The First Pop CD Featured What Band?
In 1982, the first pop album in Compact Disc format rolled off the Phillips assembly line in Germany. That album? The Visitors, the eighth and final studio album of the Swedish pop band ABBA.
Although it was the first pop album, it was the fourth of major firsts for the CD format. The first test pressing occurred in 1979, a recording of Richard Strauss’s Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony) played by the Berlin Philharmonic. The first public demonstration was on the BBC television program Tomorrow’s World in 1981 (Phillips used the Bee Gees’ album Living Eyes for the demo).
The first commercial CD in any genre, albeit little known, was run in 1982 just before the ABBA album (Claudio Arrau’s 1979 performance of Chopin waltzes). A fun fact about the last first in our list: Phillips invited Claudio Arrau to their factory in Germany to press the button and start the first commercial CD run.
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