Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Found: very early 8-track cartridge by Top of the Poppers

This week, I managed to get hold of the 8-track pictured below. It's in a sorry state, but still a mini-treasure for me.

In case anyone doesn't recognise it, it's a compilation of tracks from the Top of the Pops series, all of which had originally been hits for the Motown (sorry, Motortown) label.

This is the earliest Top of the Pops album I have ever discovered on the 8-track format, although the cartridge itself is much later than the LP. By scrutinising the tracks we can take an educated guess that the LP edition appeared somewhere around Top of the Pops volume 13, ie September 1970. This would be remarkably early for an 8-track and in fact, it seems from the catalogue number H8153 that the cartridge came out somewhat later than the LP - probably at the end of 1972, when the 8-tracks also began appearing for the main series albums. Nevertheless it is one of the earliest I know of, and there is one other point of interest too. Note the detail on the label:

The LP version of this release credited "Various Artists", so this is a rather unusual addition to the package, and nice to see. Incidentally, the reproduction of the LP sleeve on the front really is that dark!

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