Here's something that might blow your mind: The compact disc turns 40 YEARS OLD today. To celebrate, here are a few facts about CDs . . .
1. The very first CD was produced at a German factory in August of 1982. It's unclear what it was . . . so technically, it's possible that it was an early recording from David Hasselhoff, but probably not.
2. The "first" CD to be released commercially came out in Japan in October of that year, 1982. It was "52nd Street" by Billy Joel, which wasn't a new release. It was originally put out on vinyl in 1978.
3. It seems random to suddenly be selling "52nd Street" on a shiny disc . . . no matter how much you like "Zanzibar" . . . but that wasn't actually the case. There were 50 albums released on CD at once . . . "52nd Street" just gets the special distinction because it had the first catalog number.
4. The first commercially produced CD player was the Sony CDP-101. In 1982, it cost about $1,000, although some deluxe players went for more than $1,500. By the mid '80s, the average player sold for $300 to $600.
5. The first CDs cost more than $20 apiece. By the mid '80s, they settled into a range of $11 to $15. Although, that was around $30 in today's money.
(Then, 10 years later, Columbia House was selling 10 CDs for a PENNY . . . sort of. And then things came full circle, with CDs shooting back up to around $20 apiece in recent years.)
6. By 1985 . . . three years after the CD's debut . . . there were about 2,600 CD titles available, which is a lot.
But by comparison, around 50,000 titles were being printed on vinyl at that time.
Of those CDs, approximately one-third were classical . . . one-third were pop / rock . . . and one-third were other genres, like jazz and Broadway. And a year before that, in 1984, ONE-HALF of the available CDs were classical.
7. CD sales peaked in 2000 . . . and not long after the slide began. BUT, CD sales were actually UP last year for the first time in almost 20 years.