I purchased my first compact disc in 1987 after my good friend Erik Peters, whose father worked for Philips in New Jersey, demoed his CD player for me and played some of his first approximately 20 CDs in his collection. I remember he had Dire Straits’ Love Over Gold and a couple of other Dire Straits’ CDs. I was already a fan of the Brothers in Arms album, but I began a lifelong obsession with the guitar work of Mark Knopfler after hearing Erik play his Dire Straits CDs that day.
It was probably only a few days later when I picked up Dire Straits’ Communique at the Music Cellar in Princeton, NJ. I didn’t even have a CD player to play it on, but I wanted to hear more Dire Straits and after hearing my first compact discs I couldn’t imagine buying recorded music in any other format.
I remember articles in stereo magazines of the time debating whether a true audiophile could tell the difference between vinyl and CD. CDs sounded great to me at the time, were a lot eaiser to carry than records, and offered the huge convenience of allowing me to jump right to the desired song or create a programmable play order. Today there’s been a resurgence of vinyl and I must admit that on a good stereo vinyl does sometimes have a “warmer” sound to it than CDs, but 22 years after hearing my first CD, CDs are still my preferred medium for non-mobile music.
A little later in 1987 I did buy a JVC CD player and a few years later I upgraded to a Sony 5-Disc carousel changer that I kept for 12 years. When I was in college in the late 80’s and early 90’s I joined BMG and CBS music clubs and delighted as 12 CDs arrived in my college mailbox for a penny. I met the purchase requirements for the clubs and got out and my CD collection grew ever larger.