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February 12, 1988 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-12
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

w

A

MUSIC

For better or worse,

CDs survive

By Brian Jarvinen
Well folks, it's 1988 now, and it
looks as if compact disc players are
not going the way of the Dodo Bird
or the eight track tape as some have
suggested. CD players are quite
popular on college campuses,
perhaps more so than in any other
segment of society. Of 44 students
on one floor of Bursley Hall, 12
have players. Previous
developments in pla y b a c k
technology such as tapes or
quadrophonic systems had little effect
on how and what we listen to; but
will CD players?
The most obvious question
surrounding CDs is whether or not
they will eliminate records. In one
area, the-high tech little discs have
pushed their vinyl counterparts into
obsolescence, that being classical
music. At Discount Records the
entire back half of the store used to
contain classical albums. They no
longer carry them. Manager Byron
Bull noted that some classical labels
heve ceased to release new offerings
in album format..
According to the Recording
Industry Association of America
CDs gained 132% in sales from the
first half of 1986 to the first half of

1987, while album sales fell 9.8%
during the same period. Discount
Records sells five times as many
discs as records. At Schoolkids'
Records, which, according to
manager Chris Geary, is "still
known mainly for selling records,"
albums continue to outsell CDs at a
rate of three to one.
The intense competition among
downtown record stores has delighted
local consumers, with disc prices
ranging from $12 to $16. When CD
players first hit the market, the discs
were hard to find due to limited
manufacturing, all of which is done
overseas. Stores selling CD players
said prices would fall once' more
domestic plants opened. But prices
have basically stayed the same.
Geary said prices "will probably
stay at $14 for a few years until
inflation catches up with them, but
the real price will be falling (until
then)." One source of cheaper CDs
is the new Super Saver series of
reissued discs featuring no-frills
packaging.
Albums reissued on CD account
for a significant part of overall disk
sales. For that matter, CD reissues
account for some sales of the CD
players. When a particular album is
finally issued on CD, some fans
simply must have their favorite
records on the latest and supposedly

In Ann Arbor it is hard to
determine the impact of CDs on
"new music." Geary says that "
students here definitely have the
money" to purchase discs. As a
HIS F1L.SF0C11
I 1

best format. This was no
last year when the first Bead
came out. The first two
discs, released in mono, ill
the common problem ofr

1I

test of time
ticeable aspiring recording artists. Geary
les CDs hypothesized that "the 3 inch CD
Beatles would be perfect for a band like the
ustrated Folkminers," due to its low price tag
reissues of around 5 dollars and its EP length.
Though CDs are here to stay, the
format will not remain static. In
addition to 3 inch CD, CDs with
both an audio and video recording on
one disc may soon be available. CD
singles are already available in
England, and some form of them
will be released domestically.
However these developments may
take a while as Bull stated that the
industry can't agree on new format
standards. Also, cassette singles
have not done as well as expected,
raising doubts about CD singles.
Though CDs supposedly have the
best possible sound, not everyone is
convinced. Geary says that "for
most people, they [CDs] are an
improvement over what they were
listening to before, which was
probably cassettes, or a fifteen year
old turntable that needed a new stylus
five years ago." However with a
good turntable, cartridge, and some
kind of anti-static device, many
14s 5 people can't tell the difference -

MUSIC
continued from Page 12
exactly where they want to be. Brain-
mangling songs like the instrumental
"Into The Lungs Of Hell" and "In
My Darkest Hour" (see, I told you it
was cheerful) will please their old
fans and should rope more converts
into the Megadeth corral.
-Chuck Skarsaune
Oregon
Ectopia
ECM Records
This new release from one of the
grandfather groups of new age jazz
benefits from a beautiful digital

recording; ECM's producers have
always done it right. The chamber
music sound is ideally suited to this
pastoral quartet that has been making
charming music for over a decade.
They were doing substantial new age
albums for years before the catchy
marketing label was in use.-
But the term "new age" doesn't
adequately pigeonhole what Oregon
does. It's sort of a cross between .
classical and jazz and... to heck with
it. Ralph Towner's guitar leads a
group that is basically reeds, bass,
and percussion. Paul McCandless'
oboe is augmented by soprano sax
and wind-driven synthesizer. Trilok
Gurtu, the new player, is magical on
percussion. This LP will please old
fans and challenge the new agers.
-Marc S: Taras

sjii.(

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result of this, according to Bull, new
acts seem to do even better than they
would if they were only on LP.
This only holds true for bands with a
major label contract, which leaves
indy label and unsigned bands out in
the cold.
The traditional method of gaining
public notice for an unsigned band is
to release a record, usually a single,
independently. Fortunately the new
CD pressing plants already allow
bands to do this. In fact one local
band, Von Leopold, already put out
their first full length CD. A new
development, the 3 inch CD which
can contain up to twenty minutes of
music but requires a special (but free)
adaptor, offers some hope for

with differences from the original
LPs. This can work to the advantage
of the CD buyer though, as some
discs have extra or longer songs on
them.
Discount Records' Bull has
noticed big acts from the '70s such
as Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills,
and Nash selling well again. This
trend raises another question: do
CDs favor established names at the
expense of up and coming acts?
Neither Geary nor Bull think so.
Labels are leary of issuing a CD of a
commercially unproven act, as
opposed to releasing a CD they have
already made a profit on in an album
format. If a given record begins to
sell well enough, the record company
will eventually issue a CD.

excerpt in the price.
CDs do have advantages over
records other than the sound. CDs
are read by the player visually instead
of mechanically, as LPs are. Also,
anyone who has argued over who
should get off the couch to flip an
album has to appreciate a disc that
contains up to seventy odd minutes
of music, long enough for many
double albums. With the newest CD
players, six or ten CDs can be loaded
and programmed in advance, to the
delight of couch potatoes
everywhere.
Compact Discs are not going to
go away. They have changed
recorded classical music already, and
will probably eliminate vinyl records
eventually, which will be a sad day
for record collectors everywhere.
Now, if they would only issue the
MC5 on disc, I would feel compelled
to buy one myself. N
The University of Michigan
Black Theatre Workshop
presents
Home
Samm-Art Wimliams
TRUEBLOOD THEATRE
(located on the corner of State
and Washington)
February 11 12 at 8PM;
February13 at 5PM and 9PM;
February 14 at 3PM
Tickets are $6 General Admission;
Student Seating $4 withI.D.
For tickets:
THE LEAGUE TICKET OFFICE,
the Michigan League
764-0450

A Moment in History:
1988- Get a case of MOLSON,
LABATT'S BLUE, MILLER & LITE
for $9.99 (without leaving the car)
The University of Michigan Department of Recreational Sports
presents
SUMMER
SOFTBALL
H1 ┬░Classics

Now you
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Stop in one of our conveniently located showroc
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We repair Audio, Video, Keyboards, Compu

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Adult-
Slow-Pitch Leagues
Mass Meeting February 24-6:00 p.m.
Room 3275

Hill Street Forum/Celebration of Jewish Arts
Singing in seven languages, playing on
.twelve intriguing instruments, Willy Schwarz
JEWISH and Miriam Sturm offer audiences a musical
MSC Ayssey ranging from the soulful doina of Romania
to the shepherd's pipe of the Gobi desert, from
9 the mystics of Safad to the Yiddish theatre.
Tickets available at 'Mcketmaster
outlets In the Michigan Union
L and at Hudson's:
(Vlsa/Mastercard:'lTS) $8
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13 AT 8PM
MICHIGAN LEAGUE BALLROOM

Central Campus Recreation
401 Washtenaw

Building

CHOICE
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playing fields
location/ lights/parking
umpires
Co REC C-Men's B, C, D
Single or double header leagues

CHOOSE Reasonable Rates/no hidden costs/No uniforms
CHOOSE No residency requirement/No university affiliation requirement
RETURNING TEAMS GET SCHEDULING PRIORITY
For Information Call Jan -763-3562
WEEKEND/FEBRUARY 12, 1988 PAGE 13

t The pom

c.i liiohPug~ fi n 'lh

Iilt titi / ~c I j ut ialruati pnrdahl,
For More Information Contact:
Computer Resource Center
3113 School of Education
764-5356

Affidavit on file.

MA A

f

PAGE 4

WEEKEND/FEBRUARY 12, 1988

Ci Jhalt l (./i/i/e l ''lit'It f i I)Jl /ili lq/l "1'a . ~ 'R i bt ~la i~iit]{' "u .1 an d i'tll(,ia duli, /4xtl I,,' n a } d 'f A t it

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