8-track tapes would be pretty much gone from U.S. music stores by 1982 (almost the same time as CD players made their debut), but in 1980 they were still a viable release format.
As did the cassette, the 8-track loses the back cover and interior gatefold artwork. The front cover has all the text removed from the image and placed below it on the back background, and crops the art at the top of Nicky’s hair, making this the most art-deficient version of the soundtrack.
But 8-track’s biggest deficiency is visible in the track listing on the back. Each side of the record had to fit on a single length of tape, that had to fit inside the cartridge. This tape is evidently 16:49 long, and the last songs of what would have been Sides One and Two are split across “Programs”: there would be a noticeable pause in the middle of “Down in the Park” and “Damn Dog” as the player shifted to the next two tracks. (Cassettes would sometimes deal with varying record-side lengths by changing the song order; that was also annoying, but far less so.)
This particular copy was sealed until 8 October 2015, when I opened it to scan it. Here’s what it looked like in its box, in its cellophane wrap. The price is obviously an attempt to mark it way down to move it out of the store, an unsuccessful attempt it would seem, as I’m pretty sure I paid a bit more than that and as I said, it hadn’t been opened.
Tags: 1980, 8-track, RSO, soundtrack