The very first compilation CDs

As soon as CDs were introduced to the US marketplace, a handful of samplers were introduced as a guide to both consumers and retailers. For many, these were the first introduction to digitally-stored sound. (The first song from CD that I heard was Chicago's "Stay The Night", played on a CD player in Crazy Eddie in suburban New York City around 1984-85. A life-altering experience.) All of these CDs are extremely hard to find today, if you'd be looking for them at all. Most of them were pressed in West Germany, because US facilities weren't up to speed yet.


Hear The Light Vol. 1 - Front | Notes 1 | Notes 2 | Notes 3 | Notes 4 | Notes 5 | Back | CD

Hear The Light Vol. 2 - Front | Notes 1 | Notes 2 | Notes 3 | Notes 4 | Notes 5 | Back | CD

Pure Classics - Front | Notes 1 | Notes 2 | Back | CD

The graphic designer for this and the other Realistic compilations deserves bonus points for creating the most dated cover art of any CDs I own.

First Class Jazz - Front | Notes 1 | Notes 2 | Back | CD

Big Screen Sound - Front | Notes 1 | Notes 2 | Back | CD

Laser Rock - Front | Notes 1 | Notes 2 | Back | CD

I've heard that there's a "Laser Rock 2", but I've never seen it.

Sampler U.S.A. - Front | Notes 1 | Notes 2 | Notes 3 | Back | CD

The "ABC Band"?

The Digital Domain - Front | Notes 1 | Notes 2 | Notes 3 | Notes 4 | Notes 5 | Notes 6 | Notes 7 | Notes 8 | Notes 9 | Back | CD

The musical selections are awful, but the test section was as good as it got until CD-Rs let you create your own. The THX theme is also on this CD, which I still use in my Crap From The Past IDs.

CBS Records Compact Disc Demonstration - Front | Notes 1 | Notes 2 | Notes 3 | Back | CD

This CD turned up in a catalog somewhere, where it was hailed as the first sampler CD.

Telarc Sampler 1 - Front | Notes 1 | Notes 2 | Notes 3 | Back | CD

Telarc carved out their niche of digital-at-all-cost bottom-feeders. In order to rush all-digital discs to market, they recorded some pretty feeble orchestras and slapped the DDD label on it. They usually didn't stray far from classical fare, but when they did, it was with truly bizarre results. This CD includes a Beach Boys imitation group called Papa Doo Run Run. Capitol would give a proper release to the Beach Boys material only three years later in 1987, rendering Papa Doo Run Run obselete, and largely forgotten.

Telarc Sampler 2 - Front | Notes 1 | Notes 2 | Back | CD