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 Swedish pop band ABBA.
Although it was the first pop album, it was the third 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 in 1981 (Phillips used The Bee Gees’ Living Eyes for the demo), and the first commercial CD in any genre, albeit little known, was run just before the ABBA album (Claudio Arrau’s 1979 performance of Chopin waltzes). A fun fact about the last first in our list: Phillips had Claudio Arrau come to the factory to press the button and start the first commercial CD run.
Image courtesy of Atlantic Records.