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All Songs At 15: Looking Back At 2008's Best CDs (So Far)

MGMT's <em>Oracular Spectacular</em>.
Courtesy of the artist
MGMT's Oracular Spectacular.

Thursdays this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a story about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

At this moment, the midpoint of the year, All Songs Considered has traditionally taken stock of how the year in music has pleased us. While I was thinking about this year's list (coming soon!), I decided to look back at what these lists looked like a handful of years ago.

I stopped, and laughed, when I saw the headline from 2008: "Best CDs So Far." Just seven years later, the term CD seems so quaint; the landscape in music seems to change faster than the speed of sound. But is pop music really moving faster than it ever did?

I thought it was until I looked back 50 years, to 1965. In that year, the primary way I listened to music was on an AM radio in mono (almost no one had an FM radio yet) and the primary format for buying music was the 7-inch, 45rpm record. The biggest selling band was The Beatles. Skip ahead seven years from that date: The Beatles have broken up, the 45 is on the wane and I'm mostly buying albums and listening to songs in stereo on my FM radio. And so while it's easy to think our modern culture is quick to shift, maybe the simple truth is that music has always been at the forefront of cultural and technological change; a good thing to keep in mind in the age of streaming, which may seem laughably antiquated by 2022.

The text of that original post, from 2008, is below.

Best CDs So Far: Listener Picks

All Songs At 15: Looking Back At 2008's Best CDs (So Far)

The results are in: After several weeks of tallying votes, we've got a pretty good idea of what NPR listeners think are the best CDs so far in 2008. Many were albums we've already covered this year on the show, but there were plenty of others we never got to. On this edition of All Songs Considered we'll look at the poll results and play some of the CDs we missed. Hear music from Panic at the Disco, Santogold, Girl Talk and more.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.