Monday, June 1, 2015

It's not dead yet

Came across an article in The Guardian yesterday (Thursday 28 May 2015) by Dorian Lynskey. Titled How the compact disc lost its shine, the article is an epitaph for the compact disk, 1985-2015.

I'm not going to get into the whole thing here.  Something in the article, however, led me to recall an artifact from the early 80s that I bought at a used record store.  It's a CBS Records Compact Disc Demonstration CD.

Here's a scan of a part of the insert:

The jewel case cover is on the right, and as you can see, it's been defaced a bit by the previous owner, with assorted scratches and pen scribbles.  The CD itself has minor scuffing, but it's still quite playable.

Googling the CD title turned up some interesting things., a site for collectors of Michael Jackson ephemera, mentions the CD here.  It says that the CD is from USA, which isn't quite correct.  It was made in Japan, but it was sent to radio DJs in the USA as a promotional item.
Sent to select USA radio stations in 1983 by "CBS Records", this 21 track promo-only CD was one of the first compact discs ever made in the USA. Features Michael's first appearance on a compact disc format in the USA. Track #19 is "Thriller."
Another site,, posts a forum discussion that mentions the Electric Light Orchestra song Don't Bring Me Down, which appears on the compilation.
The very old promo disc CBS Records Compact Disc Demonstration (1983) runs at 115.2 BPM throughout, and sounds a little dull, but only a little.
And here's an entry from, which talks about Bob Dylan songs.  Under the 1983 heading, I found this entry:
Bob's contribution to this very rare demonstration disc (intended for the US market but actually made in Japan) is Just Like A Woman from Blonde On Blonde.

Thanks to Hans Seegers for information and scans. Thanks to "Ranger Granger" for dating this as 1983, it was given away with some of the first CD players sold in the USA.
I searched on eBay, and I found under completed items that some discerning buyer had paid $25.49 for a copy of this CD.  Granted, the insert paper was in much better condition than the one that I scanned in above.  However, my copy of the CD itself appears to be in much better condition.

The wheels are starting to turn.

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