Even Though Times and Selling Practices Have Changed, the Love of CDs Lives on with 80s idols Turning Their Records into Albums and Current Idols Continuing to Sell CDs
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When talking about idols from the 80s, there’s something important to consider, which is the transition to CDs (compact discs). CD sales began in 1983, and quickly spread. In 1986, the sales of CD albums surpassed the sale of LP records.

When CDs appeared on the market they revolutionized the way people listened and enjoyed music, as they were easier to handle, made repeating the same track easier, and let people play songs in whatever order they wanted to.

However, this isn’t to say that at the same time analog records were declining, and in fact, during that period a strange phenomenon has occurred.

The spread of CDs was mostly about albums. For singles, analog records were still popular. Even though people were listening to CDs at home, when you went to a new single release event, only records were put out for sale… Even though many would be these records to benefit the artist, a large part of the time they were left unlistened to.


Analog record version of the single “Sotsugyo” by Yuki Saito, released in February 1982. At the time there wasn’t a CD version of the single. ’85年2月に発売された斉藤由貴のシングル『卒業』のアナログレコード盤。シングル曲のCDはまだなかった。

Now the main purpose of purchasing CDs is to receive tickets to handshake events, and there are instances of people buying the CDs without ever playing them, but “buying without listening” started back in the 80s. There were also fans that, instead of records, bought cassette tapes when they wanted to listen to the actual song.

Then, in 1988, the eight-centimeter CD that many had been waiting for (?) finally appeared. Following this, singles also began to be sold on CD.


After the mid-90s, 12-centimter CD singles (maxi-singles) became popular, and eight-centimeter CDs declined. There were cases of eight-centimeter CDs being sold in 12-centimeter CD cases, like with Morning Musume’s “Love Machine”, among others. 90年代後半以降は、現在と同等の12センチCDのシングル(マキシシングル)が主流となり、8センチCDは衰退していく。12センチCDのケースに8センチCDを入れて販売したモーニング娘。の『LOVEマシーン』などもある

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Toshiro Arai
Toshiro Arai

A producer of website "TOKYO IDOL NET", which "photography" and "idol" is its concept. He also writes for Tokyo Idol Project, and so on.

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