Can it really be thirty years since the most unloved piece of the future was foisted upon us…the ‘indestructible’ CD. It was that small piece of plastic that was going to revolutionise music but ended up just reselling everyone their record collections back to them in small plastic cases that fell apart in your hands.

Apparently you could throw the CD across the room and they would not break and many tried this, sometimes because they hated the look of the things, soetimes to test their supersonic unbreakability and then broke their CDs. The CDs were also apparently scratch proof and would last forever but as I look at my CD pile now they look sad and forlorn.

They are nearly always in broken cases and the glorious artwork of the classic vinyl albums is crushed onto mini sheets of papers crunched into the cases. It’s been many years when they were the cutting edge after being replaced by mp3s and modern technology that have the same digital sound problems but are at least easy to carry around in your pockets. The sound quality was one of the first bug bears, those digital gaps quickly made everything sound brittle and robotic and the warmth of good old cup of cocoa vinyl was lost.

In the 21st century some people fetishize vinyl but no-one loves CDs unless they are a bit strange. No one goes out of their way to collect the pesky little things and they sit on a million shelves, convenient but unloved, scratched and charmless, what was once the future is now not even an antique but just an ugly piece of plastic.

 

Happy fucking birthday CD.

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Not much to disagree with here and yet i have at least a few thousand of the dirty things.I am a latecomer to viny but i must take you up on this perceived notion of vinyl artwork being a thing of beauty.For the most part,unless you are heavily into your metal or prog they are pretty unimaginative.In saying that there is something about holding and looking at vinyl.maybe it’s the smell or for me being mesmerised by my next door neighbours ac/dc records.So that’s my penny,rock on,rock hard.

  2. What a load of old bollocks! CDs and cases only deteriorate badly if you are too lazy or stupid to look after them. Yes you can get brittle sound from CDs but not if you’re using a decent CD player and an amp and speakers that convey some warmth. And no I’m not talking about a 5-grand rig that looks like it was designed by NASA.

    You can find flaws in any music format: CD, MP3 and not least vinyl with it’s propensity to warp, trap dust and pick up scratches. I grudgingly can see the charm of the taking-the-LP-out-of-its-gorgeous-sleeve-and-lowering-it-reverently-onto-the-turntable ritual. What I can’t see is how the degradation of that piece of vinyl, even with careful handling and good equipment, makes it a medium worth hanging onto. If I want good artwork I download it and enjoy it free of ringwear and beer stains as often as I want while the old Arcam whirrs away and produces a sound I’ve always loved – music!

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