Friday, August 17, 2012

Compac (for Compact)

Today is the 20th birthday of the music CD, in a way – on August 17, 1982, the first compact disc was released to the public. It was a classical album of Chopin piano waltzes, manufactured by Polygram Records. The first pop album produced on CD was ABBA’s The Visitors. I didn’t get my first CDs until I was a preteen in the early 1990s: albums by Pink Floyd and the Eagles (courtesy of my classic rock-loving father, who indoctrinated me early). They were so exciting, all shiny and reflecting rainbows, with no pesky tape to get tangled up in ribbons. Now, the world is moving steadily toward digital music, but I can’t give up my CDs. There’s something really special about talking to knowledgeable staff in a music store (they've introduced me to some wonderful jazz artists), opening gorgeous liner art for the first time, and pestering my favourite musicians to sign my CD while I ask them all sorts of foolish questions (I once told Canadian folksinger Sarah Harmer that her hair was “super pretty” – not one of my finest moments). So here’s to the 20th year of CD sales, and hoping there are another 20 to follow. Compac (without the T) is a low probability typo. When searching for it in your catalogue, watch out for legitimate uses of the word, such as the publisher Compac Reader Group, and various organizations and government groups acronymed as COMPAC.

(CD image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Leanne Olson

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