Believe it or not, there are pieces of music that can be found on no other audio format but 8-track tape. One example of something that exists only on 8-track: this brief instrumental passage from Lou Reed‘s 1973 album, Berlin, that appears between the first two songs, “Berlin” and “Lady Day”:
Another instance of something that resides solely within the realm of the 8-track is an alternate version of “Pigs on the Wing” from the Pink Floyd album, Animals, produced for the 8-track cartridge release, in which the song order was changed, and Parts 1 and 2 were played back-to-back at the beginning of the album, linked by a guitar solo performed by Snowy White, who would later play the guitar solo in live performances on their 1977 In the Flesh Tour:
Also, there is an extended version of “Six O’Clock,” written by Paul McCartney for Ringo‘s near-Beatles reunion of an album, 1973’s, Ringo, that was only included on 8-track:
Similarly, there is an extended version for the 8-track release of “Silver Moon” from 1970’s Loose Salute by Mike Nesmith & the First National Band with a longer steel guitar break by Red Rhodes and a “cold” ending (not a fade-out).
“I’m a-Wonderin’ Why” = final song on Boyce’s debut album but on 8 track ONLY
I have also affirmed a chatboard assertion that Tommy Boyce‘s self-titled 1968 debut on RCA/Camden includes a song found only on the 8-track version, “I’m a-Wonderin’ Why.” There also seems to be a consensus that 1978’s Some Girls by The Rolling Stones is noticeably altered for 8-track release, with two songs (“Miss You” & “Beast of Burden”) longer, while at least one other (“Shattered” – and possibly “Far Away Eyes”) is shortened – and possibly another (“Just My Imagination”).
Also mentioned in a previous post is the odd fact that – despite the release of two 7″ vinyl promo singles in 1972 – the first full-playing release by “Jimmy” Dale & The Flatlanders, All American Music, was issued by Plantation Records as an 8-track-only affair!
Thanks to a tip from Ron Yoder, I know now that Robert Plant included an extended version of “Burning Down One Side” solely for the 8-track version of 1982’s Pictures at Eleven album. As Mr. Yoder explains, “You will notice that this version is almost 5 minutes long as opposed to barely over 4 minutes on every other version I have heard.” Readers who would like to hear this longer version may email me directly.
8 Tracks: 4 Figures!
Just for fun, I went to Popsike (auction info on rare vinyl) and did a keyword search using the phrase “8 track” and then organized the results according to top dollar paid. Check out the winner: $4550 paid for a single 8 track tape of Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim! Jerry Tomko of the Facebook group 8 Track Tapes and Players explains why:
“Release was canceled but a handful of 8-tracks survived (the number usually quoted is three) … presumably more were manufactured and then destroyed. No vinyl copies were ever made. Evidently there are enough Sinatra completists that it achieved this price, which was an eBay auction result.”
Goldmine’s Dave Thompson provides additional details in his playful piece entitled, The Coolness of the 8 Track.
Image courtesy of 8 Tracks Rock!
Secret Hidden Bonus Track
8-track enthusiasts will undoubtedly enjoy Chip Rowe‘s feature story about the (once) staggering 25,000 8-track collection formerly owned by noted musician and producer, Don Fleming: