CD single


CD single

A CD single (abbreviated to CDS) is a music single in the form of a standard size compact disc, not to be confused with the 3-inch CD single, which uses a smaller form factor. The format was introduced in the mid-1980s, but did not gain its place in the market until the early 1990s. Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms" (1985) is reported to be the world's first CD single, issued in the UK in two separate singles as a promotional item, one distinguished with a logo for the tour, Live in '85, and a second to commemorate the Australian leg of the tour marked Live in '86. Containing just four tracks, it had a very limited print run. Pink Floyd's "One Slip" (1988) single was the first single to be released with the CD as its only medium - not being released on vinyl or cassette. CD singles were first made eligible for the UK Singles Chart in 1987.

The 8cm/3in CD single format was originally created for use for singles in the late 1980s, but met with limited success, particularly in the U.S. The smaller CDs were more successful in Japan, and have recently become more common in Europe, marketed as "Pock it" CDs.

It was common in the 1990s for U.S. record companies to release both a 2-track CD and a multi-track (usually "remix") maxi CD. In the UK, record companies would also release two CDs, but usually these consisted of three tracks or more each. As chart rules changed, this formatting was changed to the U.S. practice of releasing both a 2-track version and a maxi CD.

During the 1990s, CD single releases became less common, and often released in smaller editions, as the major record labels feared they were cannibalizing the sales of higher-profit-margin CD albums. Due to pressure from record labels, singles charts became song charts, allowing album cuts to chart based only on airplay, without a single ever being released. In the USA, the Billboard Hot 100 made this change in December 1998, after which very few songs were released in the CD single format in the US. With the advent of digital music sales, the CD single has largely been replaced as a distribution format.

ee also

*Single
*Radio single
*A-side and B-side
*EP


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