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Happy Birthday, The CD.


Today is the 25th anniversary of the compact disc. Although there seems to be some consensus that today is indeed the CD’s silver anniversary, astute readers may note that different sources disagree over which one of the above three CDs was in fact “the first CD ever.” Allow me to untangle: CNN says it was the Strauss via Philips (while their wording is sort of vague, it’s CNN and they’re “the news,” so that’s what everyone’s going to think now – besides, Strauss is classical, so it just SOUNDS right), Philips says it was the ABBA (“the first CD ever manufactured,” a kind of nit-picky claim if you ask me) and Sony claims it was the Billy Joel (the first numbered CD in the first commercially available series of 50 released in Japan; why anyone would want to claim Billy Joel overany of the other 49 that shipped with it, however, is beyond me).

Anyhow, each link makes a c-o-m-p-e-l-l-i-n-g case, but you may just want to pick your favorite version of the story and go with it. Just don’t believe anyone who tells you that “the first” was Springsteen’s Born in the USA. Those people are just plain wrong.

We at the ARChive celebrated this historic and momentous occasion by listening to vinyl. And Max Roach tributes on the radio.

Oh, CDs, we hardly knew ye (except for the 150,000 or so that we have cataloged so far)…


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