I was devastated when I heard the news that Best Buy and Target would be taking away CDs from their inventory, so I wrote a goodbye letter to one of my favorite forms of listening to music:
I remember when my dad first introduced me to you in first grade with Taylor Swift’s album “Fearless.” I listened to that album until the front casing formed a long crack in the front and I knew every song. I listened to “Fearless” until Taylor Swift came out with “Speak Now,” which translates to approximately one and a half to two years.
My dad came home from Starbucks the week the record came out with that CD with a dramatic Swift on the cover in a enchanting purple dress and my went wide and sparkled with wonder. I listened to “Speak Now” with an unparalleled vigor, the CD spinning around in my CD player interminably. Listening and dancing to that CD became a part of my daily routine at a certain point.
Then, at the age of eight, I received a pink iPod Nano and slowly my Barbie CD player gathered dust on the corner of my desk. Downloads replaced disks and I didn’t listen to CDs for another four years.
When middle school rolled around, suddenly CDs and records became the new, trendy way of listening to music. One of my new favorite activities was to go to a record store with a friend and breathe in the musty scent aged cardboard record covers and partially cracked CD covers. Browsing shelves and shelves of music always filled me in a way a lot of things can’t today. It’s an excitement that lives right under a wide smile and a fast-paced heartbeat.
Unfortunately, now as a high school student, most of my generation are glued to their phones and, therefore, have given up their “vintage hipster” phase in favor of Snapchat and Spotify. While I do love Spotify to the point where it’s my main resource for music, I do miss the real rawness of CDs.
The album booklets I can hold between my two open palms on my lap like the delicate butterfly wings, careful not to tarnish them in any way. The small scratches that show up on the surface of the disks when you put under a certain light. The snap of plastic as I open and close the lock holding in a bounty of tumbling notes, ready for my ears or any ears.The track listings on the back cover I can run my fingers over multiple times in order to find the song I really want to hear in that moment.
To this day, I have Ed Sheeran’s “X” (Multiply), “Weezer” by Weezer, “1989” by Taylor Swift, and “In The Lonely Hour” by Sam Smith in the side door of my car whenever I want to relive a past of simpler music listening experiences.
So, on that note, CDs, this may be goodbye, but a farewell doesn’t have to be permanent if one remembers. I will always keep my small collection of CDs on a shelf, even when all have moved on. And, trust me, I won’t be the only one who does the same.
Sincerely and with a bit of a tearful goodbye,
Written and Edited by: Tatum Jenkins