Yes 8-Track Tapes with Tim Durling – 558

Produced by Ken Fuller, Wayne Hall and Jeffrey Crecelius

This week we are off into the weeds once again, this time with Tim Durling as our guide. As the originator of Tim’s Vinyl Confessions, he is ideally placed to tell us more about the 8 track tapes that have been released over the years by Yes and we discover a wealth of interesting facts about the much-maligned media format which, as you may remember, was the basis of the ill-fated Birotron Rick Wakeman championed and part-funded in the mid-late 70s.

We would be delighted to see photos of any Yes 8 track tapes you have in your collection so please do add those to the comments on the show notes for this week’s episode.

  • Why were 8-track cartridges so popular?
  • Did they sound any good?
  • Did the format cause any problems for the transfer of records?

Take a listen to the episode and then let us know what you think below!

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Not final artwork or title – just me messing about with one of Jeremy North’s photos

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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from:

15 replies on “Yes 8-Track Tapes with Tim Durling – 558”

What a trip down memory lane. 8-tracks were very popular in the 1970s. My mother had an 8-track player and she would replay her copy of Sonny and Cher’s greatest hits over and over. I was a loyal member of the Columbia House Record Club; first with 8-tracks, then vinyl, and finally CDs. At one point, I even had an 8-track play/record component on my stereo system, so that I could record my own copies of my vinyl records to play in the car (carefully curated to avoid letting a long song skip tracks). I had several Yes cartridges, along with many others of my favorites bands of that time.

Back in 2016 I shared a story, that appeared on this podcast, about my ill-fated 8-track collection and a Yes bootleg 8-track mystery that I was not able to solve until decades later. My story appears around the 9:50 mark:

The Story of I by Patrick Moraz – 253

I’ll bet this is the only current or recent podcast talking about 8 track tapes! I’m old enough to have had them in my car in the 70s, and had older friends who had them in the 60s forward at home or in their cars.
Here’s my “Fragile” 8 track tape.

Interesting. 8-tracks clearly passed me by at the time, somehow. I’ve been vaguely aware of them as collectors items over the years, and I see that you can actually buy second-hand players fairly easily. After listening to this episode I was slightly tempted to pick up a couple of cassettes for historical interest, but on further reflection I’m not sure I really see the point.

By the way, there’s one small error in my contribution on Trevor Horn’s memoire. It’s 24, not 25, songs that he uses as the cipher for his commentary. Regarding his vocal contribution to the, er, instrumental ‘Cinema’ on 90125: that’s in the background choral element, obviously. I had always assumed this was Anderson, Squire and Rabin, possibly with some overdubs. If Trevor really is on it (and I have no reason whatsoever to disbelieve him), we now have one confirmed song in Yes history with both Horn and Anderson on it! Presumably he decided not to join the a capella action on ‘Leave It’…

The only 8 Track I own is the Fish Out Of Water, the album I collect most of. Still in the cellophane, which is a slightly torn. The track order is just the same as the album/cd..

I lived through the 8 track era and although they filled a gap in portable music for the car, I feel as an owner of one you kind if waitimed for the tape messing up, twisting and jamming. They were probably better suited to the mainstream music and not Prog with the length of the tracks but it was ok, just not a great product. I have a few and gave Kevin my Tormato one.

As I remember 8 track was not much of a thing in the UK back in the 70’s as cassettes were better. However I really enjoyed the discussion as it was all about collecting. What I didn’t completely get was that Tim doesn’t have any means to play them yet you Kevin do!

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