A super-rare obscurity is this weird 4-track and 8-track hybrid cartridge of A Full Spoon Of Seedy Blues by The Sky Saxon Blues Band, an alternate name for The Seeds from 1967. The tape dates from a short time when record companies tried to reach both 4-track and 8-track buyers in one fell swoop.

seeds-full-spoon-blues-4-8-track-tape-front

This is basically a 4-track tape – it uses the same stickers as the actual 4-track tape version of the album and splits the songs up into two halves, not into four parts like an 8-track – but accepts (or includes?) a small adapter (marketed separately as a Gidget) so you can play the 4-track in an 8-track tape player. (The formats were similar and needed a pinch roller to play; their chief difference was that 8-track tapes each have a pinch roller in the cartridge while 4-tracks have a hole, the pinch roller being in the player itself. The 4/8 track hybrid can accept a pinch roller adapter, or not, depending on what equipment your druggy 1960s party host has.)

My copy of this tape is sealed and I’m unclear if it comes with its own Gidget adapter or if you had to buy one separately. There seems to be something under the black plastic piece but I’m not sure. I suspect there is one there.

seeds-full-spoon-blues-4-8-track-tape-back

This cartridge is not housed in a cardboard slipcase; instead there is a black plastic piece stuck on the end for protection and the thing is vacuum-sealed as is. A bright orange sticker affixed to the back label reads 4/8 Stereo Tape Cartridge PLAYABLE IN 4 AND 8 TRACK PLAYERS. Smaller orange stickers on the bottom spine say simply 4/8; all three cover up the original “4” logos.

This format didn’t catch on, based probably more on the demise of 4-track rather than any problem with this hybrid system, which actually makes decent sense. (Kind of like MacBooks being able to run Windows software. Kinda.)

Since this is just a repurposed (or not even that – repackaged) 4-track tape, the songs are shuffled from the original album in the same way as the regular 4-track was. Here is the track listing of the 4/8 track tape of A Full Spoon Of Seedy Blues, with original LP placements in parentheses:

Program One
“Pretty Girl” [A-1]
“Plain Spoken” [A-5]
“The Gardener” [B-1]
“One More Time Blues” [B-2]
“Buzzin’ Around” [B-4]

Program Two
“Moth And The Flame” [A-2]
“I’ll Help You (Carry Your Money To The Bank)” [A-3]
“Cry Wolf” [A-4]
“Creepin’ About” [B-3]

Made by International Tape Cartridge Corporation (ITCC), the A Full Spoon Of Seedy Blues 4/8 track tape wasn’t given its own catalog number, instead recycling the one from the regular 4-track tape, F-50-2040 (similar to the vinyl LP’s GNPS-2040). The label makes it clear this is a release by THE SEEDS, showing that name more prominently than The Sky Saxon Blues Band.

All in all this is an interesting and very tough to locate Seeds item.

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