By John Smith •
Updated: 05 Nov 2023 • 12:23
All of these CDs and more could now be stored on a hard disc or a few memory sticks
As we at Euro Weekly News continue to celebrate having reached issue number 2,000, we are looking back at some of the milestones of 1985.
Music has always been a major source of interest for people of all ages and we have seen major changes in the way that it is delivered to the public and its importance from both a cultural and economic point of view.
For decades, gramophone records were produced in fragile shellac with a limited amount of space for recording and then in the fifties, record companies discovered that vinyl was a much sturdier material with greater memory facility.
Thus, the 45rpm single and 33 and a third rpm long player dominated the market for the 50s, 60s and 70s.
In Europe, the next major step saw the growth of cassette tapes with individuals having the opportunity to either purchase pre-recorded cassettes or record from radio or vinyl and finally have an easily transportable option for music on the move.
In the USA, 8-tracks were popular in cars although they never really took off in Europe but in 1980, another new format, the Compact Disc (CD) was created and by late 1982, Sony released their first compact disc player in Japan even though there were just 20 CDs available to play.
Touted as being indestructible (which they weren’t) and offering far better sound than vinyl (which is debateable), the CD started to take off although, it wasn’t until 1985 that the recording industry saw the first album specifically recorded to take advantage of CD technology.
That was Dire Straits hugely successful Brothers in Arms and by 1988, CD sales outstripped vinyl and again it was a portable option which saw almost every new car offering a CD player.
Times change however and having seen off the mini disc which was never a real challenge, the CD also saw the incredible growth of first iPods and then straight downloads of music, which led to the disappearance of such high street names as HMV, Virgin, Tower Records and many more.
Ironically however, vinyl has started to make a comeback and many albums are now available in limited high quality vinyl for those who love the concept of once again boasting about their record collection.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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