Rock

Reader's Poll: The Compact Disc Turns 30

This week the compact disc turned 30 years old, and will no doubt spend it drinking with friends and wondering where the time went and lamenting the fact that they haven't gotten married yet.

Few people know that the first commercial CD produced was Billy Joel's 1978 release 52nd Street, an album which featured "Big Shot" and "My Life," and was first released in Japan while everyone in the States was still making do with vinyl, eight-tracks and cassettes like a bunch of hillbillies.

You weren't cool unless your music listening experience included lasers and shiny discs.

As the compact disc continues to shuffle off into the ether in favor of streaming audio, vinyl and downloads, it's hard to not feel a tad nostalgic about the shiny little guys. Don't worry, though -- discs are still a great seller, moreso than some would want to believe to fit their own narrative.

Over on the Rocks Off Facebook wall, I asked our followers to tell us about the first compact disc they ever bought, and the last or last one that they purchased.

"The Bodyguard soundtrack." -- Meaghan

"First: Ministry's Land of Rape and Honey." -- Jeff

"First: Skee-Lo's I Wish, when I was way small. Latest was Bob Dylan's Tempest." -- Juan

"First was Tubthumper by Chumbawamba, and the last was Embryonic by The Flaming Lips." -- Jonathan

"First album was Guns N' Roses' Appetite, and the last is Down's The Purple EP." -- Mont

"I'm pretty sure that it was the Purple Rain soundtrack. I fell in love instantly. It was the early '90s, but the disc was still new and wrapped in plastic. It had the instructions for how to use a CD on the inside cover, which I found hilarious. I've been a Prince fan ever since." -- Ebo

"Van Halen's Diver Down or maybe it was Blind Melon's Soup." -- Joseph

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty