Friday, May 11, 2012


375 Elvis 8-track tapes - the preamble

To start off why I started collecting Elvis 8-tracks...

Back in the mid-80's my friend Liz was bringing me back Mr. T stuff from the flea market for a laugh since I like cheesy things. I have all sorts of Mr. T things like a Halloween costume, 3 different board games, puzzles, comic books, pencil cases, lunch boxes and the list goes on. I still have 2 huge U-Haul boxes of Mr. T stuff in the garage.
In the early 90's it all but dried up.

Me and Liz were talking about things that are cheezy and she surprised me with a velvet Elvis painting and a blanket. That Elvis blanket is killer, it's a 50's picture on a light blue backround with pink trim. A few weeks later, she brought me another velvet Elvis painting. A few days later she brought me a Elvis 8-track, (the most common of all Elvis tapes) "Elvis Twin-Pack" the sold on TV album with a jumpsuited Elvis on a blue backround on the front.
I thought to myself...THATS IT!

Beatles music sounds better on record
Martin Denny sounds better on reel to reel
Pink Floyd's music sounds better in quad
George Winston sounds better in digital
Elvis sounds the best on 8-track tape
he was made for that format, the post 1971 albums sound best.

I popped that tape in my old Panasonic player and basked in it's rechanneled stereo warmth and thought to myself "that's it" and a new quest has begun to find each of Elvis's albums on 8-track tape.

The post 1971 albums have a certain magic to them which is hard to explain. If you crank up the volume, turn off the lights and pop in the tape of "Raised On Rock" or the "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" album, you can picture Elvis and the TCB band right in your room. That image on the velvet Elvis painting comes to life flinging his cape singing Three Corn Patches, it's magical.

Me and a girlfriend were doing a A/B test between a mint 3S pressing of "From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee" and the 8-track tape.
The 8-track won hands down.

On the LP, Elvis was there along with the surface noise from the cheap vinyl RCA was using at the time, expecially after he died when RCA's pressing plants were going full tilt churning out Elvis product. I wondered if the workers at the pressing plant were throwing things like old army men, broken Tupperware containers, plastic fake flowers and Bic pens into the vinyl pellets to stretch them out (I wondered why those albums looked so streaky). On the 8-track he's in the room lifelike, you could her him breathe it's so magical. His versions of "The Last Farewell" and "Danny Boy" will move you to tears.

The movie soundtracks are beyond breathtaking.
A/B something like a original copy of "Girl Happy" with a 8-track, the 8-track has the magic. There's a certain aura in the air when you play the tape that you can feel which the LP doesn't have.

Again, the 8-track was invented for Elvis  


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