Shiny discs

CDs recently turned 30 years old.

I first got a CD player in 1988, when they fell below $200 for the first time. It was a CDC brand player (made by Teac), for which I trekked out to KMart at Box Hill. It worked for fifteen years, until 2003 — though its replacement didn’t last that long.

The first CD I bought back in ’88? Abbey Road.

I don’t recall the subsequent early purchases, but I know the rest of The Beatles’ albums and a lot of The Who was in there. In musical terms, I had very narrow interests back then.

I actually still buy CDs, which (mostly) don’t have any DRM hassles, and for older stuff are cheaper than iTunes. I’m also not super-confident my iTunes collection will be intact in another 20 years.

Do you still buy CDs? And why?

This topic came up on social media and in real life recently: do you still buy CDs, and why?

I do. I buy some stuff on iTunes and Bigpond Music (which sells MP3s), and buy some stuff (particularly older material) on CD.

Why? Because I prefer the softer, warmer, fuller sound of CDs to the harsh sound of MP3s.

Nah….

Actually three main reasons:

  • A lot of older material out there is substantially cheaper on CD. You can often find classic albums for $10 or less; the same would cost you around $16 or more on iTunes
  • I don’t mind having the physical media, including the booklet… although admittedly this is causing me some storage issues in my livingroom
  • I have CDs going back to when I first bought a CD player in 1988. And they still work fine. Will all of my iTunes downloads still be intact in another 24 years? Dunno. I’m not sure I trust it that much.

Perhaps the rarest CD I have is the out-of-print Doug Anthony Allstars album Icon, originally released in 1990. I notice it’s now available on iTunes. If it didn’t hold sentimental value (and if Paypal hadn’t decided to refuse service to me — that’s another story), that’d be one to sell on eBay, I reckon.

What have the rest of you done? Banished all CDs and gone purely digital? Or do you still buy them? Or have you gone really retro and are growing your stock of LPs, 8-track tapes and wax cylinders?

Sights of Old Melbourne Town – as seen in music videos

Dragon: Are You Old Enough (1978) — around Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, including the now-gone behaviour of riding the running board on a tram, and a Silvertop taxi back when they really did have a silver top.

John Paul Young: Yesterday’s Hero (1975) — around Swanston Street

Paul Kelly: Leaps and Bounds — mostly the Nylex sign, of course

Everyone knows this one… AC/DC: It’s A Long Way To The Top (1975) — Swanston Street again

More recent… The Living End: All Town Torn Down (1998) — various spots, including Citylink and Parliament station

What others are out there?

Update lunchtime

Suggested by Scott: Skyhooks — This is my City (1976) (sorry, can’t embed)

And of course I should have thought of this obvious one: The Whitlams — Melbourne (1997):

Freddies!

I feel a bit guilty about this: I re-used a costume party costume.

See, I was invited to an 80s Movie/Music/Pop-Culture party, and then a Dead Celebrities a couple of weeks later. Given time constraints and the likelihood of few party guests overlapping, I reasoned that I could knock off both with one costume. Someone who had been big in the 80s, but had since passed on.

I settled for Freddie Mercury.

After the 80s party, I felt a little guilty about it, particularly as I had since thought up another, almost-no-effort great 80s movie costume (which I won’t reveal now, lest that option become useful later).

Oh well, in any event, the 80s party was great, with birthday boy Andrew managing to get hold of a Back To The Future Delorean for the night. Wow.

And the Dead Celebrities party was great too… and very funny, since upon walking in I found co-host Tony was also dressed as Freddie.

He was late-80s Freddie. I was 1984ish Live Aid Freddie.

Fake Freddie Mercuries

And just so you can tell us apart from the real one:

The real Freddie Mercury

Pic sources: 1 / 2 / And my sister took the fake Freddies pic.

The Doctor catches V/Line

Spotted on Saturday after the Doctor Who/Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Symphonic Spectacular:
The Doctor spotted at Southern Cross Station

Reports from the UK suggest Doctor Who has prompted more people to wear bow ties. I don’t know if that’s rubbed off in Australia, but there were certainly more bow ties and fezzes than I’ve ever seen around Melbourne yesterday, both at the venue (the Plenary at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre) and on the way to and from there.

I was impressed that they sold out such a huge venue — twice. (As far as I can see, in the configuration we saw, the Plenary seats over five thousand people.)

And the fact that it was a balanced demographic (male and female, family groups and individuals — not just nerds) attending shows the programme reaches a much wider audience now than it did when I was growing up.

Indeed, at a barbecue on Saturday night, the laughter that I might have once faced when describing the event I’d been to was instead replaced by envy from some who’d tried and failed to get tickets.

Can I just say the event was excellent, by the way. Some great music, bringing memories from the past few years of the show flooding back, as well as some nods to the “classic” episodes of my youth. Host Mark Sheppard was good, and to my surprise, composer of all of the music (bar the theme tune) Murray Gold was also in attendance. Tony has a good write-up of the concert.

Dalek with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Daleks patrol

Cyberman