On August 17th, 1982 the world’s first commercial music CD was pressed in Langenhagen, Germany at Polygram Pressing Operations, which had been established by Philips and Sony. This first CD was “The Visitors,” by ABBA, the Swedish pop band. Sadly though, the CD did not take the American streets by storm, as the CD player was not available on the consumer market until December of that year.
Don’t worry though, ABBA had already won Americans (and the rest of the world) over. For a few years the band was actually Sweden’s second largest money-making export (with Volvo at the top). Even today, the old folks who still know how to party showed up to watch the film version of the band’s musical, Mamma Mia!—which was the 5th grossing film in 2008. ABBA was even inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010…
This is obviously proof that rock ‘n roll is dead, because inducing ABBA into the hall of fame is like sending a preschooler to play in a mosh pit.
Where was I?
The making of that first CD (and player)—the project was a collaborative effort between Sony and Phillips. It took a large team of people from both companies to turn the idea into a reality. The first CD player, the Sony CDP 101, was released with Billy Joel’s “52nd Street.” The massive beast retailed for around $900. Understandably, the technology was not widely adopted for many years.
That’s not to say it didn’t have a massive impact on the way the world listened to music. Check out this news report dating from just a couple years after the CDP 101 hit the market. Watch out for the level of hair awesomeness, though. It could reach through your computer screen and eat you.
This CDP 101 is still alive and kicking, today!