on your record player and drop it, or you had 8-Tracks. CD players, then iTunes, and now streaming services offer a bit more functionality, but back in the day, the 8-Track offered something that previous tech just didn't even have. And even cassettes you had to guess at fast forwarding.
 
2021-04-14 8:13:05 AM  
They were used in radio stations long before put in cars. Ads, promos, and songs were recoded on them, so you didn't have to cue things up. Just press a button and the sound will start immediately. You didn't even have to slip cue, like you did for records (cue to the beginning of the song, start the turntable, but hold the disk so it didn't turn. Let go and it'd be up to speed immediately). It would automatically cue up when done. I used to record on them at my college radio station, and could wind the tape on them.

They were better than cassettes in that they ran twice as fast. The more speed, the better sound quality.

The design was modified for consumers (there wasn't a hole for a capstan, which meant the consumer version didn't get up to speed as fast), but we're still used in radio after cassettes replaced them in cars.
 
2021-04-14 8:25:38 AM  
My first car had an 8-track in it. The first two cassettes I bought were Foreigner "4" and Journey "Escape". I can't listen to "Stone in Love" without expecting the tape to switch between tracks 3 and 4 during the guitar solo.
 
2021-04-14 8:31:12 AM  

dionysusaur: Because you didn't have to fart with rewinding.


Or flipping it over, like you had to do with a cassette tape.

The nice thing about 8 tracks is that you could pop it into the player and it was a continuous loop of tape, so the music didn't have to end.   If you had a manual player, you had to change the track yourself, but the fancy ones would detect where the track end/beginning was, and would swap to the next sequential track.

That was especially cool when using them in a car.  Put in your favorite album, and just let it play.
 
2021-04-14 8:31:57 AM  
Better than the option before
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-04-14 8:37:16 AM  
I had one of these when I was growing up...
i.pinimg.comView Full Size

I co-opted my mom's 8-track and record collection. The Who, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones... Oddly, though, in the late 70s, early 80s, when I started buying my own albums, the records pressed at the time played for crap. I had to return Foreigner 4 and Journey Escape, because they skipped terribly on my record player (while the older records played just fine). I traded them for cassettes and never looked back. I bought my first CD player in 1986/1987 at the BX when I was stationed at MCAS Beaufort. CDs were more expensive, but really the best way to listen to progressive rock like Pink Floyd, as well as the newer stuff at the time.

By 1996, I was converting my music collection to MP3 format. I was an early adopter of CD players that doubled as MP3 players, both personal and car decks.
 
2021-04-14 8:37:38 AM  

RealityChuck: They were used in radio stations long before put in cars. Ads, promos, and songs were recoded on them, so you didn't have to cue things up. Just press a button and the sound will start immediately. You didn't even have to slip cue, like you did for records (cue to the beginning of the song, start the turntable, but hold the disk so it didn't turn. Let go and it'd be up to speed immediately). It would automatically cue up when done. I used to record on them at my college radio station, and could wind the tape on them.

They were better than cassettes in that they ran twice as fast. The more speed, the better sound quality.

The design was modified for consumers (there wasn't a hole for a capstan, which meant the consumer version didn't get up to speed as fast), but we're still used in radio after cassettes replaced them in cars.


Oh man, sweepers and promos on carts in radio were fantastic compared to LP's and reel-to-reel.
 
2021-04-14 8:53:11 AM  
The fade-out/fade-in was bad.  I still can't hear "Hide In Your Shell" by Supertramp without expecting the fadeout near the beginning of the song.

Almost was bad was the track crossover....it the tape was the slightest bit out of alignment, you'd hear the songs from the other tracks during the quiet parts of your intended songs.
 
2021-04-14 9:04:59 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size


The car I drove in high school had an 8-track player, but since it was the mid-80s, I had hundreds of cassettes, mostly Maxell dubs of records or friends' cassettes. Enter the Kraco. I swear to god, the "FF" mode was actually slower than Play. Got pretty good at popping the tape out while driving and spinning it around a Bic pen to get to the end of the tape. Eventually, I just started recording random EPs and singles at the end of the albums to fill the 45 minutes per side.
 
2021-04-14 9:21:17 AM  
Ahh, the 8-track!  Pinnacle of musical technology in the 70s!

I remember well the folded up piece of cardboard that I always had to wedge under one side of the cartridge to make it play right.
 
2021-04-14 9:56:22 AM  
Guys,

Just wait 'till the hipsters discover 8-tracks. We will see its rebirth. Look forward to the day when bearded wonders are riding around on Cushman mopeds with an 8-track blaring away.

yippee
 
2021-04-14 10:12:08 AM  

Pop and Miracle Whip: No record players in cars?

Just a guess.


You guessed wrong

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-04-14 11:02:31 AM  
In the late 80s, my family bought an old camper van from that era.  It came with a CB and an 8-Track player in the dash, and a copy of Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell.  And that was the only 8-Track I've ever owned...
 
2021-04-14 11:10:35 AM  

dittybopper: Or flipping it over, like you had to do with a cassette tape.


I never had a cassette deck in my car that did not have auto-reverse.
 
2021-04-14 11:32:27 AM  

hubiestubert: Jimmy Buffett hit the nail on the head when he opined in You Had to Be There, "I wanna hear that ONE song! I just wanna to hear that ONE song!"

Before that, you had to either pick up the stylus on your record player and drop it, or you had 8-Tracks. CD players, then iTunes, and now streaming services offer a bit more functionality, but back in the day, the 8-Track offered something that previous tech just didn't even have. And even cassettes you had to guess at fast forwarding.


Oh I got so good at listening to a song I disliked until the right millisecond to hit side switch on cassette. I used to know albums so well.
 
2021-04-14 12:31:28 PM  

Trainspotr: [Fark user image 800x506]

The car I drove in high school had an 8-track player, but since it was the mid-80s, I had hundreds of cassettes, mostly Maxell dubs of records or friends' cassettes. Enter the Kraco. I swear to god, the "FF" mode was actually slower than Play. Got pretty good at popping the tape out while driving and spinning it around a Bic pen to get to the end of the tape. Eventually, I just started recording random EPs and singles at the end of the albums to fill the 45 minutes per side.


Kraco... Now that's a name I haven't heard in a long time... A long time
 
2021-04-14 12:47:24 PM  
8-tracks sounded better than compact cassettes, for a little while, 'till compact cassettes evolved from their dictation and note taking beginnings.  "idea for a new invention: it's a tanning bed AND a sensory derivation tank"

8-tracks didn't stay popular long, they were already shameful by 1975.

I collected a few in the early 90s, when 70s retro was big.  I only kept the one that Gene signed for me, when I met him at the roller derby.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-04-14 1:30:05 PM  

Pelvic Splanchnic Ganglion: RealityChuck: They were used in radio stations long before put in cars. Ads, promos, and songs were recoded on them, so you didn't have to cue things up. Just press a button and the sound will start immediately. You didn't even have to slip cue, like you did for records (cue to the beginning of the song, start the turntable, but hold the disk so it didn't turn. Let go and it'd be up to speed immediately). It would automatically cue up when done. I used to record on them at my college radio station, and could wind the tape on them.

They were better than cassettes in that they ran twice as fast. The more speed, the better sound quality.

The design was modified for consumers (there wasn't a hole for a capstan, which meant the consumer version didn't get up to speed as fast), but we're still used in radio after cassettes replaced them in cars.

Oh man, sweepers and promos on carts in radio were fantastic compared to LP's and reel-to-reel.


except when the previous jock stopped the cart before letting it play out and put it back in the rack that way.  then you come along without checking it, hit play, and... nothing but dead air. or just half the jingle or sweeper.  good times...

/i miss watching the cart dance on the old bulk eraser
//we still used them up until the mid-00's for news and traffic reports until they finally fully automated the stations
///we also had live DJ's. such a different era...
 
2021-04-14 1:44:47 PM  

saturn badger: The worst ever splice ever was the quad Dark Side Of the Moon. It faded then clicked between Brain Damage and Eclipse.

Yes, they made quadraphonic ones and they were one of the best for separation. On LPs you had SQ, QS and CD-4. SQ and QS were matrixed (processed quad) while CD-4 was discrete (four totally separate channels). The quad cartridge was true four track separation too.

The problem with the CD-4 LPs was noise. They never figured that part out.

I loved my Sansui quad system. I still have my two sets of Bose 901s I used for it. I have one set still up nd running.

/old person checking in


on the other hand, the 8 track did give us a really cool single-track version of "Pigs On The Wing" off Animals (with Snowy White on guitar)

Pink Floyd - Pigs On The Wing (Part 1&2 8-Track Version)
Youtube eQoVh-educY
 
2021-04-14 1:47:33 PM  
Old radio station used them for ads and promos because it was a short cue of audio you didn't have to mess around with.
 
2021-04-14 2:24:40 PM  
The satisfying K-Thunk noise?
 
2021-04-14 2:34:33 PM  

BullBearMS: The satisfying K-Thunk noise?


Abba's "Dancing Queen" just doesn't sound right, without the K-thunk before the opening glissando.
 
2021-04-14 2:39:01 PM  
Because loading up your reel-to-reel deck into your '75 Pacer was a reel pain the ass, subby.

didja see what I did there?
 
2021-04-14 4:34:01 PM  
My dad had exactly one 8-track in his Thunderbird- Abba's Greatest Hits.
All through high school whenever I rode in that thing, we HAD to listen to it.
Surprised it never wore out.
 
2021-04-14 9:28:13 PM  
external-preview.redd.itView Full Size
 
2021-04-14 9:28:29 PM  

The Reverend Sam Hill: [external-preview.redd.it image 640x1136]


Wrong thread.
 
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