When you look at your CD collection what do you see? Does it bring back happy memories of wading through shelves filled with Prefab Sprout albums or of eagerly waiting for the latest Ace of Base effort to come out?
It might come as a surprise to some music lovers when they realise that the humble CD is now 30 years old. It is fair to say that its golden age has passed and that internet downloading and streaming is pushing the CD into a corner.
However, there was a time – not so long ago – when these shiny discs looked like they had been sent to us from a distant and more advanced civilisation in order to enhance our listening pleasure. The development of the CD can be traced back further than 3 decades but the date that has just passed is the 30th anniversary of the first ever commercial release of one of these discs.
The Piano Player Has the Honour
The honour having the first ever commercial CD went to Mr Billy Joel. His 52nd Street album had a picture of him with a trumpet in his hand on the cover. While he never actually blew this instrument in any of the songs his CD blew in a new era for music fans all over the globe.
Phillips and Sony joined forces to bring up these wondrous discs, after both working independently on similar projects for a number of years. In fact, those people who snapped up the very first copies of 52nd Street could only play it on a Sony CDP-101 player. Do you still CDs or do you think their time has now passed?