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Old 01-10-2009, 06:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
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And for the first time we have a popular format where someone could write a two hour song that doesn't need to be split up to fit on two discs or anything. I could see this being really cool for live recordings too.
absolutely. i'm thinking instant live albums are the next step. sell them at the merch table after the show. just a matter of getting an affordable digital recorder and a few laptops.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:47 PM   #22 (permalink)
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It's impractical because as far as i can see modern music works around the album format. It dictates how they tour, how they afford studio time and musically, for some, how they develop as artists (that could be argued against though). I know singles were a bigger format years ago and still with most pop artists but overall for most artists the album is where it's at.
None of this is objectively true (like that you couldn't tour in a singles-based industry, etc). All you're saying is "Album oriented music is the current form of the industry." While that's true, it doesn't mean it would be impractical for the industry to take a different form, like singles-based (a form it has taken before).

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Regarding albums being special, think of all the thousands of albums that are celebrated against the number of best-of's that are celebrated.
This again is a consequence of an album-oriented industry. If things are organized as albums, singles suffer. In a singles-based industry, singles would be special. In the 1960s, there were tons of singles released and they were the eagerly-anticipated events...the next big single. In the late-60s that changed. Then it changed back in the late-70s and early-80s. Now it's again album-oriented.

I think a great pop single has a great deal of specialness.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:43 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Oh i totally agree but i'm sure i'm not alone in thinking it's nothing compared to albums.

I guess with the boom of the internet and people downloading single songs more i'll probably be proved wrong but i like to think i'll still be sticking to albums as my main listening experience. A nicely grafted album has a lot more worth to me than a nicely crafted single.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:33 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I hate to be nitpicky, but I personally think that Chuck Berry is best represented by some of his albums, particularly Chuck Berry Is on Top and St. Louis to Liverpool.
I do like SLTL, but the singles are by far the best tracks (well, I'll give you Liverpool Drive and Our Little Rendezvous). Little Marie and Go Bobby Soxer are pretty generic, and Christmas songs are universally crummy...


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It's impractical because as far as i can see modern music works around the album format. It dictates how they tour, how they afford studio time and musically, for some, how they develop as artists (that could be argued against though). I know singles were a bigger format years ago and still with most pop artists but overall for most artists the album is where it's at.

Regarding albums being special, think of all the thousands of albums that are celebrated against the number of best-of's that are celebrated.
But you're talking in a purely business sense; I'm talking from an aesthetic point of view. One could argue that the album format actually encourages filler, because bands with a handful of good tracks will write a bunch of clunkers to fill out the album (this is even worse now, with many CD's clocking in at lengths unheard of in the vinyl era).

Comps aren't celebrated among critics and most fans simply because they have an ugly reputation as "non albums." While most comps are ripoffs, some, particularly those that have a wealth of non-album tracks, are just as valid as the "proper" albums. There are plenty of Smiths fans who will swear that Hatful Of Hollow is better than most of their albums, just as I'll defend Turns Into Stone over either official Stone Roses album.


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it's something that's completely lost on people who've never listened to anything besides cds or mp3s, just the physical act of having to flip over the record to get hear the other side becomes part of the listening experience. it completely changes the flow of the album for the listener.
I'm a child of the cassette/CD medium, but when I'm listening to vinyl-era albums, I like to break down the album into proper sides, at least mentally. It really helped me to appreciate a lot of those albums, especially double ones like Blonde On Blonde and Exile On Main Street.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:44 AM   #25 (permalink)
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But you're talking in a purely business sense; I'm talking from an aesthetic point of view. One could argue that the album format actually encourages filler, because bands with a handful of good tracks will write a bunch of clunkers to fill out the album (this is even worse now, with many CD's clocking in at lengths unheard of in the vinyl era).

Comps aren't celebrated among critics and most fans simply because they have an ugly reputation as "non albums." While most comps are ripoffs, some, particularly those that have a wealth of non-album tracks, are just as valid as the "proper" albums. There are plenty of Smiths fans who will swear that Hatful Of Hollow is better than most of their albums, just as I'll defend Turns Into Stone over either official Stone Roses album.
Same with singles though, loads of artists will release a single just for the sake of it. Sometimes there's going to be crap music out there whatever form it's in.

I haven't got too much of a problem with Hatful of Hollow style compilations (as long as they're the same sort of quality of course, not all bands have those quality b-sides and such) and hell there's a few bands which are best known for their best of's (Buzz****s come to mind) but there's still a reason why most of hardrive is taken up by albums, they just rock that much more.
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:47 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Same with singles though, loads of artists will release a single just for the sake of it. Sometimes there's going to be crap music out there whatever form it's in.

I haven't got too much of a problem with Hatful of Hollow style compilations (as long as they're the same sort of quality of course, not all bands have those quality b-sides and such) and hell there's a few bands which are best known for their best of's (Buzz****s come to mind) but there's still a reason why most of hardrive is taken up by albums, they just rock that much more.
True, true, but I think the ratio of classics to filler is higher for singles than albums. That's just my opinion though.

Couldn't the reason most of us have more albums than comps be the simple fact that there are more albums than comps out there? And, of course, many (most?) of an artist's best tracks were never released as singles. That doesn't mean that one has to listen to those tracks in a predetermined order.
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:57 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Couldn't the reason most of us have more albums than comps be the simple fact that there are more albums than comps out there? And, of course, many (most?) of an artist's best tracks were never released as singles. That doesn't mean that one has to listen to those tracks in a predetermined order.
Good point actually (that said The Smiths have more frickin' best of's than albums). That said, i'm set in my album ways.

Order-wise it all depends, a prog album may suffer more from being out on shuffle than perhaps a punk album would.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:36 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Order-wise it all depends, a prog album may suffer more from being out on shuffle than perhaps a punk album would.

Definitely true there; likewise, I don't think it would be wise to put a classical symphony on shuffle. Still, if there's one movement you absolutely despise, or if you're pressed for time and want to hear the final passage...why not skip a few tracks...
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:33 PM   #29 (permalink)
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absolutely. i'm thinking instant live albums are the next step. sell them at the merch table after the show. just a matter of getting an affordable digital recorder and a few laptops.
That would be awesome, as long as it wasnt too overpriced.

Back on topic, I just wanted to ask, how is this an album-oriented time. If any, this is the most single-oriented time that we've had in a long time. There are bands who are talking about going singles-only, and with the advent of iTunes, people are going more towards singles then albums.

In any case, I think that the album format may change soon. I'm thinking shorter albums. More like EP's then anything, priced accordingly. In the singles-based environment, for a lot of bands it would make sense to just put the single-worthy songs on a shorter album rather then making a whole album with a some filler.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:36 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I think it would be cool if big clunky box sets went down to flash media.
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