It's Official: CDs are Now Pointless

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

There's not enough Geritol in the world to cure the anemia currently afflicting CD sales. Case in point: Last week, the soundtrack to Sex in the City entered the Billboard album sales charts in the second position even though it only sold a little over 66,000 copies -- a total that might not have landed it in the top twenty a few short years ago. For me, though, this consumer shift didn't truly hit home until yesterday, when my fifteen-year-old twin daughters, who are remodeling their bedrooms, decided to get rid of the several hundred discs they'd collected over the years as casually as if they'd decided to spit out a wad of gum that had lost its flavor. Previous generations of music lovers would have looked on such a collection with sentimentality, but to them, it was clutter, no different from old shoe boxes or unwanted gifts from aunts and uncles that they'd shoved in their closets unopened.

Perhaps they would have felt differently if the discs had been boxed and transported to Goodwill rather than refiled in my basement with my own CDs, which I still prize -- but I doubt it. Album covers and liner notes and all the other accoutrements that are part of my music-listening habits mean zip to them. In their view, songs are supposed to be downloaded onto an iPod, played for as long as they're enjoyable and then deleted to make room for something more interesting, not physically archived like museum exhibits. I couldn't help smiling as I looked at their three Aaron Carter long-players, which pictured him as, respectively, an adorable tot, an awkward-stager and a teen on the verge of adulthood. In contrast, they just wanted them gone -- and countless millions of music fans can identify.

CDs may not have disappeared entirely, but they no longer matter -- not really. The guy who told Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate that plastic was the future didn't know what the hell he was talking about. -- Michael Roberts

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.