The Day the 7-Inch Single Was Almost Killed

05 Dec 2014

RCA introduced the 7-inch 45 RPM single in 1949 to compete against arch-rival Columbia Records’ new 33 1/3 long-playing albums. 

These companies went at it throughout the 50s, eventually figuring out a way to share the marketplace for pre-recorded music.  But in 1960, RCA announced something they called the Compact 33 Double and Single.

For a time, they were released at the same time as their 45 RPM counterparts.  The goal was to phase out the 45 RPM record speed and standardize everything at 33 1/3.  It didn’t work, however, as consumers—especially rock fans—seemed to really like the 45.  The campaign ended in failure in early 1962.



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