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.