So says Neil Young, who has introduced a new musical format called Pono (which means righteous or goodness in Hawaiian).
I still remember the rant by Neil Young that Harper's Magazine published back when CDs were first introduced. Seemingly everyone at the time was raving over how much better CDs were, and here was Neil Young crying over how bad they were. He sounded both crazy and correct. When are you pulled into believing what one person says when everyone else is saying the opposite? For me, that was one of those times. I never forgot it.
By the way, I think one reason taste in music changed is that people started listening to it in the car and then later on portable devices. Subtlety doesn't work too well unless you're sitting quietly, like an elegant man in one of those beautiful living rooms in those old ads for very expensive stereo equipment, which we used to think about and spend more money on than would make any sense to a young person today. We read books back then too, and the book was an entirely different object from the technological device that played the music.
Ah! I found the old Neil Young piece in Harper's (where I have a subscription). It's in the July 1992 issue, under the heading "The CD and the Damage Done," which retitles what was originally headed "Digital Is a Huge Rip-off" in Guitar Player. (PDF.) Excerpt:
Digital is completely wrong. It's a farce... [Y]our brain and your heart are starved for a challenge, and there's no challenge, there are no possibilities, there's no imagination. You're hearing simulated music. Your brain is capable of taking in an incredible amount of information, and the beauty of music should be like water washing over you. But digitally recorded music is like ice cubes washing over you. It's not the same....All that gets recorded is what's dominant at each moment.... That sounds like a larger, scarier idea about modern life.
Listening to a CD is like looking through a screen window. If you get right up next to a screen window, you can see all kinds of different colors through each hole. Well, imagine if all that color had to be reproduced to only one color per hole — that's what digital recording does to sound. All that gets recorded is what's dominant at each moment....