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The surrounding graphics for the top labels on cartridges received a revised treatment in February 1972 that made striking use of gold ink.  This style was an interim measure towards introducing an 'all gold' style across all EMI tapes.  


To begin with, the 'twin label' layout remained the same despite the aesthetic changes.  The style fitted in to the established pattern of top label showing the album cover, and underside label showing the tracklistings and other information.  Unlike today's rebranding methods, changes to corporate style in the 1970s tended to appear in 'slow release' form rather than in 'one big hit'.

            February 1972

Icon_TapeFormat_B_8X L Icon_TapeFFWD_Y

    Forward to May 1972

C01 Richard Harris L F C01 Richard Harris L R

Later in 1972 EMI introduced hard cases and full-wrap inlays in the 'all gold' style for cartridges, as can be seen on the next page:

This style continued the "Biggest Sound Around" slogan introduced with the earliest cartridge packaging in 1969.  This slogan never made its way onto cassettes though.


When the cartridges were new, they came with a plastic 'keeper' (the red clip visible in these examples) intended to protect the exposed tape from damage.  In practice they actually caused more harm than good, because they tended to 'bake' the tape in storage at any appreciable temperature, making them stick when trying to play them.


Notice that one unerring standard that so far had been the way in which EMI described the label and format of these releases, topping each underside label with a phrase like this:


L A B E L   -   8    T R A C K    S T E R E O    C A R T R I D G E



(1E xxx o xxxx)                                              8X-xxxxx xxxx


and tailing them with this:






In most, but not necessarily all cases, the four digit printer's date code continued to appear, as with Cassettes of this era - for example, on the Richard Harris cartridge shown above, '7203 DP' is shown, indicating '1972 March'.

7202 Song of Norway O LF 7202 Song of Norway O LR

Probe was a label of ABC/Dunhill in the United States, releases from whom would have formerly been issued by EMI in the UK under licence on their Stateside label.


However, record companies had started to become more brand-aware in the 70s, seeking to establish common visual identities worldwide as much as possible.

Although this Song of Norway example carries an earlier date code than My Boy (7202), it was printed and duplicated later, the indication of which is the enlarged word 'STEREO' that appears in white on the top label branding.  To begin with (as can be seen on the Richard Harris cart) the STEREO was printed at the same size as the words '8 TRACK' and 'CARTRIDGE', but after a short while it was enlarged to fill out more of the space.


It is most probable that both of these titles had been available with the 'tombstone' labels when first issued in February/March 1972, and that the pressings shown here date from a few months later, most likely May/June '72.


Incidentally, HMV Classical titles used a slightly different layout, which can be seen here.

 Quadraphonic Cartridges

The 8-track cartridge lent itself well to the cause of four-channel sound (Quadraphonic).  This provided two stereo fields per programme, one to the front and one to the rear - the first truly marketable 'surround sound' format.  EMI released a small number of Quad (for short) cartridges from its major artists, and they had a silver label instead of gold.

6720 TWO339-Q8 L F - Top Label 6720 TWO339-Q8 L R - Reverse Label

These cartridges were of a different construction to the standard 8-Track Stereo ones.  For a start, the cartridge shell was 'boxier' - the edges being straight rather than having the sleek curves of the usual stereos.  Also, they were much heavier - both in terms of the shell and the spool inside.  Also note the rivet visible on the reverse just behind where the pressure pads would be.  For Quad carts, strong spring-mounted felt pads were used instead of the cheaper, and less durable, foam strips.