Sony launched the Compact Disc format in Japan on October 1, 1982. Read this article by Steve Guttenberg on CNET News.
The Compact Disc format changed the way we listened to music in the 1980s. Sony's first player, the CDP-101, went on sale on October 1, 1982, in Japan, and six months later here in the U.S. At $1,000 it was pretty expensive, but supplies were limited, so every one sold for full price. Before the CD arrived, the mainstream music market was split between vinyl albums/singles and cassettes, and strangely enough, it wasn't just CD's sound that won over the masses, it was digital audio's no-wear durability and noise-free sound that drew raves. Audiophiles' reactions were mixed; some loved CDs' clarity, but many thought CDs sounded cold and hard. I was in the second group and waited until 1989 before I bought my first CD player.