8-Track Tapes

I  had a stereo that had a record-able 8-track system built in. I would record straight off the radio to the 8-track and from records. I will add that it could be a miserable format to listen to music. If you had a favorite song that you wanted to hear a couple times in a row…get ready to wait till it came back around and then for the infamous “click” and you would switch tracks…and either wait some more or miss the beginning.

But there is more… you may be listening to a song and suddenly the song fades out for a while because it’s too long for the track and then finally the “click” and it finishes out on the next track.

William Powell Lear, the man behind LearJet, was also the inventor of the 8-track cartridge tape system. In 1964 William Lear convinced Ford to install the 8-track in their cars.

In September 1965, Ford Motor Company offered 8-track players as an option in their 1966 model cars.  A Ford spokesperson reported that 65,000 players were installed in the first year.  As a result of the popularity, the 8-track player soon became standard in all Ford cars.

In 1966 home units and portable units were offered. Now people could share their tapes with each other. The peak years of the eight-track were 1967 through 1975. Then, improvements in the tape quality of smaller cassettes and decreasing quality in eight-tracks led consumers away from the eight-track tape.

The last official release on 8-track was Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits in 1988. By then though Compact Disc had taken over the market.

I did have quite a collection of official 8-tracks and self-made 8-tracks. I also have an old 8-track system in my closet…hey you never know.

This video is a must. It shows an Eight Track Museum. It is interesting.






Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

20 thoughts on “8-Track Tapes”

  1. I remember when I bought my first stereo. The store had one system that had the 8-track player and one with the 8-track player recorder. I got the one that would record. It was a radio phono and 8-track all built together. It was made by Capehart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I must confess I have never bought one 8 track tape in my life. A friend of my parents when I was a kid left some at the house and after listening to the handful he left I immediately hated the format. Cassette tapes were better but I don’t care for them either. I’d place downloading ahead of both.. Vinyl and Cd’s would be #1 and #2. I do know that there are people who love their 8 tracks though. ….. Didn’t get to see last nights game. From looking at the box score- I am guessing no big controversies as far as Roberts goes. I am installing the Dodgers as the favorite in the NL for 2019… they fell short of their goal this year but making it to the series and losing is better than not making it that far.

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    1. My love for the 60s and 70s does not include 8-tracks. With cassettes I liked them in a car back in the 80s but albums at home.

      No nothing big last night. I think Saturday did it. They looked lifeless…thats taking nothing away from the Sox either. Losing that 4 run league hurt… I hope they resign Freese in the off season.

      Thats what I told Bailey…There are other teams that would change places with them. funny thing it’s the same thing that happened to me in 77-78 when I first go into it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally agree. That was his biggest mistake. You cannot lose that game.

        I’m looking forward to seeing Verdugo and those other youngsters that will be playing more. It will be an interesting off season for them.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember that clicking sound. It was like a big clunk. You were lucky to be able to do 8-track recordings. As a kid, I had one 8-track–Sonny & Cher’s greatest hits. I don’t think we ever had an 8-track player in our car, but we had one in our living room, that plugged into the huge wood furniture stereo, haha.

    Our grocery stores had racks of deep discount ‘greatest hits’ 8-tracks. After a couple of years, they disappeared almost overnight. I’m wondering if there was a loophole in the law during the 8-track heyday, that allowed for the tapes to be made and sold with song collections not authorized by the original artists, and maybe without paying royalties. I’m guessing they were knock-offs; recorded off of the official releases.

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    1. My friend gave me a bootleg 8-track from the seventies of The Beatles about a year ago he found in a barn. I’m going to look at that when I get home…I’m glad you brought that up. … Yes I remember the big hunk of wood stereos back then and how everything was hidden away in them.

      Off topic but my son Bailey and I watched Pirate Radio last night. We loved it…it was really funny. At the end Bailey was kinda sad when it flashed up that Rock and Roll had 40 good years. He is convinced it will come back…I told him I hope so. Hoffman was a very good actor…He is now reading all he can about what happened in that era.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll be curious about the bootleg.

        That’s great you and your son liked Pirate Radio! I can watch it over and over. With all of those big stars and packed full of popular music, I don’t know how the movie kept from being a bigger hit. Maybe it will end up being a slow burner. I agree about the 40 good years….which I say is up to 50 now and counting. About that era, the Radio Caroline website is a treasure trove of information, if he hasn’t mined that source yet. I think it is a fascinating little-known time in history.


      2. I’ve found several messages that needed approval…I’m not sure what happened. Anyway, we really enjoyed the movie and they had the era down really well. Him and I did visit the website after…he told me about it. Thanks again for recommending it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I seen that years ago. It’s up to the record companies and the radio stations. They are pushing rap and hip hop down everyone’s throats. You see more and more post under YouTube videos from teenagers loving old music and hating todays music if that’s what they call it?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Cool trip down memory lane! My first stereo was a white plastic all-in-one with recordable 8-track and the turntable on top. I so loved it when I was 8 or 9. Used to also record off radio, but I doubt I ever bought more than 3 or 4 pre-recorded 8-tracks. On other topic, sorry for your Dodgers unfortunate end to the season- pretty good run really but doubt any fan sees it that way. Bring on ’19! (Do you think Clayton K. will opt out? I forsee him renogotiating with them & signing say a 4-year deal to replace the remaining 2)

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    1. After Saturday night’s loss…I knew it was over. No way do you lose a game like that. They were the ONLY team in mlb not to lose a game when leading by 4 that late…they pick that night. Jansen is not himself and has to have surgery.

      With Kershaw I think he opts out. He is owed 60 million or so and he can get more. I keep wondering if his back is his cause for the lost of velocity…

      Liked by 1 person

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