Rise and Fall of the Compact Disc

Having been involved with music for the last 40 years I have seen the coming and going of several music formats.  I started buying vinyl 45s in the beginning and then progressed to LPs.  I remember fondly reading the liner notes and cover art of my favorite bands in the large format of the LP.  Next came the 8-track format and suddenly you could listen to your favorite music in your car.  In my case, it was a 1973 AMC Gremlin with a Krako 8-track ($60 eBay)  Favorite 8-tracks included Van Halen’s Women and Children First and the first Black Sabbath.

Next came the cassette.  Smaller, lighter, faster, and recordable, this was light years ahead of the 8-track.  I had a Pioneer Super Tuner III with Jensen 6×9 speakers in the rear deck of my 1977 Chevy Monte Carlo. I have great memories of cruising around Chicago listening to mix tapes with the like of AC/DC, Dio, Rainbow, and Iron Maiden.

Just when you think it could not get better the compact disc format was officially launched in 1980 and available to the masses in 1983.   In my opinion, this is simply the best format in terms of sound quality and portability.

We are now in the age of streaming services.  While I won’t debate the pros and cons of this format here it does appear this format has been embraced by society at large.  We will explore this in a forthcoming post.

The article at the link below does a good job outlining the history of the compact disc and its ultimate demise with the advent of the mp3 and sharing sites like Napster.   Having literally grown up with this format it is by far my favorite.  The fidelity of a digital recording being played on my MA6100 McIntosh receiver is unmatched.  I know some of the vinyl purists may take exception with that but I welcome a debate on the merits of each format.  Comment on this blog post with your vote for the best format.

Rise and Fall of the Compact Disc

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