A John Lennon 81st Birthday Salute – Lennon Tape Formats from the Past

October 9, 1941 – a day long ago but somehow not so far away.

You see all these eight-one years later Lennon is still remembered fondly and his music is still revered so at least his presence is still fan being by music fans all around the world.

I’m actually not one for posting and noting every Beatle birthday but it just so happens that I stumbled upon an old box of cassettes and 8-tracks just recently so I thought it might be fun to post a few of my surviving John Lennon albums that I still own on those formats.

Ahhh 8-tracks and cassettes tapes.

Both of those formats scream the 1970s to me as it was in the late 1970s that I went through an 8-track and cassette phase which at the time I thought was great. Looking back neither format could really match the sound one got from vinyl but the portability issue won me over as this was the dark ages, pre-Internet and streaming.

In fact for both the “Imagine” and “Mind Games” albums the cassette and 8-track versions were the first versions of these albums that I ever owned. I distinctly remember finding a ton of solo Beatles 8-tracks, mostly from the UK and France, in a huge discount bin for $.99 cents apiece at Musicland (remember that store?) around 1978 or so.

I bought quite a few solo albums by all four Beatles from Musicland and the “Mind Games” UK 8-track is the only John Lennon one that remains in my collection all these years later. I remember playing the 8-tracks in my dad’s car at the time which I thought was so cool – music wherever I wanted it!

(Note: Truth be told at the time I was only “meh” on the “Mind Games” album but as time has passed it’s now one of my favorite Lennon solo albums.)

Around that same time frame I also got a small portable cassette player for my birthday and also decided to get a few solo albums on the cassette format as well. I actually didn’t buy that many prerecorded cassettes as they were not discounted like the 8-tracks so they weren’t as tempting to try and buy an album I didn’t own.

Plus I mainly wanted the cassette player to tape things but a few store-bought cassettes did cross my path from time to time. No surprise to anyone whose read this blog before I’m sure.

I did manage to get the “The John Lennon Collection” cassette on Geffen Records because as memory serves (or not lol, it’s been a long time) there were either more or different songs on the cassette version. I could be wrong but I think that’s why I bought that particular cassette. I think the Lp had 15 tracks and the cassette had 17 if I’m not mistaken.

I also remember buying the “Menlove Ave.” album on cassette because I had also bought that album on CD when it first came out but the CD version skipped in the same spot on my then Maganvox CD player. After buying two different CD copies I went with the cassette as it obviously didn’t skip.

(Note 2: All these years later I found another Made in Japan copy of the “Menlove Ave.” CD and it plays just fine. I’m sure it was my old Magnavox CD player, my first player from 1986. It had a ton of playing issues and was replaced ASAP when I could afford a new and better player)

As for the sealed “Live Peace at Toronto 1969” 8-track, I found that one last year in Florida right before Covid reared its ugly head and travel ground to a halt. I thought it was so fun to find one still sealed after all these years so it makes it a fun artifact to have in the collection. I’m a sucker for sealed older formats.

Anyway, just a few reminisces about the past on what would have been John Lennon’s 81st birthday – Happy Birthday John!

You can take a gander at my cassettes and 8-tracks above as per usual.

That’s all for now.

Happy Saturday and I hope you’re enjoying your Fall no matter where you are out there!




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