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Pirated tapes (Referred to as bootlegs in the 8-track world) are the orphans of tape collecting. For some reason most collectors like to stick to brand names like GTR, Warner Brothers and so on. I don't think I've ever seen a bootleg tape go for much on E-bay (Evil-Bay) and you won't find an example of one in those "100 Greatest Albums  Covers" coffee table books. It's a shame because many of these cartridges illustrate a great tradition of American folk art and in some cases represent the zeitgeist of the era better than the original covers do.

Since they were generally illegal we'll never know if 100 or 10 of them were produced. On a playful note it's fun to hear the needle clumsily drop on the vinyl and a few of them skip while playing certain songs. On the other side of the coin The Doors bootleg sounds better than the original Electra version.


king1.jpg (29238 bytes)                                         cking.jpg (33135 bytes)

For instance, here's an example of the clairvoyance of 8-tracks. On the right  the original album art of Carole King's Tapestry shows her in all the Earthy naturalism of the 70's - flared jeans, overly scrubbed face, and a hairstyle that looks like it was modeled from the label of that pundgent Herbal Essence Shampoo that was so big back then.

On the left is the 70's that a lot of people have since idealized. It can be described in one word, cheesey. You have to wonder what the graphic artist had in mind when he made it look like a concert setting with surreal musical insturments and ballons hovering in the cornors then throws in an irrelevent church steeple in the background.

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The Best of The Stlyistic and Curtis Mayfeild's Super Fly. They don't make them like this anymore.

Get down with your bad self


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A great example of The Psychedelic 60's and a bad example of The Astrological 70's


A lot of critics called Traffic an "art rock" band, they probably never saw this citrus colored clip art cartridge.

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This Led Zeppelin boot is strange because it depicts a concert scene featuring  a number played by Jimi Hendrix on guitar and John Denver on vocals. Now thats a concert I'd like to see.


                                 peapod.jpg (25482 bytes)

Finally, quiz time what album so you think this semi-multicultural peapod sleave is from, Korn? The Seeds?
Wrong, it's a blank cartridge sleave from Capital! Even the majors got into the act.