The Compact Disc is perhaps going the same way as the humble cassette, into musical heaven as a footnote in history, but I believe strongly that the CD should be saved.
To my rather large ears, they sound so much better than streamed playlists from Apple Music or Spotify.
Okay they’re cumbersome and bulky and devour a lot of drawer space and glovebox volume in cars, but aurally, they are superior.
Don’t you agree?
I write this, not because I’m on a mission to get found on Google for Compact Discs, although I do believe in 20 years’ time, vintage CD shops will pop up, like the current penchant for vinyl, but because I have had a musical epiphany.
My last car, a Mini hatch, had no CD player, neither did the car before, as is the way with manufacturers, but buying a BMW 1 Series and 2 Series recently (subtle brag) with CD capacity had me drooling over their ease and sound.
Okay, a USB lead and finding an album on Spotify is easier and tidier but the sound to me, at least, is inferior.
Since then, I’ve gone all old skool and dug out those zipped CD bags where you can store 30 in transparent plastic windows and placed one of each in the two cars.
It’s made me rediscover music that I wouldn’t have looked for on Spotify: Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush”, Bruce Springsteen’s entire back catalogue before 2004, including “Nebraska” and “Darkness on the Edge of Town”. “Highway 61 Revisited” has also had a blast on these rural East Anglian roads.
They take me back in time to the late 80s and 90s, when I invested in hifi separates (which I still have) like a £400 Marantz CD player, Kenwood amplifier and Wharfedale speakers, which still all function perfectly and sound as good as in 1994.
There’s something satisfying too about a CD in their packaging (even more so with vinyl I know). Those little booklets are a real throwback to great days when buying music was part of a weekend ritual in Our Price, Virgin Megastores, HMV, Woolworth’s or my own teenage favourite: Bradley’s record stores in Doncaster.
I still remember the excitement of getting new releases and even queuing up for singles and albums on vinyl.
Streaming and modern advancement have killed that joy – just as the internet has killed retail.
I know it’s called progress and I know that I could be labelled a Victor Meldrew but I feel that the Compact Disc should survive.
Quite fittingly too, the first CD ever released is reckoned to be “Born in the USA” in 1984, though it’s mired in debate, my second year at university and the same time I watched him live at St James’s Park.
What do you think?
Does the CD need saving or am I a dinosaur?