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In May 1972 EMI introduced proper cases and inlays for their cartridges.  This co-incided with the introduction of gold inlays on their musicassettes aswell, to move towards a greater degree of consistency between the formats.  For a while EMI 8-Tracks ended up just looking like 'overgrown cassettes'!

            May 1972

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...or alternatively you may like to check out our very special supplement - no doubt EMI's biggest selling artists of all time - The Beatles - via a collection of as many cassettes and 8-track cartridges that we can find in half-decent condition (and there are a few out there, would you believe - but of course, sadly, even more that have lain unloved in the bottom of gutted-out gloveboxes in the back of a garage next to the obligatory tin of Swarfega).

D01 Franck Pourcel L F D01 Franck Pourcel L L D01 Franck Pourcel L R D01 Franck Pourcel L S

The inlay backs and spines resembled the layout of their cassette counterparts in almost every respect.  The only additions were advice on the proper care and storage of cartridges, and the tramlined 'EMI RECORDS' company identification.


The album titles on the spine were usually typeset in Univers Condensed or Grotesque No.9.

D02 Harry Stoneham L F D02 Harry Stoneham L L

The slogan "The Biggest Sound Around" was retained, as were the established STEREO and QUADRAPHONIC logos.  Early cartridges in this style had this logo above the album cover reproduction, but this was moved to below after a couple of months.  The most significant design change at this time was the reduction of label cartridges to one on the top.  Also, the labels from this point onwards would be in monochrome only.  Early labels of this type were printed on tinted paper - usually pink, although sometimes light green or light blue.  After a few months however, plain white was settled upon.

DE1 Shirley Bassey L F

As with cassette, EMI issued budget releases on this 'Executive' series from October 1972 onwards until the eventual withdrawal of cartridges sometime in 1977.


More images of these can be seen here.

D03 Four Tops L F D03 Four Tops L R

This example partly belongs in a section for 1974, because this item comes in a style of wrapping that EMI experimented with for a short time in that year.  They dispensed with the hard plastic cases, and simply shrinkwrapped an open-ended copy of the inlay around the cartridge.  These proved to be prone to damage and very fiddly to handle, since the cartridge could simply slide and drop out of either end, regardless of which way around the user picked it up off their shelf (I know, I have a few and they are very frustrating)!  It didn't last long.


However this title is included here because although the inlay wrapping style dates the manufacture of this copy to 1974, the 'all-gold' inlay style dates from the 1972-73 period (this title being released in '7301'), and EMI did not change inlays visually even when the packaging materials or wrapping styles changed.


You may continue our tour into late 1973 and beyond by clicking the FFWD icon below...


    Forward to August 1973

The changeover

5134 8X-PCS7117(71) O F - Mrs Mills - Bumper Bundl 5134 8X-PCS7117(71) O R - Mrs Mills - Bumper Bundl 5134 8X-PCS7117(73) O I - Mrs Mills - Bumper Bundl

Cartridges first released using an earlier label/inlay style were updated to reflect the design change as can be seen from this example, Mrs. Mills' Bumper Bundle Party.  It was first issued in January 1971 using the tombstone label (with no inlay of course).

In late 1972 newly-minted copies of the release came with the contemporary all-gold inlay.  Notice that the tracklisting details on the new inlay are simply a straight copy from the underside label of the original cartridge.

5134 8X-PCS7117(73) O L - Mrs Mills - Bumper Bundl

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TWO375-Q8 - L I Harry Stoneham - Hammond Hits The TWO375-Q8 - L L Harry Stoneham - Hammond Hits The