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Happy Birthday, Compact Discs

sony Happy Birthday, Compact DiscsTwenty-seven years ago today, Sony introduced the CDP-101 to market: The $2,200 piece of electronics (pictured at left) was the first compact-disc player, and the company went on to sell 20,000 units over the three months following its debut. In addition to the hardware, Sony issued 50 of its titles on CD at a price that would equal between $33 and $45 in 2009 dollars; the “first” entry in the compact-disc catalog was Billy Joel’s 52nd Street, and a bunch of other albums from Sony’s corporate rock, Japanese pop, and classical units fell in line behind it. Is there a dusty copy of one of the 50 titles after the jump in your library?

Pop Music by CBS/Sony
35DP-1 Billy Joel, 52nd Street
35DP-2 Billy Joel, The Stranger
35DP-3 Boz Scaggs, Middle Man
35DP-4 Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here
35DP-5 Toto, Turn Back
35DP-6 Journey, Escape
35DP-7 Barbra Streisand, Guilty
35DP-8 Weather Report, Night Passage
35DP-9 Al DiMeola / Paco De Lucia / John McLaughlin, Super Guitar Trio Live (One Night In San Francisco
35DP-10 Bob James & Earl Klugh, One On One
35DP-11 Boz Scaggs, Hits!
35DP-12 Toto, Toto IV
35DP-13 Simon & Garfunkel, The Simon & Garfunkel Collection
35DP-14 Simon & Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water
35DP-15 Earth, Wind, & Fire, Raise!
35DP-16 Miles Davis, The Man With The Horn
35DP-17 Herbie Hancock Trio with Ron Carter & Tony Williams
Japanese Pop Releases by CBS/Sony
35DH-1 Eiichi Otaki, A Long Vacation
35DH-2 Motoharu Sano, Masamichi Sugi, Eiichi Otaki, Niagara Triangle Vol. 2
35DH-3 Seiko Matsuda, Pineapple
35DH-4 Mayumi Itsuka, Koibitoyo
35DH-5 Momoe Yamaguchi, Again Momoe Anato No Komori No Uta
35DH-6 The Candies, The Best
35DH-7 Sadao Watanabe, Orange Express
35DH-8 Kimiko Kasai, Kimiko
35DH-9 Various Artists, New Music Best Hit
38DG-1 The SL, SL Sound In Digital
Pop Music by Epic/Sony
358P-1 Julio Iglesias, De Nina A Mujer
358P-2 Michael Jackson, Off The Wall
358P-3 The Nolans, Don’t Love Me Too Hard
358P-4 REO Speedwagon, Hi Infidelity
358P-5 Jeff Beck, There And Back
Japanese Domestic Releases by Epic/Sony
358H-1 Channels, Soul Shadows
358H-2 Motoharu Sano, Someday
358H-3 Ippu-Do, Lunatic Menu
Classical by CBS/Sony
38DC-1 Beethoven: Symphony No. 5; Schubert: Symphony No. 8, Maazel / Vienna Philharmonic
38DC-2 Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, Mehta / New York Philharmonic
38DC-3 Mozart: Haffner, Kubelik / Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
38DC-4 Mozart: Symphony No. 38, Kubelik / Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
38DC-5 Mozart: Symphony No. 41, Kubelik / Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
38DC-6 Bruckner: Symphony No. 4, Kubelik / Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
38DC-7 Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, Maazel / Cleveland Symphony Orchestra
38DC-8 Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5, Bernstein / New York Philharmonic
38DC-9 Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overturre, Maazel / Vienna Philharmonic
38DC-10 Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Mehta / New York Philharmonic
38DC-11 Stravinsky: Ballet Music, Mehta / New York Philharmonic
38DC-12 Holst: The Planets, Maazel / French National Orchestra
38DC-13 Dvorak: Concerto For Cello, Tsoyoshi Tsutsumi (cello) with Kosler / Czech Philharmonic
38DC-14 Grieg: Piano Concerto, Hiroko Nakamura (piano) with Yuichiro Ohmachi / Tokyo Philharmonic
38DC-15 New Famous Pieces By Chopin, Hiroko Nakamura (piano)

As the years would go on, the CD player would have something of an accelerated existence, thanks in part to the age from which it was borne; it ballooned to 100-capacity units and shrank to Discman size, and now it’s teetering on the precipice of outdatedness thanks to digital-music players, as well as its functions being usurped by other electronics in the house from alarm clocks to computers to those music channels that are in the upper echelons of cable boxes. Do you foresee CD players going the way of the cassette deck—a sort of stereophonic vestigial tail, if you will—anytime soon? Or is 27 years the right amount of time for bigger, blockier versions of the component becoming, dare I say, “retro”?

Collectable CDs: The world’s first 50 CD titles. [eBay Guides]
Oct. 1, 1982: Portable Music Enters the Spin Zone [Wired via New Music Tip Sheet]


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