Thursday, November 13, 2014

When music was expensive

Back in 1990 it cost $30 for a CD, which according to the Reserve Bank's inflation calculator is $54 in today's money. That's heaps.

If you were lucky you might get one CD for Christmas and another one your birthday so you had to think pretty hard about which one you wanted. Once you got your CD you would then listen to it about a million times until you knew every word and had pissed off your entire family who would beg for mercy every time you went near the hi-fi system.

Back then owning a CD meant something. It was a source of cool. You could have friends around to listen to a CD. People would give you tapes so you could copy it for them in some primitive form of file sharing.

This system did however get more sophisticated when kids realised they could buy a CD and a bunch of blank tapes from Big W, then dub the album, exchange the CD for another one, dub that, exchange the next CD and continue until the patience of the person at Big W finally wore thin with the whole scam.

Still, the system was far less sophisticated than these days when you can listen to pretty much every song which has ever been created on your phone without buying anything, dubbing anything or writing all the track names on the little tiny card at the back of the tape.

In the 90's kids were united by the tapes they shared. Some cool kid bought a Niggers With Attitude CD and pretty soon we all knew the words to Fuck tha Police. We probably had no idea where Compton was but being a middle class white kid in Epping was pretty much the same as gang banging in LA.

For some reason gangsta rap and hip hop was massive. Most people I knew owned a tape with Cypress Hill's "Hits From the Bong" on it before they even had a hit from a bong. I think it was just because it all seemed tantalisingly naughty and that treasured little black and white sticker on the front of the CD which says "Parental advisory, explicit lyrics".

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