Yolanda Quartey of Phantom Limb released on 8 Track!

As some may know, Yolanda Quartey, lead singer of the Naim Label’s Phantom Limb, went solo soon after PL’s second album, The Pines. She is now known as Yola and has two successful albums under her belt. The most recent - Stand For Myself - I notice is (or was, as it appears to be sold out) available on 8 Track tape! If I had been asked to lay a wager on whether 8 Track of all things would make any kind of comeback, I would have been confident that it would never happen. But there it is (or was). I wonder whether anyone here bought one?

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I wonder how she is going to sell it , when very few people have machines to play it on?

As publicity 10/10

8 track, well yes.
Perhaps its an artist’s statement of some kind. The dysfunctionality of a human being who refuses to accept life’s limitations.

I’ve seen a few mentions of releasing albums on 8 track recently.
e.g., Inside the Oh Sees’ year-long effort to put their albums on 8-track box sets - The Verge

@robert_h . . Just read that thanks,
. . . . watch out, Naim will be releasing their next firmware update on floppy disk

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They’re all sold already.

8 track was always a much bigger deal Stateside and I guess in some parts maybe it never really died…?

I was too young to catch 8-track the first time around. I’m intrigued to know what the quality was like, compared to, say, a typical cassette?


Crap is a polite way to describe it. Convenient perhaps but quality, no.

Gosh. So, worse than cassette then?

Yes. Cassette wasn’t that bad if you had a decent deck and tapes.

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It was fairly poor overall. Part of the problem were the awful mechanics. The pinch roller was a part of the cartridge and quality varied. Eventually the roller would break down along with the lubrication and the cartridge would be unplayable.

Much better were NAB cartridges which we used to use for radio.

Cassette could reach amazing heights considering, and was far superior to 8 track.

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Got it. One more question - why was it called 8-track? They were just stereo and the running time was way more than 8 tracks/songs, so what?

It’s 8 tracks (equals 4 x 2 stereo tracks) in a continuous loop that automatically switches over to the next pair of tracks when the “end” is reached.

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Ah, so when a blank cartridge was advertised as having a 60-minute run time, it would have 15 minutes of actual physical tape which could be played back four times on a loop before the program repeated?

Basically, that’s it. Of course fine if the tracks all fit ok, but often not in which case, a break…

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Imo 8 track was easily the worst music format ever released. I have memories of jammed tapes, poor SQ/ lots of tape hiss and half way through your favourite track it would flip sides. I couldn’t imagine any reason whatsoever for it’s revival.

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In the mid 70’s, a friend of mine used to give me a lift to work (on an archaeological site) in his BondBug, so I was forced to listen to his infernal 8-track with all the faults you listed.
At work there was no site-hut, so we all used our vehicles as a makeshit office/canteen. You can easily imagine what state the floors of the cars were in.

Getting back to the infernal music player, the cartridges were so colossal that there was nowhere to store them in the car. So they inevitably ended up kicking about on the floor, picking up dust, grit, sweet-wrappers and neolithic dog-ends. A fitting description for the 8-track I think.

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I forget about the tapes rolling around the floor of car, but you’re dead right they were big clumsy and sounded like rubbish. I’m trying hard to think of one redeeming feature.

Well I would like to say “it’s gone” :joy: but as Richard points out, it hasn’t

It’s retro gone mad. I really think it’s companies (read marketing) just trying to squeeze the last dollar out of baby boomers.