seeking the playlist of a compilation cassette
July 19, 2011 12:04 AM   Subscribe

Can someone locate the complete playlist of a cassette that was included with the purchase of a Mercury Marquis station wagon in 1984?

In the second half of 1984, a new Mercury Marquis station wagon was purchased in upstate New York. The owner received a cassette, which I believe was simply titled "1984" or "1985". The title was prominently displayed on the cover, and I believe the cover background was dark blue. The artwork might have included

I don't know if the cassette was the result of a Ford promotion, a local dealership promotion, or something else. My understanding was that it was supplied with the car as a demo for the cassette deck.

The cassette featured some current top-40 songs, with artists like Hall & Oates and Michael Sembello. "Maneater" was likely the Hall & Oates song on the compilation, and "Maniac" seems like a good candidate for the Michael Sembello song.

I tried's "Appearances" feature for both Michael Sembello and Hall & Oates, and didn't find the compilation listed. If I went through my entire 1980s music collection, I might be able to come up with other artists and tracks that were on this compilation, but it would take a while and would be error-prone. There's also the possibility that the cassette was a repackaged version of a compilation already listed on discogs, so that's another avenue I can pursue.

Is this compilation familiar to anyone? How could I go about tracking this down? I could probably identify the car dealership where the auto was purchased, but that seems likely to be a dead end. Is there another way to investigate this, such as finding out all of the companies/labels that had distribution rights to particular songs?

I'm mainly interested in photos of the cover, and the complete track listing. I'm not interested in purchasing it.
posted by germdisco to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Well, I remember the tape existing, much as you describe. I'm sure it had nothing on it that I was interested in as a 15-ish year old metal head. In Virginia/Tennessee area so not just a specific dealership or anything. I want to say the case was shades of blue in some textured pattern and just the standard Ford blue logo.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:11 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

edit: The artwork might have included a Ford logo.
posted by germdisco at 1:17 AM on July 19, 2011

I have to get to work so I couldn't dig more, but it seems the keywords you're looking for are "ford audio systems" cassette One place I found recommended 8-track-shack as a source, but their site isn't clearly organized for a quick find.
posted by AzraelBrown at 5:32 AM on July 19, 2011

Thanks, AzraelBrown! I'm getting closer now.
posted by germdisco at 9:31 PM on July 19, 2011

I take it you're trying to recreate a tape for somebody, and not just doing this as theoretical project or writing exercise.

I only ask because I've got an assortment of auto manufacturer-supplied tapes, but not the specific one (Ford 1984) you requested. I've got late 1970s to 1980 Ford tapes and (I think) 1980 to mid 1980s GM tapes (give or take a bit in the date ranges).

If you want an idea of the types of offerings provided on those sampler cassettes, I could probably supply that, but if you really need that specific year and manufacturer, then sadly I can't help.
posted by sardonyx at 8:13 AM on July 20, 2011

sardonyx, yes, I'm looking for 1984 and 1985 exactly. I'm not sure which one it was, but I'll recognize it when I see it. This is for me and possibly my siblings.
posted by germdisco at 9:46 AM on July 23, 2011

I sent an email to Ford to ask if they have the playlists. Maybe I'll get lucky, and the message will reach an employee who happens to have a collection of these cassettes.
posted by germdisco at 10:14 AM on July 23, 2011

I got an email reply from Ford's Customer Relationship Center about four days after I sent my message. They directed me to the Benson Ford Research Center, but it doesn't sound very promising.
posted by germdisco at 10:25 AM on August 20, 2011

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