Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 cassingles

In these days of digital downloads and the disappearance of the physical format, it no doubt seems quite quaint to think back on the multitude of ways record companies used to dream up ways to exploit multiple formats in order to get eager fans to buy the same thing again and again. These two cassette singles are examples of that very thing, record company venal zeal in full effect. Nevertheless, they are presented here for what they are, their own charm, or otherwise to enjoy (or not). 

Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 re-issue cassingles - pack fronts

^ Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 re-issue cassingles – pack fronts

1980 saw the emergence of the cassette single as a new format – largely propelled forward thanks to the missionary zeal of Malcolm McLaren and his cassette pet protégés, Bow Wow Wow. By the early months of 1981, the major record companies clearly scented profit and suddenly releases came not only on 7″ and/or 12″ formats, but increasingly with cassette single editions too. Step forward the likes of Pretenders, Echo and the Bunnymen, Kraftwerk, Ultravox, et al.

Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 re-issue cassingles - pack rears

^ Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 re-issue cassingles – pack rears

These two Gary Numan related releases were part of a ‘Double A Side’ cassette single series from WEA record labels pairing previous hits together on tape tape and lobbed out in new and colourful ‘flip-top’ cover design packs to house the cassettes. Along with Beggars Banquet, other WEA labels as part of this included Sire (with Talking Heads, Rezillos, Ramones), Real (with Pretenders), Warners Brothers (with Angelic Upstarts) and Carrere (with Saxon).

Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 re-issue cassingles - cassettes A

^ Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 re-issue cassingles – cassettes A

The series appeared around April 1981, if memory serves me right – I don’t remember much fanfare around such as advertising campaigns – instead, I came across these by way of a general shop checkout counter display box stand (John Menzies at the top end of Union Street in Aberdeen). Being a high water mark for my Numan fandom and being flush with pocket money due to the presence of visiting family from London, these two cassettes were eagerly added to my collection.

Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 re-issue cassingles - cassettes B

^ Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 re-issue cassingles – cassettes B

So, nothing of interest in the way of versions or the like, merely celebrating the curios of a long gone era in record collecting.

One Response to “Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1981 cassingles”

  1. Aha! So thatexplains the mysterioso Rezillos “Top Of The Pops/Destination Venus” cassette single from 1981 [?] on Discogs that made no sense on the face of it [3 years . The first actual cassette single that I saw which was not back catalogue shenanigans like these, was the “New Toy” cassette by Lene Lovich. Of course, very few import cassettes made it over the Big Drink to these American Ears.This mining of the cassette format in the post-Walkman® era was reminiscent of the similar penchant for back catalogue on the CD-3 format of the late 80s. Now those I bought.

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