Somehow lost in the 1500 word epic Frankfurt trip post, floundering at the bottom of the page, stuck in the honey, drowned in the coffee, scratched by the stone, the alien metallic disc, indestructible, stretches out beyond immortality, surviving the human race, rising from the ashes long, long, long after you are gone.
If you missed these clips on the birth of the CD in yesterday’s post (ok, it was 1500 words with lots of links, I understand) just make sure you watch the short videos this time).
As the CD becomes less and less popular in most of the world (although I heard that in Japan it is still a popular format) we look back on these two video clips and laugh at the lies – it’s a bit like Brexit.
Here’s some interesting facts about the CD from Wikipedia:
“Philips established the Polydor Pressing Operations plant in Langenhagen near Hannover, Germany, and quickly passed a series of milestones.
The first test pressing was of a recording of Richard Strauss’ Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony) played by the Berlin Philharmonic and conducted by Herbert von Karajan, who had been enlisted as an ambassador for the format in 1979.
The first public demonstration was on the BBC television program Tomorrow’s World in 1981, when the Bee Gees’ album Living Eyes (1981) was played. (SEE BELOW)
The first commercial compact disc was produced on 17 August 1982. It was a recording from 1979 of Claudio Arrau performing Chopin waltzes (Philips 400 025-2). Arrau was invited to the Langenhagen plant to press the start button.
The first popular music CD produced at the new factory was The Visitors (1981) by ABBA.
The first 50 titles were released in Japan on 1 October 1982.
The Japanese launch was followed in March 1983 by the introduction of CD players and discs to Europe and North America (where CBS Records released sixteen titles).
This event is often seen as the “Big Bang” of the digital audio revolution. The new audio disc was enthusiastically received, especially in the early-adopting classical music and audiophile communities, and its handling quality received particular praise. As the price of players gradually came down and with the introduction of the portable Discman, the CD began to gain popularity in the larger popular and rock music markets. One of the first CD markets was devoted to reissuing popular music whose commercial potential was already proven. An advantage of the format was the ability to produce and market boxed sets and multi-volume collections.
The first artist to sell a million copies on CD was Dire Straits, with their 1985 album Brothers In Arms.
The first major artist to have his entire catalogue converted to CD was David Bowie, whose 15 studio albums were made available by RCA Records in February 1985, along with four greatest hits albums.
On February 26, 1987, the first four UK albums by The Beatles were released in mono on compact disc.
In 1988, 400 million CDs were manufactured by 50 pressing plants around the world.”
A melancholy moment as Agneta and Frida talk about The Visitors, the first popular music album to be releasd on CD. As this new format was born, Abba were dying as reflected in this sad short interview. Listen for the question where the interviewer comments on how rich they must be and how they respond dispelling the myth that money buys happiness.
On the CD Mountain picture:
“This is “Wastelandscape” currently featured in Paris. It is comprised of 65,000 music CDs. The art sculpture was the creation of Elise Morin and Clemence Eliard in an effort to show the beauty of everyday objects and to shed light on the waste brought about by the music CD which is in the process of being phased out due to new technology. The metallic sea will be part of many exhibitions. Afterwards, the CDs will be recycled.”
“It is well known that CDs are condemned to gradually disappear from our daily life, and to later participate in the construction of immense open-air, floating or buried toxic waste reception centers. Made of petroleum, this reflecting slick of CDs forms a still sea of metallic dunes: the art work’s monumental scale reveals the precious aspect of a small daily object.”
Last but not least as Bowie was the first artist to have his entire catalogue released on CD, here he is with Klaus Nomi doing an odd live version – and here’s Lulu looking like him in some odd way (I guess it was the era) and doing a cracking version of his song, suggested by and produced by Bowie. He also sings backing vocals and plays sax and guitar, joined by Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder, Mike Garson and Aynsley Dunbar.