From the Stacks

From The Stacks: Cheap Trick, ‘Found All the Parts’

The coolest thing about this Cheap Trick record isn’t the music that it contains.

You can find all of the tracks here on the 2006 reissue of All Shook Up, so in terms of musical rarity there’s none of that here. No, what makes Found All the Parts interesting is that it was one of the handful of titles in Epic’s “Nu Disk” series.

Nu Disks were 10-inch records, as opposed to the 7″ (single) or 12″ (album) standards that we’re all familiar with. If you’re a collector of older records–or if you’ve ever listened to Aerosmith’s Toys In the Attic–you know that the 10-inch format existed long before Nu Disks came along in 1979, but that’s not really the point. What Epic was trying to accomplish with this series was releases that were more affordable than LPs but held more music than 45s.

At least 15 Nu Disk records were released, the most popular of these being the Clash’s Black Market Clash and the Cheap Trick record featured here. The experiment only lasted a little over a year. In a September 1981 issue of Billboard, Epic label rep Ron McCarell stated that, “We’ve shelved the Nu Disk for now because we ran into a lot of logistical problems with the configuration.” That might be code for “nobody bought them,” but I’d imagine there really were a lot of logistical problems. Pressing plants were essentially set up for the single and LP formats, shipping boxes were 12 inches square–even album cover printers were likely set up for 12-inchers. To this day, these little guys get lost among their larger brethren in the album bins, so even the retailers had a bit of hassle with these.

Epic wasn’t the only label fiddling with the 10-inch format, by the way. Over at A&M, we saw “2×10’s” from big acts like Joe Jackson and the Police. The ’80s were a strange time.

Found All the Parts is readily available for under five bucks, as are all of the records in the Nu Disk line with exception to Black Market Clash. Collect them all and amaze your friends. Happy hunting.

 

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