By Webteam - 1st October 2018 6:01am
Launched in Japan on October 1st 1982, the Sony CDP-101 was the world's first commercially released compact disc player.
Its list price at launch was 168,000 yen which was approximately £500 — or more than £1700 today!
Sony executive Norio Ohga, later CEO and chairman of Sony was convinced of the CD's commercial potential and pushed further development despite widespread skepticism. In 1979, Sony and the Dutch company Philips set up a joint task force of engineers to design a new digital audio disc. Led by engineers Kees Schouhamer Immink and Toshitada Doi, the research pushed forward laser and optical disc technology. After a year of experimentation and discussion, the task force produced the Red Book CD-DA standard. First published in 1980, the standard was formally adopted by the IEC as an international standard in 1987.
The Japanese launch was followed in March 1983 by the introduction of CD players and discs to Europe and North America. This is often seen as the "Big Bang" of the digital audio revolution. The new audio disc was enthusiastically received, especially in the early-adopting classical music and audiophile communities, and its handling quality received particular praise.
As the price of players gradually came down, and with the introduction of the portable Walkman the CD began to gain popularity in the larger popular and rock music markets.
From the early 2000s CDs were increasingly being replaced by other forms of digital storage and distribution, with the result that by 2010 the number of audio CDs being sold in the U.S. had dropped about 50% from their peak; however, they remained one of the primary distribution methods for the music industry. In 2014, revenues from digital music services matched those from physical format sales for the first time.
The first artist to sell a million copies on CD was Dire Straits, with their 1985 album Brothers in Arms.
But which was the first ever CD to be released?
It was a re-release of the Billy Joel album 52nd Street.
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