July brought the end of compact disc sales at mega-retailer Best Buy, and Target will not be far behind. Somewhat of an end to a musical era. I have hundreds in racks like the one pictured above, like a lot of other music buyers who were around for the advent of the technology in the early 80’s and went hog-wild for the compact size and scratch-free clarity that our vinyl or cassettes couldn’t compare to. How quick we were to forsake our beloved dinged-up records for the prismatic gleaming allure of the newest thing. Off to garage to grow mold went Frampton Comes Alive, Captain Beefheart and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. (At least until they were re-issued on the new platform) I came to the game in 1984, ’85 maybe. CD Players were still a big splurge (I believe I got a mid-level Techniques for just under $300 at Shreveport Refrigeration) and the selection of available titles was slim to say the least. “The Joshua Tree” was one of my first, it was a birthday present form the wife. Dire Straits “Brothers In Arms” was a full-digital recording and so perfectly suited the format. Remember that many early CDs indicated the original source was not digital, and the conversion might actually enhance the shortcomings of the source material. No matter, they caught on big time and were the “go-to” way to get your tunes for many moons. Do you remember what some of your very first cd purchases were?
So now I have hundreds of vinyl records old and new that I don’t nearly have room enough to house in the home studio, but I still listen to many of them from time to time, so they collection will most likely never go. Is there a special place in my heart for every one of the original Led Zeppelin albums I bought as a teenager, and the memories that are there among the grooves? What do you think? I’ll probably always have the compact discs hanging on the walls too, even though I can find nearly every song on them with a quick search and click. They still come out often enough, and I listen to them in the truck a lot since my I-pod was stolen. (“Did you lock your truck?” “Yeah, what? Yeah, yeah I locked the truck! C’mon I’m watching this here!!”)