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Happy Birthday CD!

On October 1, 1982, a revolution began in the music industry, with the release of the Billy Joel’s album 52nd Street. It was the first album to be released on Compact Disc. Click HERE for an excellent article on the development of CD technology.

Here are a few bits of CD trivia you can work into the water cooler conversation today:

The first piece of music pressed on CD was Richard Strauss’ An Alpine Symphony. This was a test of the production technique.

The first music to be played publically from a CD was the BeeGees’  1981 album, Living Eyes , which was played on a BBC television program as a demonstration of the technology.

The first album to be factory-pressed on CD was ABBA’s The Visitors, but Joel’s 52nd Street beat it to the street, becoming the first album to be available for sale to the general public.

The first album to sell a million copies on CD was Dire Strait’s Brothers in Arms (1985), and David Bowie  became the first artist to have his entire catalog available on CD in 1988.

The illustration above shows the four layers that make up a Compact Disc:

A. A polycarbonate disc layer has the data encoded by using lands and pits.
B. A reflective layer reflects the laser back.
C. A lacquer layer is used to prevent oxidation
D. Artwork is screen printed on the top of the disc.
E. A laser beam reads the polycarbonate disc, is reflected back, and read by the player.


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