Ongoing History Daily: Thompson Twins, new media pioneers back in 1984

For a while, it was common for some CDs to come with some kind of bonus feature that you can unlock with your computer. Maybe it’s a video game, a key to a special website, or maybe some software tools. Or maybe it’s an evil thing like a “rootkit,” but that’s another story. This sort of thing has been going on longer than you might think.

In 1984, a magazine called Computer & Video Games gave away something called a “flexidisc” from the Thompson Twins. It didn’t feature any music. Instead, you were supposed to record it to a cassette tape which you would then use to program a computer called the Sinclair Spectrum. It was a video game where you were supposed to guide the three members of the band over some weird desert island.

It’s primitive now, but in 1984, this was super-cool state-of-the-art consumer computer technology.

Yesterday’s post featured the biggest drumset in the world.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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