"I believe them bones are me." -Alice in Chains, "Them Bones"

Star Wednesday: Original Soundtrack 8-Track

I don’t remember when or where I got this 8-Track. In a way, it seems like I’ve always had it, and yet I’ve never listened to it. I’ve never owned an 8-Track player — I was raised on vinyl, followed by cassettes. I don’t even know if this 8-Track tape actually works.

The tape contains the original soundtrack, as composed and conducted by John Williams as performed by the London Symphony Orchestra (I read the label). The tape is a “twin pack.” I originally thought this meant that the original package contained two packs, but from what I now understand, “twin pack” meant “long play.” I believe regular 8-Tracks could hold 40 minutes of audio and twin packs held twice that, so by adding up the times of all the songs this makes sense.

The tape has a copyright date of 1977. I’ve also seen this same 8-Track in a pink plastic case; I assume that’s a later release. One thing I find interesting about the song titles is the one labeled “Ben’s Death and TIE Fighter Attack.” Talk about spoilers! This is something Lucas repeated on the Phantom Menace soundtrack, with the track titles “Qui-Gon’s Noble End” and “The High Council Meeting and Qui-Gon’s Funeral”. I will not be reading the track titles for the new movie until after watching it!

I keep this 8-Track because to me it represents how long Star Wars has been around. The movie soundtrack was released on 8-Track, vinyl, cassette, and of course CD. It was even released in limited numbers on reel-to-reel! The movies have been released on Betamax, VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-ray. Whatever new audio and video formats that appear in the future, you can be sure that Star Wars will appear on them as well.

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1 comment to Star Wednesday: Original Soundtrack 8-Track

  • Pat Loisel

    I bought a new car in ’67 (a GTO convertible, just to brag) that had an 8-track. That’s the last one I owned that had that sound system. By the time I bought another new car 8-tracks were a thing of the past. ’77 would have seen the dying out of 8-tracks I’m sure. I remember Grandpa Brown having a player in his house (it might actually be in my attic), but cassettes came in and killed 8-tracks pretty quickly. And regarding the 8-track in my attic, now you know where you inherited the trait. :-)