Reference Library: Beatles 8 Track Tapes
From: email@example.com (EgwEimi)
Subject: Beatles 8 tracks
Date: 14 Feb 1995 19:43:34 -0500
The Beatles on Eight Track--The King of Formats in the 60's and 70's.
There are different stories as to whether the four-track format or the
eight-track format was issued first. Some say that the four track
was an improvement on the eight-track; some say just the opposite.
One thing is certain: the Beatles' introduction to the 8TK format
in the USA didn't come until 1965 was almost history. The cartridge
format was NEW. It was the biggest thing since the l.p.. Record
companies charged a premium for eight tracks, and they GOT it.
Companies had been looking for ways to put a reel tape (the only
tape format for the longest time) into a nice neat package. The
eight track and four track cartridges were one idea of how to accomplish
this. The tape speed was 3.75 inches per second, the same speed
as the average reel tape. But the tracks on the tape were closer
together, which did produce a reduction in sound quality but made
the package more compact. The eight track also had the advantage
of "continuous play." Not only was there never a need to touch the
tape itself (which you had to do with the reels) but also you were
able to play through an entire album without flipping the tape over.
Capitol's first eight tracks had white shells. By 1969, they had figured
out that the machines left marks on the tapes, so they made black-
shelled eight tracks afterward. When quadrophonic sound came along
(four channel recordings), the eight track was the top format as far
as quad was concerned. It was much easier to make a quad eight
track than a quad record. [By the way, John's Imagine, Paul's Band
on the Run and Venus & Mars and Live & Let Die Sdtk., and Ringo's
Goodnight Vienna were all available as quad eight tracks. Only
Imagine (and only in certain countries) was available in quad on l.p.]
Eight tracks were popular enough that some special issues were
made, and some eight tracks had added tracks to promote them
(sound familiar?). The Playtape, which started c.1966-7, was like
what we would call a cassette single--except that it was like an eight
track. Cassettes were around, but they were considered unsuitable
for music until 1967 and didn't catch on until well into the 70's.
Here is a (complete?) listing of Beatles-related eight tracks released
while they were together:
The following have white shells with front and back "covers". The
back cover is green.
Rubber Soul Capitol 8XT 2442
Meet the Beatles/Early Beatles Capitol 8X2T 2521 (1966)
Revolver Capitol 8XT 2576
The Capitol eight tracks which follow have white shells, front
and back covers, and the back cover is white and pink (regular)
or white and blue (combined eight tracks--more than 1 album).
Family Way Sdtk. (P) London
probably exists, but has not been verified. Do you have one?
Beatles VI/Yesterday and Today Capitol 8X2T 2648 (1967)
All songs are stereo from Y&T. Slightly diff. Y&T cover.
Sgt. Pepper's LHCB Capitol 8XT 2653
The "Sgt. Pepper Reprise" is extended on this eight track.
Magical Mystery Tour Capitol 8XT 2835
Beatles Second Album Capitol 8XT 2080 (1968)
Contains one extra song?
Something New Capitol 8XT 2108 (1968)
Contains one extra song.
Beatles '65 Capitol 8XT 2228
Yesterday and Today Capitol 8XT 2553 (1968)
All songs are in stereo. Slightly diff. cover.
Two Virgins (J) Apple/Tetragrammaton TNM8-5001
Yellow Submarine Capitol? 8XW 153
There is no record company logo on the eight track.
The eight track has one extra song.
The Beatles Apple 8X2B 101 (8XW 160 and 8XW 161)
For some reason, the eight tracks are numbered AFTER Yellow
Submarine, unlike the reel tape and the four track, suggesting
that both the 8tk and the cassette were released later.
Wonderwall Music (G) Apple 8XT 3350
The Capitol-made eight tracks which follow have black shells. The
"cover" extends to the front and edge of the shell only. There is no
back cover. At this point also, the entire catalog was reissued into
the new 8 track format. Combined 8tracks were split up.
Help! Capitol 8XT 2386 (first release on 8 track)
Beatles Deluxe Three Pack Capitol 8X3T 358
Contains Meet the Beatles, Yesterday and Today, and Magical
Mystery Tour in a special 12" box. Less than ten copies
are known to exist.
Life With the Lions (J) Zapple 8XT 3357
Electronic Sound (G) Zapple 8XT 3358
Wedding Album (J) Apple 8AX 3361
Boxed set with inserts, as the l.p.. This was later reissued with
just the cartridge, whose catalog number is 8XM 3361
Abbey Road Apple 8XT 383
The first issue listed "Her Majesty" as "Her Majesty segment from
The End." The apple on the cover of this issue is black.
Abbey Road Apple 8XT 383
Her majesty is listed normally. The apple on this issue is green.
Live Peace In Toronto (J) Apple 8XT 3362
Hard Day's Night United Artists U-3006
Contains an extended version of "Hard Day's Night." Was
this album available on 8 track before this time?
Hey Jude! Apple 8XT 385
McCartney (P) Apple 8XT 3363
Let It Be Apple ART 8001
Was this issued before the end of 1970?
NOTE: The eight track format was killed by the record companies in 1982.
The last known commercially available Beatles-related eight track was:
John Lennon Collection (J) Geffen GEF-L8-2023 (1982). Eight tracks
continued to be available through record clubs and may still be available
today through special orders. John Lennon Live in NYC was available
through the RCA record club as S-144497 (1986-7).
Value Guide: Most 8 tracks you see are mid- to late-70's black shell
issues. These commonly sell from $2 to $4 each. The first issue of Abbey
Road is $15. Most of the white shells go for $20-$25. The combined eight
tracks are much less common. They sell for $50-$75 each. The Wedding
Album boxed set 8 track can be found for $40, although I've seen them
priced as high as $100. Two Virgins goes for $25-$30 in its outer cover.
The most expensive item by far is the Beatles Deluxe Three Pack, which
yields $700 or more. Good luck finding one!
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MPang)
Subject: Re: Beatles 8 tracks
Date: 15 Feb 1995 00:43:09 -0500
Another quad 8 trk was "Walls & Bridges." Not all quad records put out by
the different record companies were true quad. It involves a lot of
re-mixing. John insisted that his records be true quad.
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