The invention of the compact disc propelled the music industry almost 40 years ago when music lovers abandoned the cassette to usher in a new era of audio.
he slow-moving revolution began in 1982 and became a hallmark of the decade, remaining popular throughout the 1990s and well into the 2000s.
To mark this momentous milestone, Belfast Telegraph journalists and editors have revealed the iconic artists and bands that drew them to a new way of listening to music.
Margaret Canning’s first purchase was The Definitive Simon and Garfunkel in 1992.
“I had grown up with songs like Bridge Over Troubled Water, then one afternoon a friend put on one of the Simon & Garfunkel LPs owned by an older brother and I realized how so many of their other songs were great,” she said.
“I remember my friend’s mother laughing at us when we discovered them, because she had first listened to them in the 1960s and had come to think of them as really rubbish. She might be right…”
Although Garret Hargan’s preference is for vinyl, he has amassed an impressive record collection.
“I believe, if I remember correctly, that the first CD I bought was Is This It by The Strokes when I was about 14. My mum used to give me ten to buy a CD from the Virgin record store in Foyleside,” he said.
“Along with The White Stripes, they top my list of my favorite bands of the 2000s.
“The last time I saw them live was at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, just before the world shut down due to Covid.
“I switched to vinyl over the years, but I still keep all my CDs, which until recently I could listen to in the car.”
The availability of enhanced audio was a watershed moment in Aine Toner’s life.
“I had a CD player when I was 13 and I’m sure I played The Best of Musicals on repeat once I learned where the repeat button was,” he said. she declared.
“I would like to apologize to my parents and all our neighbors for listening to my enthusiastic but totally out of tune renditions of Memory, The Music Of The Night and Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.
“It was fortunately a short period of wanting to be a stage star, although I still love Evita.”
Allan Preston was overcome with nostalgia as he recalled his first purchase, which was Flat Beat from French DJ Mr Oizo, in 1999.
“He was in a Levi’s ad with a yellow finger-tapping puppet in a car,” he said.
“Having been brought up on a diet of borrowed heavy metal tapes from my older brothers, I really should have known better.
“Asking for my very original choice at a Virgin Megastores in Belfast, an unimpressed cashier quickly burst my bubble by pointing to a huge display of yellow CDs and puppets.”
Eimear McGovern remembers when the musical revolution entered a new phase.
“The first CD I bought was Britney Spears’ second studio album, Oops!…I Did It Again, in the Stillorgan, Co Dublin, branch of Golden Discs,” she said.
“I used a voucher I had received from my godmother for my eighth birthday after my parents gave me my first CD player for the occasion.
“When the disc was inserted into our personal computer, you could also play the video for his single Lucky, which I watched over and over again.”
Claire Williamson was quite protective of her coveted collection.
“Among my most memorable and performed early CDs was Steptacular by the pop group Steps,” she recalls.
“I was a Steps fanatic, partly because their lead singer was also called Claire, and I thought that was the best thing ever.
“I even put a little sticky tag on the front with my name on it because I must have brought it to school or a birthday party or something and was afraid someone would take it . I still have it, sticky tag intact.
“I knew every word on that CD and I probably still know it shamelessly.”
Meanwhile, Maureen Coleman was digging deep into her childhood memories and could easily recall her first vinyl, The Specials single Do Nothing.
“A few years before, my mom bought me the soundtrack to Grease, but the ska band track was the first 45 I bought with my own money.
“By the mid-1990s CDs had become mainstream and I had a pretty decent sized collection.
“The audio quality of CDs may be better, but there’s something lovely about vinyl that makes it easier to remember.
“If you ask me about my very first CD, it’s harder to tell it apart, maybe Paul Weller’s 1992 self-titled debut or Massive Attack’s beautiful Blue Lines.
“Again, this could have been a later release, like Portishead’s Dummy.
“Funny enough, these are still the albums I listen to now.”
Andrew Madden’s early fixation with an iconic Manchester rock band inspired more than his very first CD.
“When I was only five, I bought my first album – not with my own money, of course,” he recalls.
“As our house was always filled with music, I already knew what interested me, so I chose Oasis’ seminal second studio album, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?.
“It spawned six hit singles, including Wonderwall, Don’t Look Back in Anger and Champagne Supernova, the first of which was the first song I learned to play guitar.
“I still have the album in my glove box to this day.”
By the time Kurtis Reid embraced the movement, shiny records were on the verge of a transition that nearly banished them as relics of the past.
“The first CD I remember buying myself was Florence and the Machine’s Lungs. I was 14 and it was at the HMV in Belfast on a Saturday afternoon,” he said.
“I had received just enough pocket money to cover the cost of the new album in 2009 after hearing his version of You’ve Got the Love in a TV commercial.
“I wasn’t a huge fan, but after constantly borrowing CDs from my parents and sister, I thought it was time I tried to develop my own musical taste.”
Gillian Halliday has no regrets after being swept up in what was arguably the biggest craze of the 1990s.
“The brash voices of Baby, Posh, Sporty, Scary and Ginger Spice were everywhere in 1996 when the girl power band released their debut album, including the hallways of schools around the world,” she said. .
“Friends shared headphones just to listen to the incredibly catchy tunes before class started, and I was one of them.
“It was something of a watershed moment for me, though. Post-Spice Girls mania, my musical tastes evolved towards indie rock.
“Still, overall, it was an iconic pop album.”