I just hit the age cutoff on 8-track tapes. It’s not that 8-tracks weren’t around in my youth – it’s that I didn’t have an 8-track player. Back then you only had one if you owned a home stereo or a car. I had one of those plastic portable record players as a kid, and by the time I was old enough for a car, cassette tapes had taken over in the car stereo market. Hey, I’m not complaining here. 8-tracks died a quick death once cassettes hit the scene, except for the holdouts that refused to switch because they owned too many 8-tracks to toss them out.
I did own a couple of 8-track tapes, because my sister got a stereo with an 8-track player for a high school graduation present and then she took a travelling job and left it at home. So I eventually ended up moving into her room and gaining temporary custody of the stereo. So for a couple of years, I listened to 8-tracks and albums on her stereo – most of them hers. The two 8-tracks I remembered owning were “In Through the Out Door,” by Led Zeppelin and “Emotional Rescue” by the Rolling Stones. I think I was in the 10th grade at the time.
I’ll admit I don’t remember many songs off the Emotional Rescue album besides the cover song. It was really big about that time on the radio. I loved “Fool in the Rain” from the Led Zeppelin album. Actually, I listened to both albums quite a bit – only owning two 8-tracks kinda made that a given.
The one thing I remember the most about 8-tracks was the switchover, where the tape switched tracks in the middle of a song. I think it was “Carouselambra” (yes, I had to look it up.) on the “In Through the Out Door” album that switched tracks somewhere in the middle of the song. It took years of hearing that song on a cassette tape before I stopped anticipating the switchover.