Saturday, 2 February 2013

Columbia Records turns 125

Columbia Records, formerly known in Britain and the Antipodes as CBS records, turns 125 this year. It started in 1888 and has survived long enough to see the evolution of recorded music from wax cylinders, shellac 78 rpms, vinyl (it was the label that introduced the 33 1/3 RPM Long playing record), reel-to-reel tape, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs, Minidiscs and MP3 downloads.

What was once an independent major-sized label, it has been absorbed into the Sony Corporation now, but it remains a flagship label of the company. I'm not going to detail the history of the label here in detail, but as part of their Legacy app in Spotify they have posted a very thorough playlist covering the history of the label's releases from 1890 through to the current day. There's some 220+ tunes here, and while I can't say that I like each and every one, it covers every conceivable style of music and it covers most of their landmark recordings from the legendary recording by Glenn Gould of Bach's Goldberg Variations through to Miles Davis's classic "Kind of Blue" through Bruce Springsteen and Beyonce and Adele.

It's an absolutely fascinating listen. Check it out.

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