On this day in 1983….

…..Chris Sievey of UK group (and arch pranksters) The Freshies released the first computer game single! When played on a Sinclair ZX 81 computer via a record deck the lyrics of the song came on the screen!!! We kid you not, here’s a bit more info….#

This is from gizmodo

The B-side of Chris Sievey’s 1983 single “Camouflage” sounds like an unlistenable malestrom of noise. It’s not an avant-garde song; it’s a program for the ZX-81 computer, and if you could load it correctly, it gave you a (very rudimentary) computer-animated music video, coded in the grooves of a vinyl record.

This neat little tidbit is well known to fans of early 80s punk music, but UsVsTh3m brought it back to our attention recently and it’s worth re-remembering. Chris Sievey, on top of being a founding member of The Freshies and the mind behind the charmingly offbeat character Frank Sidebottom, was a computer tinkerer drawn to the ZX-81. The hobby computer, weighing only 12 ounces, with zero moving parts and no display (you plugged it into your TV), bolstered its 1kB internal memory by storing data to cassette tapes at a blistering 250 baud.

That also meant you could hypothetically send data the other way: the B-side of Sievey’s single duplicates the audio tones of three ZX-81 programs he wrote. Two were versions of a game he created called Flying Train, and one was the companion music video you see here.

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