Published Jul 07, 2009While most bands struggle to keep up with technology, classic rock band Cheap Trick are living up to the "classic" part of their genre description. How classic? Try releasing their new album, The Latest, on 8-track cassette.
Yep, the Illinois rockers have scoured the earth and found a small record manufacturing plant in Dallas, TX, that still produces those bulky cartridges, which are usually only stored in Grandpa Dan's smelly crawl space.
And despite being able to buy an 8-track version of Cheap Trick's most famous album, Live at Budokan, for 25 cents down at the local Salvation Army, this new 8-track release is going to run you $30, plus shipping, to order online. Ouch! Guess that's the price you have to pay for small-run editions of vastly outdated technology.
Luckily, there are still digital, CD and vinyl versions of the album, and really, the band must have some method to their madness. According to the group's manager, the 8-track version is a "nice conversation piece" for classic rock radio station managers. In other words, it's a PR stunt.
"The 8-track is something that'll sit on their desk for a while, attract some attention," the manager told the Globe and Mail.
Expect sales of Cheap Trick's format anomaly to be somewhere in the double digits. And, maybe, somewhere in Vancouver, Nardwuar the Human Serviette is smiling and nodding his approval. But, then again, it seems like even our toque-wearing king of Canadian kitsch has stopped making 8-tracks for his band, the Evaporators. Sorry, Cheap Trick, maybe you're all alone on this one.