Back in January I visited the office of Four Corners Books and was met by boxes and boxes of flexi discs, the thinner, lighter, more flexible versions of vinyl records. These discs were obsolete on arrival, considered little more than gimmicks, still they were popular with advertisers. Sifting through the piles of discs I found grammar lessons, mattress adverts, and audio erotica. Later, I spoke with DJ and record collector Jonny Trunk to hear more about these unusual artefacts and their nearly-forgotten role in advertising history.
In 1979, National Geographic claimed the then-largest record release in history with 10 million whale song discs. By the late 1980s, home computing magazines were even distributing games encoded on flexi discs. Trunk’s copy of Othello is a highlight of his collection.