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Weekly survey: When was the last time you bought a CD of a new release?

When Swifties overwhelmed Spotify at midnight Friday morning, the site crashed. That was a clear indication that Taylor Swift was going to have a very, very good week with sales of her Midnights album.

Sales projections point to her having a killer week with her new album, Midnights. When the charts close at 11:59 pm ET Thursday night, it’s predicted that this one album will have sold between 1 and 1.2 million copies in the US alone, an astonishing number in the streaming age.

Hey, good for her. She’s one of the biggest artists in the world and Swifties will crawl over broken glass for her. No one else can do what she can.

This, however, got me thinking about the days when everyone would rush out and buy a CD the instant came out. Now, not so much. In all honestly, I can’t remember the last time I bought a CD of any sort, even though there are indications that the format is making a comeback. What about you?

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.

Alan Cross has 37843 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

8 thoughts on “Weekly survey: When was the last time you bought a CD of a new release?

  • I literally bought the new album by Sloan a few days ago. And anyone who’s a music collector is still buying CDs are super deluxe box sets and reissues are getting drops weekly nowadays.

    I never gave up on CDs because I’ve always knew that they would make a comeback like vinyl. After the streaming services Balkanize, raise prices and remove content *and* the Millennials get old enough to start feeling nostalgia for the CD, expect them to suddenly become expensive and sought-after. For now, I’m enjoying the pickings at the thrift stores while they’re still cheap.

  • I have never stopped buying CDs. Even though I love my Spotify, I still prefer owning and holding physical music. And there’s just something so satisfying about putting music in a device and just listening. The whole hi-fi experience.

  • Saturday I bought a brand new release CD (and a few LPs)

  • I’m buying the Deluxe vinyl and sometimes just the regular vinyl… but lately have been exploring the HD digital editions of classic albums as well…

  • Streaming’s fine if I suddenly find myself jonesing to listen to a single track, but for the full album experience, in order, from beginning to end, nothing beats the CD. It’s the ideal format from a practical standpoint because I do the lion’s share of my music listening during my daily commute, and I have yet to own a car with no CD player, where streaming’s the go-to music option. But there’s also the strong emotional attachment. I came of age musically in the 90’s, when the CD was dominant, and I’ll always associate them with memories of going downtown to see what new treasures I could dig up at HMV, or Sam The Record Man. I still get that same thrill, swinging by Sunrise Records at Scarborough Town Centre on my way home from work, and then hurrying back to my car to listen to my latest acquisition… 🙂
    In the last few months, I’ve purchased the Tea Party’s ‘Blood Moon Rising’ , a European import that combines their ‘Black River’ and ‘Sunshower’ EP’s, as well as some individually released tracks and bonus covers, and ‘Sisters Not Twins: The Professional Lovers Album’ from the Beaches, which mashed up their ‘The Professional’ and ‘Future Lovers’ EP’s. With the rise of digital and vinyl on the upswing, it increasingly feels as if CD releases are becoming something of an afterthought for musical acts, and I pray that won’t be the trend moving forward. Dragonette’s latest, ‘Twennies’, is due out this Friday; it’ll be the first proper album I’ve bought in a while. Here’s hoping it won’t be the last…

  • Bought the new Buddy Guy album this week.

  • I buy CD’s and vinyl.
    I rarely ever stream music.
    I use XM in the car

  • I genuinely can’t remember the last time i bought physical product, likely 2010, likely even earlier.

    It’s not that there’s not great music being made, there is, but my music technology, from my first iPhone 4 is simply better than having physical media. we’re downsizing out of our 2500 sq ft house soon too so less stuff to move…..


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