Albums are dead.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by manco, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. HfxBob

    HfxBob Forum Resident

    I really don't know much of the music of Lana Del Ray or Tool, but I have certainly heard a lot about them, and it seems to me these are the kind of artists that can really keep albums alive with the public. Especially Lana Del Ray, who is still relatively young and from what I gather appears to be on the verge of becoming a huge star (or maybe she already is one). And it can't possibly hurt that she's so beautiful.
    bhazen and seed_drill like this.
  2. TMegginson

    TMegginson Forum Resident

    In all seriousness, though, streaming is ephemeral. Young music fans' tastes change over time, and they don't necessarily want to own an album just to play the "theme song for my summer 2014 breakup" over and over again for years. They just want to hear new or old songs that they want to hear at the present moment.

    This hasn't really changed. Before digital-only, 45s were an ephemeral medium. That's why you don't often see old mint singles out there. Adolescents are teens would leave them all lying out on the floor, would handle them roughly, and later toss them, because there was no thought of wanting to hear ""Last Train to Clarksville" when they're 30.

    In the '70s and '80s, I watched cassette tapes become the new ephemeral medium. They were more portable that records, and you could play them in the car (and later, on boomboxes and Walkmans). Even though commercially-made tapes sounded like they were recorded up someone's bum, they laid the groundwork for the first death of vinyl — CDs were just the coup de grâce.

    When Napster came, there was a new way to listen to songs you like, for free, and then forget about them. It's not surprising that Apple and others quickly found a way to monetize digital downloads. (Personally, I eventually stopped giving them my money because I realized that I didn't actually own any of my DRMed downloads — I couldn't trade them, resell them, or even give them away! Gimme an $8 used record of a classic album, and if I get sick of it it's mine to do any of those three things with...)

    I watch many of my young colleagues stream everything, because technology has made music-listening personal and portable, with no need to purchase expensive technology, or haul crates and crates of records every time you move apartments. I get it. But I also have young colleagues who are musicians and/or classic music fans, who are just discovering the joy of record collecting.

  3. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur!

    Lotus Land
    The film analogy IMO would apply well to longer classical pieces, film scores, some jazz albums. Regarding most pop music, the songs on an album are more analogous to short stories in an anthology. They can be enjoyed on their own and are not necessarily thematically linked to a larger piece. Based on the parts of the conversation that I've read, it seems that people here are talking about pop albums. No one seems like they are bent out of shape over people listening to individual movements from symphonies.
  4. Mainline461

    Mainline461 Forum Resident

    Tamiami Trail
    I see what you are saying but I disagree. If what you say is true then "pop" artists wouldn't have spend time or even cared about song order, or album flow. Many hours have been spent by artists, producers, etc. finding just the right order and flow for an album. If what you say is true they were wasting their time (i.e. let's start Abbey Road with Her Majesty, or the White Album with #9, Who's Next with My Wife, etc.)

    The great "pop" albums were meant to be enjoyed as a whole. Sure you can pick and chose songs but you miss out on the entire work, the complete statement if you will from the artist. The fact that todays listener doesn't have the patience (or the interest) to sit through an entire album doesn't change that.
    ShockControl and Sneaky Pete like this.
  5. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur!

    Lotus Land
    I agree with you that there is a certain amount of skill and taste that goes into programming an album. But the act of choosing a sequence for standalone pop tunes does not suddenly imbue those tunes with a larger compositional structure than they had before. This is obviously different from larger classical works and film scores, in which there is thematic development, and the content of a particular movement or cue depends largely on what precedes and follows.

    I always thought it was very savvy to follow "Deep in a Dream" with "I See Your Face Before Me," and I can't hear either of those tunes without thinking about the other. But each of these songs was written by a different songwriting team at a different time, and neither is dependent on the other for its structure.

    I write all of this as someone who loves albums and listens pretty much exclusively to albums (except for some Pandora or Spotify while at work).
    unclefred and Mainline461 like this.
  6. HfxBob

    HfxBob Forum Resident

    That is true. However there is some other stuff that can make albums more than a random collection of songs.

    When we talk about specific albums, we often talk about the time frame it was recorded in, the producer of the album and perhaps a different recording approach that was used for that album. These factors tend to give the albums their own particular identity, even if there was no grand theme connecting the songs.
    ShockControl likes this.
  7. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur!

    Lotus Land
    Oh, I totally agree, but this does not prevent someone from enjoying one or more of the songs out of context.
    HfxBob likes this.
  8. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    What's infected my recent Amazon deliveries twice within a 2 week period is a small electronic device that I've ordered delivered but packaged in a Taylor Swift marketing box. With her wanna be somebody's fantasy (I guess) drawing on the box looking like an 11-14 year old anime tart. What is she selling and who is she selling it to? With the title "Lover" prominent near the drawing of what appears to be a preteen or a 13 year old. Is she being trafficked in a way? I'm asking. She'll be 30 this year. How long will she be marketed like this? Is she laughing all the way to the bank? The bots are streaming mad crazy, I'm sure.
    Google Image Result for
  9. schnitzerphilip

    schnitzerphilip "Modern Dad" Unlocked Award

    NJ USA
    ‘All hell breaks loose’ after Céline Dion’s No. 1 album tumbles off charts


    Hell has broken loose over Céline Dion’s latest album, sources told us. Dion topped the charts last week, debuting at No. 1 with “Courage.” But the album then made history by falling out of the top 100 — the biggest fall off the charts after a No. 1 debut, according to Chart Data.

    “She’s upset. All hell has broken loose. The only reason she sold 100,000 was because of the whole bundle thing that labels do, but she only sold around 3,000 the second week.”

    Further proof that the album is dead.
    Hermes likes this.
  10. R. Cat Conrad

    R. Cat Conrad Almost Famous

    D/FW Metroplex
    It's certainly further proof of an obsession with keeping fans interested who've long sense moved on, ...I'm just not sure whether it's her problem or your's. :winkgrin:

    All Down The Line likes this.
  11. Somerset Scholar

    Somerset Scholar Forum Resident

    Hilarious. Poor Celine. Said no one. :laugh:
    schnitzerphilip likes this.
  12. wallpaperman

    wallpaperman Forum Resident

    If she’s upset, maybe her manager should have employed a team of minions to hoover up thousands of copies in week 2 without telling her, (sure she can afford it) and cheered poor wee Celine up a bit. :D
    WLL likes this.
  13. Odysseus

    Odysseus Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA
    Idk man... looking at that pic of her that @schnitzerphilip posted... she is not looking good these days.

    While she never got me off she was nice looking in the 90s... she just looks old, malnourished and super fake now.
  14. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    I don't know if that is proof that the album as a concept is "dead", more as it is just proof that new Celine Dion music in 2019 isn't necessarily something everyone was holding their breath for so the only people who cared that much about her got her album right away
  15. Babysquid

    Babysquid Forum Resident

    If every body in the world bought an album on the first day of release it would probably fall out of the top hundred the next week (there may be people who buy it over and over again or lost their copy)
  16. carrolls

    carrolls Forum Resident

    Poor Celene Dion, but it's time for artists, bands and record labels to give in to the fact that we live in a singles world and an album just isn't the product that consumers are looking for anymore. It would be career suicide for new bands to spend time in a studio recording 10 tracks to put out an album with full album sales down to 10% of what they were 20 years ago.
    The only way an artist will sell a million copies of an album these days is if they offer concert tickets with the purchase.
  17. HfxBob

    HfxBob Forum Resident

    Phil, if the album was really dead, an album falling off the album charts wouldn't be a story. :cool:
  18. wallpaperman

    wallpaperman Forum Resident

    Hello, it’s @schnitzerphilip long lost Irish cousin. :D

    I agree that if your still popular, slightly older, mega acts are expecting to shift millions (even hundreds of thousands) of copies of a new album, then they’ve been living in a cave for too long.

    But I disagree that new bands shouldn’t still embrace the album format. For pop acts, yes, concentrate on singles, but if you want any sort of longevity in the genres that are more popular on this forum, you still gotta make albums.
    SRC likes this.
  19. Yannick

    Yannick Forum Resident

    Cologne, Germany

    That headline sounds like classic clickbait. It's sad that this seems to be creeping in to this forum now.
    SRC and mark winstanley like this.
  20. Vinyl's resurgence has kept the album viable.

    I think it's of a matter of thinking about the format first.

    For Downloads, single tracks are the framework.

    For Cds, vinyl, cassettes albums and comps are the framework.
    jay.dee likes this.
  21. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident

    Perth Australia
    I imagine the UN is right now in emergency session to deal with this unprecedented world crisis.
    WLL likes this.
  22. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident

    Perth Australia
    Funny, when I logged on just now the top two threads in the New posts" list were this one, and the one announcing the fact that Midnight Oil will be releasing a new album.

    The whole "albums are dead", "rock is dead", "the music industry is dead" thing would be amusing if it wasn't so boring.
  23. carrolls

    carrolls Forum Resident

    Yeah, sometimes the truth hurts.
  24. wallpaperman

    wallpaperman Forum Resident

    Any chance that the gort who deleted my one word reply in the last few minutes on this thread (that was admittedly slightly childish) drop me a private message as it seems to be one rule for some and one for another? Wouldn’t mind clarifying some things.

    Be much obliged....
    WLL likes this.
  25. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    Hardly anyone is shifting millions of albums these days. Westlife's latest album had UK sales of only 60,000 in its first week. Celine Dion was number 2 with sales just under 19,000 (she apparently did much better in her 2nd week here than in the US).

    Makes you wonder how limited were Neil Young's Official Release Series 5-8 and 8.5-12. Maybe there were only a few thousand copies of each set.
    KingPrawn19 likes this.

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