Friday, February 17, 2012

Cassette Covers - More Pink Floyd

I ran across an Australian set of Ummagumma.. although I think they could have put it on one tape, it may be that because this is an early release, tape wasn't available in the required thinness yet.. This appears to be the only way to date Aussie cassettes, incidentally, as it appears that they never updated the cassette design fort a very long time.. this one, for instance, has the mid to late '70s clear cassette shells, but still retains the original 1969 sleeve...

Also here is an early Italian Saucerful of Secrets...Tape scan is coming forthwith...


  1. Hey man,

    Just thought I'd make a point about the Ummagumma tapes above. The tapes you have shown up above are late 1980s-early 1990s tapes. The print on them is exactly the same as it would have been when it was orignally released, except that the print would have been on a paper label, glued onto the tape. Later, in the late 1970s-1980s, the tapes were of a white colour and text printed directly on them, but it would have have exactly the same layout. And yes, the sleeve is the exact same as the original 1969 issue. That hasn't changed much.

    Yes they could have issued it on one tape, instead of two, especially as this was the 1990s version, but it would have meant reprinting the sleeves!

  2. OK they're later than I thought.. I've noticed that a lot about Aussie tapes, unlike elsewhere, they don't bother updating the sleeves.. This makes it hard to date them. Since the barcodes were established virtually everywhere in the world by the late 80's, do you think you might be a few years off?.. perhaps early 80's instead.. I have never seen any major label issue tapes after 1990 without a barcode, and due to international trade regulations, i can't imagine Australia would have been able to opt out..
    I could be wrong about Australia though..
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, also!

  3. Hey Doccus,

    I'm pretty sure those tapes date back to circa 1990. Just found this on eBay Australia of the Crowded House album Woodface, released in 1991. No barcode on the tape anywhere, and it has the same style of tape and printing on the shell.

    Note: Barcodes were often tacked onto tape covers with self adhesive stickers, thus getting around the need to reprint sleeves. I've had many a tape like that, including a copy of "Talking with the Taxman..." by Billy Bragg.

  4. OK .. HAS to be pre 1984.. there's a harvest logo..Wikipedia says "Harvest Records no longer operates as a separate label after it was absorbed into Capitol in 1984"
    The harvest logo was taken off all labels after that..
    Plus EMI also changes fron Ltd to "ThornEMI" in 1980.. and the clear shells were in use for beatles cassettes then , so they probably didn't change anything after removing the "harvest" logo right up to the mid-90s.. the harvest slogo was removed from US tapes in 1979, I know that..
    That's all I've been able to find out in a couple hours

    1. I can tell you, that the "Thorn EMI" tag wasn't used on EMI records and tapes after about 1985 in Australia. Harvest was like Parlophone, HMV and Columbia (EMI's usage of that name is a long story!) - sub-labels distributed by one large one, EMI, but not necessarily different business units. Capitol in America always thought it was (and operated as such) as an independent outpost/business unit of EMI, an Imperial/Colonial company of the British Commonwealth, of which Australia is a part.

      It almost looks like, at least in Australia and the UK, that during the late 1980s and 1990s, EMI would print whatever logo it wanted to on tapes/CDs, depending on what the artist wanted. The story goes that Parlophone was to be retired as a label (as was Columbia) to be replaced by the generic EMI label, but then someone like Dexy's Midnight Runners wanted to be on Parlophone, so EMI activated it again and started signing new artists! Prior to this, it was only used for re-pressings of existing albums by bands who were on the label in years prior, like The Beatles, for example.

      I have a 2nd hand copy of Ummagumma on vinyl and I know the guy I purchased it from. He ordered it through his local record store and bought it new in the late 1980s to replace a copy he'd worn out. It has exactly the same catalog number as the one shown here and good the good old Harvest labels. This leads me to believe that EMI would not have upgraded any of its design and print templates for back catalog tapes and vinyl and would have reprinted the same labels for them all, despite the fact that the Harvest label was effectively in mothballs by 1984. They would have keep the logos going just to keep their back catalog stock looking consistent even though only limited copies would have been pressed then, depending on the demand. It also saves having to change the print logo to say "EMI" instead of Harvest.

      Hope this helps!

  5. It does.. and I think it's one more reason i'm going to start to avoid Aussie tapes in future.... This wasn't the case, in the rest of the world, where label upgrades and printing variations were clearly marked out.. after 1984 there are no more "Harvest" pink floyd tapes, (or any other harvest artists) in North america, for instance, the covers were all redesigned to show "Capitol" instead.. before all EMI/Capitol tapes went to XDR Dolby HX pro encoding in 1988.. although I too remember buying the older style labels, and even non-dolby tapes even past then, it was simply old stock.. which it was still possible to find new in stores of artist's less successful albums..I even remember buying first issues of Zappa "Bizarre" label cassetes new at A&B Sound, in 1991, when they had long ago dropped the "Bizarre" logo (in 1972, and by that time even had dropped Zappa)
    Thanks.. It's really hard getting precise info of regional differences in cassette issues..

  6. Well, A dealer in Australia has givemn me the most probable answer..: Thanks!
    Hi Nick, I do believe these are 80's issues. The covers are definitely 70's issued, however the cassettes themselves are late 80's. 70's cassettes all came with paper labels, then white cassettes, then the clear ones as you have photographed.


    ]]Quote ends
    That makes sense to me, frankly, as I know by the 90's all tapes were bar coded...