14 April 2012

Compact Discs

The Sun, July 1 1982:

Records are about to shrink to less than half-size. New Compact Discs will be on sale before the end of the year.

The mini-records, less than five inches across, can be held in the palm of one hand.

They will have a permanent clear protective coating, which means they won't scratch or wear out. And they will sound better than ordinary albums.

A spokesman for Sony, who are producing the discs, says: "The sound is produced by an optical laser, and is of superior quality."

There's just one snag - the price. Not only are the discs themselves more expensive than today's records, they also need special new equipment to play them on.

But Sony says: "We hope within two years to have prices down to the same as ordinary albums."

A 1983 newspaper advertisement.

The article states that compact discs were due to arrive in England before the end of 1982. Some sources now state that they didn't actually arrive until March 1983.

The discs and players certainly did not come down in price that quickly. Asked if he/she owned a compact disc player in the mid-to-late 1980s, the average geezer/geezette would almost certainly reply:

"You wot? Wot do you think I am - made of money?"

The price was highly prohibitive, and CDs didn't outsell vinyl and cassettes for some years.

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