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

While filing some vinyl over the weekend, I realized that I hadn’t had to file any new CDs for a while. How long was it? A month? Three? Longer?

“Wait a sec,” I thought, “when was the last time I bought a CD?” I couldn’t remember.

CD sales have been in freefall for years now. The most recent year-over-year stats I have say that we’ve bought about 50% fewer CDs in Canada than we did at this point in 2020–and that was a bad year. COVID has obviously been a factor, but even before the pandemic set in, CDs were in trouble.

This got me curious. When was the last time you bought an actual CD?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

7 thoughts on “Weekly survey: When was the last time you bought a CD?

  • March 22, 2021 at 10:14 am
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    Yesterday! Bought a slab of vinyl and a CD from a Toronto artist and he hand delivery the sign media!

    Reply
  • March 22, 2021 at 11:49 am
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    I order CD’s from Amazon. The last five were Tool- Fear Inoculum, Mad Season-Above, The Avener- The Wanderings of the Avener, Punto Omega-Nostalgias Del Origen and Cat Power-Wanderer, this cd was ordered from her site. I still go to Sunrise Records in Winnipeg to pick up CD’s now and then, some vinyl also, no big deal. Had no choice to order from Amazon as the pandemic closed down the mall where Sunrise is located. The mall is open now so I will probably pick up a few in the next couple of weeks, along with some vinyl of course.

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  • March 22, 2021 at 12:02 pm
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    Last night – Devin Townsend. Last week – Foo Fighters and Joe Bonamassa. It’s been a good week for CD’s!

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  • March 22, 2021 at 2:05 pm
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    I second your yesterday. Although you get brownie points for going Local. I used up some of my Amazon digital credits (Cold Cave and a song from The Alarm’s new album War) (It took Amazon countless years to realize how OFTEN I would forego fast shipping if they would just offer me a digital credit. So very dumb of them.) and bought a cd (Kasabian) that was on my wishlist because it happened to have gone down on price.

    I generally don’t shop my local stores anymore (bad Ruins!) unless I’m in the area (40 miles round trip); which these days is never and there are no local places. Or, alternatively, I go through discogs. But I had the credits and so I was working my way through various lists to get those off my plate.

    The last vinyl I got was Johnny Heartsman who was a pretty well known bluesman and guitarist in the music world. I *never* knew. To me he was this brilliant guy who played in a chinese bar/restaurant that was a little out of my regular area but close enough to Tower (which was also still a little out of my area – but Sacramento was the birthplace of Tower and we all loved it – we had books, rmusic, a jazz and classical section that was almost it’s own store in size, a warehouse for cutouts, videos, the movie theatre and the drugstore in Downtown all )

    Lately, I’ve been trying more often to buy directly from the band’s merch site. Postage from the UK or with the Euro is a killer so sometimes that just isn’t economically possible.

    I also bought two books from a local publisher (microcosm) yesterday. Filthy mouth, irreverent self help stuff from Faith Harper. SHe’s fun most of the time, has a few things worth hearing and some things that I just want to bash her head in (words from nowadays slang and psychobabble crap). Went on a bit of a spending spree. It was one of those weeks. I’m back on the tight budget now. More NO and less but I waaaant tooooo. Temper tantrums with myself. That should be the new definition of insanity.

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  • March 23, 2021 at 5:26 pm
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    My last cd was purchased from Amazon, after that the last attempt to order something I was really looking forward to, the remastered Be Bop Deluxe “Drastic Plastic”, Amazon kept pushing back their release date, meanwhile, it was already available thru Cherry Red, and today it’s at Tidal. I’ll still pick up some sacds, sometimes, somewhere, just not willing to wait an unreasonable amount of time.

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  • March 23, 2021 at 10:20 pm
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    I still buy CDs weekly. Last one was Massive Attack’s Mezzanine XX just last week. It’s still the best bang for the buck: a lossless digital file that I actually own and can convert into whatever format I choose, to listen wherever I please. Streaming is great for discovering music, but you don’t own anything, and it makes music into something ephemeral, ubiquitous and ultimately bland. Plus, have you actually supported the artist? Vinyl is great to show off and to hold, but the sound quality can vary greatly, and for EP’s or live albums the changing of sides comes too quickly or ruins the flow. For any avid music collector CDs are still perfect nuggets at a fantastic price point

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  • March 24, 2021 at 3:33 pm
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    Probably three years ago. It was a gift for someone who still has a CD player in their car. Everything I listen to now is digital. MP3/Flac from Bandcamp artists mostly.

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