Wednesday, August 27, 2008


AUGUST 17 - A historical day to remember.

Was it because Davie Crockett or Robert De Niro were born? (In different years, of course...)
Uh - Don't think so...

Was it because in 1998 Bill Clinton made his famous video tape telling us about his relationship with Monika the intern? No no no!

August 17 1982 is an important anniversary for anyone in the music business!

26 years ago, in fact, the first CD (Compact Disc) was printed in a PHILIPS factory in Germany after a good 3/4 years of development with SONY.

And the rest is history. This dear 12 cm disc revolutionized the music industry and the quality of the music we listen to. Sure - you'll always fine people who will love vinyl more than the CD, pointing to its unique, warm tone that is missing from digital recordings.

Which brings an interesting anecdote to the fore: "When Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau recorded one of the first CDs for Polygram we discovered that he was grunting and panting while playing. Before on vinyl you didn't hear that but on CD it was crystal clear," said Frank van den Berg, a former member of the Polygram CD development task force.

So lovers of clean, classical music - respect the powerful CD! ;)

And now - the question that has puzzled previous generations (but that the new ones don't even bother thinking about since "new" music comes from P2P platforms stright to an iPOD...):


Well, oddly enough, Beethoven (yes... that Beethoven!) decided that!

How so?

Well, initially Philips & Sony engineers had the CD lasting 1 hour. But Mr. Norio Ohga - a classically trained musician who was also spearheading the CD development project for SONY - suggested otherwise when he said: "Let us take the music as the basis".

Beethoven's Symphony #9 (Ode to Joy) - a monumental orchestral work involving symphonic orchestra, soloists and choir - was used as a reference point.

Herbert von Karajan - legendary conductor of the Berliner Philarmonica - performed it in 66 minutes. But Mr. Ohga dug around until he found the longest known performance of the 9th Symphony which lasted... 74 minutes, you got it. This was recorded in 1951 and conducted by Wilhelm Furtwangler.

Engineers then redesigned the CD with an extra centimeter and technical specs were finalized. The CD was born. No wonder that on PHILIPS' research and development site they acknowledge Beethoven's work as being "of greater importance than technology".

Ta-da. Mistery solved.

Of course the new revolution sees the (now) traditional CD music content going digital. But still c'mon - no such thing as holding the disc in your hands and reading (flipping) thru the liner notes.

Digital is cool. But CDs will never leave us. They're here to stay.

And now...

As a sign of your deep appreciation of mankind's intricate technological understanding expressed in those 250 CDs right there on your book shelf, honor the Compact Disc and click the image below to buy my CD from

You'll find it at your door step in just a few days. In fact, buy more than one and you get an immediate 20% discount. How's that for a happy anniversary CD celebration? - Music that makes your CDs shine!

P.S. - What is your favourite CD? Leave a comment if you like or email me if you prefer!

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