Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Easin' Down the Eight-Track

As you may have read in previous posts, I have a fondness for The Wiz. While my affection is far more tightly focused on the Broadway version, I was quite excited for the release of the film version back in the day as well. I had also just gotten my first stereo and it had an eight-track tape deck built in.

My dad was an audiophile and I'd been raised to look down on eight-track. I only ever owned three eight track tapes in my life and all were different versions of The Wiz.

The first acquired was a weird knock-off recording of cover versions of most of the big songs from the film as performed by "The Detroit Players" (see image at right). I remember liking parts of this recording, but I've not been able to play it since 1980 and I've not found it on LP anywhere. Anyone have it?

 This was quickly followed by the original Broadway cast recording of The Wiz with Stephanie Mills. Back then I would usually play my LPs, but the eight track did have one advantage - it would play as a continuous loop, repeating over and over. No need to turn it over (like an LP) and I could set it on low volume and use it as going-to-sleep music.

Eventually I picked up a copy of the movie soundtrack on eight track as well. I'm not sure why, except perhaps to be a completist. I liked the soundtrack okay - but I don't have any memories of ever playing this tape. They seem to have gotten the entire two-album set onto the tape. I didn't think eight-tracks could hold that much.

So this is my Ozzy eight-track collection. Anyone have any others? Did the MGM soundtrack make it to eight-track?

That's it for today.

Easin' on down...


Jared said...

Dunno if you'd be interested in getting that first 8-track made into a CD, but there's a place that would do it.

Hungry Tiger Talk said...

Thanks, Jared :)

Tim Tucker said...

Of course, it would depend on whether it was still playable. 8-tracks can be hit or miss. I have some that play fine, others that are completely distorted.

You may be able to find a player on eBay. Radio Shack was still making stand alone 8-track players long after everyone else got out of the business.