Flashback 1982: Abba CD Is World’s First

Say what you will about Abba but the ‘70s pop band is able to lay claim a small but significant piece of tech history. The Swedish group’s final studio album The Visitors was the world’s first commercially produced CD when it rolled off the production line 34 years ago this week at the Philips/Polygram-owned CD manufacturing plant in Langenhagen, Germany.

The disc was one of 50 discs produced in October 1982 to support the launch of the Compact Disc, the original digital music format from Sony and Philips that would go on to replace the vinyl LP (which is currently enjoying a nice resurgence). By the time the CD went on sale in Japan in November of that year, about 150 titles—mostly classical—had been produced. The format was introduced in the U.S. and Europe in March of 1983.

For an interesting recap of the launch, check out this geekzone story.