Professor Wurzel's Guide
An 8-track tape is a small hard plastic cartridge that houses a continuous loop of analogue audio data stored on magnetic tape - and being continuous it did not require 'turning over' like a cassette tape. There were four programs of music on a tape, with two tracks on each program to create stereo sound. When the track was over, a very thin piece of metal in the tape would be sensed - this would cause the player that read the tape to start playing the next track. William Powell Lear, founder of Learjet, invented and patented the 8-track tape and its corresponding player in 1963, when he was looking for a simple, long-playing tape system to install in the business jets that bore his name.
8-track tapes, which could hold up to 45 minutes of sound, were introduced to the general public in 1966 when the Ford Motor Company in the USA included 8-track players as a cutting-edge accessory for the Ford Mustang. The music recording industry quickly saw the potential for a lucrative home player market and in the UK by the early 1970's, 8-track tapes began supplementing the vinyl album market - not only did they not warp or skip like vinyls but their light-weight plastic casings made them ideal for in-car listening. Back in the UK the 8-track didn't catch on anywhere near as much as it had in Canada and the USA. In those countries it survived into the early 1980s, but in the UK the ongoing improvements to the smaller compact cassette tape (the 'Musicassette') made this format more attractive to the music buying public and production of the 8-track tapes had all but stopped by the end of 1978.
To date it appears that only one Adge Cutler & The Wurzels 8-Track tape album was produced - 'Don't Tell I, Tell 'Ee' - which was released in February 1975. This album had originally been released on vinyl in 1972. This 8 track was released alongside the 1975 cassette release of the 1972 album 'Don't Tell I, Tell 'Ee'.
The artwork on the case reflects that it was a simultaneous release alongside the cassette - all details including track listing remain the same. The catalogue number given was 8X-EXE-131. Compare with TC-EXE-131 for the cassette tape: The cataloguing logic being that this album was the 131st on the Executive Series listing with 8X referring to 8 Track Cartridges as opposed to TC for tape cassettes.
8 Track Cartridges came in laminated card sleeves, same artwork as the cassette releases, and also manufactured and printed by the same company (who also produced the album sleeves for EMI) - Garrod and Lofthouse.
This example is a white plastic case with a white paper label affixed to the front face and end. The four 'programmes' with track listing is printed in black along with the standard artwork for this album.