The wonderful world of the flexi disc has been around awhile and served as a great promotional tool for companies, mainly from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. However, these frivolous flexible freebies have an interesting past.


In Hungary during the war years in the 30’s and 40’s music lovers had to be creative as raw materials were in short supply. Quite who discovered the use of X-rays as a means of creating a music platter remains a mystery,but the flexi disc was born.It wasn’t only the home grown amateur using this method of transferring sound to X-rays, but it is known that the Hungarian Radio also made discs to “play-out”.


During the Communist years in Russia, the populace relied on the bootleg routes through the Eastern Bloc for their fill of the latest Western tunes. However, these tunes were expensive and in short supply. The bright young things soon got to grips with the technology needed to reproduce sounds on discarded X-rays. The underground roentgenizdat (Russian for X-ray / Self-publisher) were soon distributing these illegal tunes at a fifth of the cost of a regular record. They were also flexible enough to be rolled around the arm, inside a sleeve and away from Government’s disapproving eyes. However, the life span was limited and quality must have been dubious. However, some new music was better than none. By 1958, the roentgenizdat were know to the authorities, and by ’59, the main culprits were locked away - a national purge was put on this illegal activity.


As history has shown, music is a great leveler where politics is concerned and by the late to mid sixties, the “bones” recordings were still being made and sold by and for avid fans. The Beatles were one of many Western bands that built a huge, if not underground following in Russia! These bones continued right up to the end of the oppressive regime in Russia with many Punk bands finding a voice through the flexible floppy. So, you thought the disposable frivolous flexi as a gimmick? Well, it gave thousands access to new music,thoughts and political ideals. The populace were dancing to a new tune - literally.


From the 1950’s, the West and Far-East were creating flexi discs as cheap promotional tools, seasonal goods and tourist tat’. Eva-Tone was the major player in the US, licensing to Lyntone in the UK. Other companies were Flexi Records Ltd., Disc Communications, Sounds For Industry to name a few. The ad’ men saw it as a great tool to promote the goods of the day and a huge variety of products have used the flexi to woo the consumer - even the throbbing behemoth of the porn industry!


This small piece of plastic is a fascinating window on social trends; political, musical and cultural.

The following pages are split in to bite-sized categories...


For more information on LYNTONE, head to the LYNTONE page where there is the start of a discography of the U.K.’s most prolific producer of promotional plastic!

As an accidental collector of flexi discs - a by-product of crate-digging, I was asked to appear on a BBC Radio 4 broadcast titled,

‘The Wonderful Weightless World of the Flexidisc’.

For more information, head to

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sgbcr

PRODUCT RELATED PROMOSProduct_Flexis_-_The_Early_Years_-_1930s-60s.html
RELIGION, POLITICS,EDUCATION & HOBBIESReligion,_Politics,_Ed_%26_Hobbies_Flexis.html
MUSICMusic_Flexis.html
THE PINK PORN FLEXISPink_Porn_Flexis.html
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READER’S DIGESTReaders_Digest.html
GREETINGS & NOVELTYGreetings_%26_Novelty.html
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 FLEXIPOP
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