Why I Still Use CDs & My Fave Albums



CDs have kind of become my thing. I've owned them since I turned 5 and received my first ever CD 'Pop Jr', which I still remember listening to on a regular basis (and watching the music video DVD on repeat!) Following that prime-time of my life, CD's have just been a part of my growing up. They provided music to me when I couldn't simply search for it online, or stream through Spotify (there were days before Spotify and I'm convinced it was better before it existed!) But despite my pure love for music in CD form, people still question why I use them. Why don't I keep up with the times? Why do I spend so much money on music? Let me explain...


As I mentioned above, CDs provide such nostalgic feeling for me. They remind me of listening to The Beetles on CD at my grandparents house, of my mum playing Elton John and Bowie in the kitchen on her small stereo player, of finding Ella Fitzgerald CD's at my granny's house and curiously playing them on her large CD player. They just remind me of childhood, of being careful not to scratch the shiny side, seeing my reflection on the disc. I love using them; opening the box, putting it in the player, it makes music more of an experience than just background noise for me. It might just be that I'm a little weird for enjoying this 'sensation' but it really makes music an activity for me.

One of my main issues with Spotify, the opposing form to CDs, which I haven't failed to shout about in my writing (exhibit A), is the impact it has had on the music industry, and the amount of money that musicians make from it. I won't go into detail, as I have already done so in my article for Affinity Magazine but I will say that, buying CDs will always be the best way to support the artist financially (alongside visiting their concerts.) Especially concerning local bands, CD sales is their main source of income, it's only the top-end artists that actually receive sufficient amounts from Spotify. Also, I'm that one person who doesn't have Spotify premium, which I suppose you could argue is contradictory (as I do use Spotify too) but I will consistently refuse to pay £5 a month for premium. I can actually put up with 2 mins of adverts for the sake of not paying. £5 is an hour of work in my job, so I think being sick of 2 mins of adverts in  between your music listening is just ridiculous. When you listen to the radio, you have to often listen to adverts in between. I'll happily put up with it, or even mute it -  what a concept! Though my favourite feature of Spotify is making amazing playlists, as it is perhaps the most practical way to have playlists nowadays, for example I use it every month to make the staff playlist for PureNowhere, just because of how accessible and universal the platform is. However I will always own CDs too. You cannot substitute what they provide for me.

When was the last time anyone listened to an album all the way through, with the tracks in order? I hold pride in knowing what the next track on an album is before it even plays. CDs allow me to appreciate one artist and the masterpiece that they created. One album which I feel almost doesn't work without listening to it in order is SZA's album CTRL. The voice notes in between the music merge across tracks, which you wouldn't get the full enjoyment out of if you listened to each of the songs separately.

Another element of CDs that I love is having control over the music file - you can put it into your computer, on your phone, but also you can play them in the car. They are an offline way of listening to music. Why have Spotify glorified the fact that you can listen to your songs offline, when you could just open up your music library and listen to music that way? CDs are practical. There is no faffing around looking for the aux cord whilst you are on your journey, you just put the CD in and enjoy the next hour. I also feel that CDs are the best way for you to find songs by artists that are low key, and not just the one played on the radio. If I didn't listen to the whole album and just listened to the single, I would have never found some of the songs I really love today.

The opposing argument of owning CDs is that they are expensive. From my point of view, the music industry has collapsed in terms of monetary value. Unless the fans are buying CDs and other physical forms of music, smaller local bands are going to struggle to gain any money from their work. Spotify only benefits those at the top of the ladder, who gain millions of listens every single day. For me, I'd rather spend a little bit extra for a CD to simply support the artist. Also, you can find CDs in charity shops for as little as £1, it is a challenge trying to find something you like, but once you find it, it is so satisfying (imagine finding your favourite artist's album for £1!)

CDs are also a physical reminder of your music tastes. I almost use my CDs as decoration in my room, having my music all in one place means that I can go back to old music I used to love years ago, and not forget about classics. In this online age we are so caught up on finding the latest songs, that once they go out of 'style' we forget about them. The fast moving world consumes and then discards of, why don't we try take a moment to appreciate an album as a whole, or the experience of listening to a CD whilst laying on your bed for an hour.

To round up this post, I'm going to list my current favourite albums I own as CDs in alphabetical order, so if you are looking for good albums have a scroll!
  • AM - Arctic Monkeys
  • Anti - Rihanna
  • Back To Black - Amy Winehouse
  • The Bends - Radiohead
  • CTRL - SZA
  • Currents - Tame Impala
  • The Dream Synopsis - The Last Shadow Puppets (EP)
  • Favourite Worst Nightmare - Arctic Monkeys
  • Flower Boy - Tyler, The Creator 
  • Frank - Amy Winehouse
  • Lust For Life - Lana Del Rey
  • Pure Heroine - Lorde
  • Relaxer - alt-J
  • Saturation - Brockhampton
  • Submarine - Alex Turner
  • Tell Me I'm Pretty - Cage The Elephant
  • Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino - Arctic Monkeys
  • Ultraviolence - Lana Del Rey
What is your favourite album at the moment? Do you still listen to CDs?

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