As Neil Young reportedly prepares to launch high-end digital device ‘Pono’, spare a thought for the humble Compact Disc as it turns 30 this week and it's revealed that the biggest selling album of all time on the format is ‘Abba Gold’.
Trade body the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and the Official Charts Company (OCC) released some special stats for the anniversary, revealing that Abba have shifted 4 million copies of their hits collection on CD to date.
Although it was released in 1992 when the shiny laser discs basically still looked like spinning musical rainbows beamed from the future. However, skip to the MP3 era and it's been revealed that the second biggest selling CD of all time is Adele’s ‘21’, selling 3.5 million, with Oasis’s ‘What’s the Story Morning Glory’ in with a mere 3.4m.
Comparably, Mumford and Sons have landed the biggest selling album of 2012 so far with second effort ‘ Babel’ shifting over 150,000 units in its the first week.
The BPI’s Geoff Taylor said: "The CD represented a great leap forward in sound technology, becoming one of the most successful consumer products in history as music fans embraced its sound quality, durability, instant track access and ease of use. Even 30 years after its launch, it still remains the leading album format in the British music market".
At this point, Taylor may as well have been yodelling the lyrics to ‘Fernando’ as far as the kids are concerned but he did go on to make another valid point: "There are many music fans in the UK who want to own music and value a physical product they can collect. The CD is a digital product that offers premium sound quality, artwork and lyrics - plus a permanent backup copy, all at a great price”.
Although some readers may recall that back in the 90’s, £14 was an awful lot of paper round money for one CD, especially when all it bought you was the debut album of, say, Cast or some other travesty against the ears destined to reside permanently in the over active bowels of Britpop.
Getting back to Young’s Pono player, the singer is basically set to launch a kind of iPod for audiophiles that has the capacity to play MP3s and high-quality 192kHz / 24-bit recordings. Again, perhaps a niche product as far as younger music fans may be concerned.
Strange name as well, though ‘Crazy Horse’ may have led to some confusion about exactly what kind of high end product you were getting.