Dinosaur says what?
July 3, 2003 5:38 AM   Subscribe

Dinosaur says what? A spokesman for the company that manages the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica and other acts said that his clients "would rather not contribute to the demise of the album format." As if the years of filler-crammed CDs (from nearly every band) hadn't killed it off already.
posted by baltimore (53 comments total)
Ever hear tell of something called a single? Okay, maybe that was the wrong link.

The record industry has been selling music one-track-at-a-time for years now.
posted by nagrommit at 5:42 AM on July 3, 2003

Let's face it. The bands that don't want to kill the album format are the ones that have filler-crap in their albums, and realize that they won't be able to sell but one or two tracks anyways.

I've bought albums on iTMS, and I've bought singles. But only because I won't buy filler crap.
posted by benjh at 6:29 AM on July 3, 2003

While the album can be seen as an artistic format first (Ziggy Stardust, Abbey Road (second side), Loveless), it normally is a consumer format.

Why should a band or a consumer be bound to a fifty year old vehicle designed to extort $18.99 at Tower?
posted by the fire you left me at 6:40 AM on July 3, 2003

These guys are totally out of touch with reality. More and more of us have associated song names to their CD track numbers... which is proof positive that we sometimes prefer only a coupla songs within any given album. If distributors can't dictate the way artists sell their music, why should artists dictate the way we listen to their music?
posted by freakystyley at 6:42 AM on July 3, 2003

Well, I say bring forth the artists who are willing to go with an alternative strategy. There are plenty of them out there on the net / on your local community radio station / in the bedroom across the street.

If Metallica insist on continuing to exist, let them struggle with the box within which they have confined themselves.

I do agree though, t.f.y.l.m. - there is something to be said for the format of "The Album" - I guess it's a bit like the difference between an artist holding an exhibition, and a single painting hanging on a wall. I'd add Daydream Nation to your list. But it's not the way it has do be done, and many forms of music are better suited to more creative forms of distribution.
posted by Jimbob at 6:55 AM on July 3, 2003

That's true, t.f.y.l.m. The add a coupla Pink Floyd albums in there too. Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. Good albums are still possible. Artists will have to get their priorities straight. Rock'n'roll, and then sex and drugs.
posted by freakystyley at 7:16 AM on July 3, 2003

Cry me a fucking river, if you'll pardon the expression. Screw 'em, I'll buy someone else instead.

The only thing that irks me about the iTunes Music Store right now is when I want to buy the whole album but only the incomplete album is available. Like Mellencamp's latest, for example.
posted by Cerebus at 7:19 AM on July 3, 2003

Steve Jobs said that a good percentage of the music store downloads are the full album format. And I'm pretty sure MP3s killed the forced-album format long ago. Who wants a one-hit wonder's album?
posted by gramcracker at 7:21 AM on July 3, 2003

I guess I'm in the minority. I don't listen to albums that only have one or two songs that I like. If I don't like the majority of the songs, then I'm not going to listen to the album. (stuff I'm listening to: Greenwheel, Our Lady Peace, Oleander, Breaking Benjamin, Audioslave, Loudermilk, Diffuser, to name a few)

And you're still buying CDs that are over $13?? I refuse to spend that much on a CD because I don't have to. CDs don't cost nearly that much and they should never be that price (that's a whole other argument). Anyway, Best Buy or Amazon. Or local mom & pop. No FYE, Tower and other rip-off stores!
posted by evening at 7:24 AM on July 3, 2003

I'm with evening. I'd rather sit down and listen to an entire good album as opposed to disjointed singles.

Maybe it's the care taken (usually) to put in crossfades and other fun transitions, and to listen to the general idea from listening to all the tracks in the specified order, but I just really love listening to albums.

Single songs? Once in a while.
posted by angry modem at 7:44 AM on July 3, 2003

There's a good piece in the July 7 New Yorker about the crisis in the music biz ("The Money Note", by John Seabrook). Not available online, but they did slap together some accompanying links.

With 85% of the market controlled by five companies who've spent the last 20 years on life-support by inflating the price of CDs, I find it difficult to summon any sympathy for them as they lumber toward the tar pits, to take their place alongside the whalebone corset-makers and buggy whip manufacturers.

If the music is good enough, I'll buy the CD because I want to support the band, even after I've ripped some or most of the songs. I also sometimes want lyrics and artwork and credits and all the fanboy stuff. So here's how to keep me from stealing your stuff, Mr. Music Executive: sell me $7 CDs.

Hmm. Wonder just how many CDs Fugazi has sold at $10 a pop over the years?

Here's the new US business model for aspiring superstars:

1. Be real pretty.
2. Meet P. Diddy/Dr. Dre.
3. Recycle some of Biggie/Tupac's stuff.
4. Count your money.

1. Be real growly.
2. Meet Jimmy Iovine.
3. Recycle some of Black Sabbath's stuff.
4. Add a turntablist and scary outfits as needed.
5. Count your money.

1. Be real jingoistic.
2. Meet anyone at General Motors/Ford.
3. Sing about trucks and killin' Arabs.
4. Count your money.

posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:45 AM on July 3, 2003

When I started reading this thread, I was considering defending the album format. But you guys convinced me. The villain is padding. I felt a deep, long-unacknowledged rage building up inside of me about the zillions of dollars I've spent on albums consisting of three good songs packed in musical excelsior. In fact, I'd say that padding was the besetting sin of our current popular culture. Have you read a serious biography or virtually any non-fiction book published recently? They are all padded to hell. The new Harry Potter book, for heaven's sake. Padded like crazy. Most movies today are padded out to wildly unnecessary length by shots that go on to long, or too many meaningless short shots strung together. Even my favorite movie of all time, "Spirited Away," it too damn long. In classical music, those passages they call developmental material or longeurs - I call 'em padding, and I say to hell with 'em. About the only popular art forms that aren't padded these days are sit coms and commercials. Hour-long TV dramas are massive pad fests. Local TV news weather forecasts are padded to the point of insanity. Front page stories in the New York Times are padded all the way to the jump page. If they're part of a multi-part series, heaven help us, you can be sure you're going to choke on padding. If the demise of the album format does anything to kill padding in America, I'm for it.
posted by Faze at 7:47 AM on July 3, 2003

I've found many songs on iTMS that were only available for purchase if you buy the whole album. Why not just stipulate that they can only sell the entire album?
posted by cowboy at 7:47 AM on July 3, 2003

I agree. Also, I refuse to let this new "television" format contribute to the demise of the film.
posted by BigPicnic at 7:53 AM on July 3, 2003

Let's face it. The bands that don't want to kill the album format are the ones that have filler-crap in their albums, and realize that they won't be able to sell but one or two tracks anyways.

I don't see this at all. Metallica, before the black album, had very little filler. Puppets, for example, was great top to bottom.

And the peppers always have 4 or 5 singles that make make the charts.

Maybe you're talking about other bands, away from the first two bands.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 7:59 AM on July 3, 2003

Does anyone remember those 75-minute monster albums that would've made more sense as a nice 45 minute blast?

Good songs make good albums. Though context often helps, too. I don't like using the shuffle button on CDs much.

On a non-unrelated point, if the Record Industry wants to get people on the pay-per-play crack addict scheme so much, won't that mean they'll make more money pushing songs that people want to listen to more than once?
posted by GrahamVM at 8:05 AM on July 3, 2003

What evening said.

If people only want singles then the artists will only create crap that sells. If I want more crap I'll turn on the radio.
posted by infowar at 8:15 AM on July 3, 2003

I'm coming from the place as evening and angry modem: I only listen to music in album format. Even though my primary means of listening to music are xmms and my iPod, I never use the playlist features, I just browse by album. If an album is mostly "filler", I won't listen to any of it.

I just don't find a 2-5 minute piece of music satisfying. Single songs will bore me within a week.
posted by mr_roboto at 8:15 AM on July 3, 2003

Time change. Step up to the new era or get left behind.
posted by tomplus2 at 8:35 AM on July 3, 2003

If this thread were an album, BitterOldPunk's post would be the megamoster hit of the summer. To paraphrase from the Jon Seabrook NYer story you mention, you're a Monster, BOP! And your business model for aspiring superstars is a prolonged Money Note.

If you find this thread interesting, you must read that Jon Seabrook story in the July 7 New Yorker. You won't be able to put it down.

You have to admit, grudgingly, that Mark Reiter, the record company spokesman referred to in the front-page post, has a point, as do the bands. The switchover from CD to MP3 will hurt some artists and help others. I don't listen to Metallica, and I have only a couple of Chili Peppers albums, but I find that the Peppers do put together cohesive albums. They have a flow from song to song. As others have mentioned, other albums, such as Daydream Nation and side 2 (now, that's an antiquated term) of Abbey Road, plus the Sinatra albums In the Wee Small Hours and Songs for Swingin' Lovers, work best as albums. I don't blame album-oriented artists from not wanting to contribute to a technology that favors hit singles over albums. They're trying to push back the tide, but that's their business.

Why do I sense a lot of anger at musical artists in this thread? If you appreciate what musicans do, and accept that they can't write a perfect song every time, why feel so much contempt at anger toward them? And don't you want them to get paid for the work they do?
posted by Holden at 8:53 AM on July 3, 2003

Todays new word is excelsior - thanks to Faze.
It reminds me of 'Ding Dong Merrily on High' - Hosanna in excelsior, as it now reads in my minds eye.
Anyhoo, the album is still alive and well, despite the protestations of some. Mercan Dede has produced an album which purports to be experienced as a continuous journey, which is a bit of a concept album.
I continue to be amazed at people who buy an album based on listening to one or two songs by an artist, are then disapointed by the album but do not return the album. AFAIK there is no reason not to return the album to swap it for one that is more suitable. Maybe it is assumed that the album will grow on the listener?
That said, I do spend alot of my disposable on buying music, and suffer no discomfort in returning an un-wanted item, whether or not it is supposed to be cool, whether or not I listened to it in the shop and despite any efforts by the staff to make me feel uncomfortable. Most staff in independent shops are nice people, in my experience.
This week I have bought an album by Bush Giants, seen Eliades Ochoa and bought singles and EPs. In addition to this I have copied about 10 CDs for friends, downloaded about 10 new tunes to check them out, and performed with a band for free. I do not see any of these activities as theatening the music business. I love music, which is more than I can say for those who I see as trying to control it.
Faze, I think of the 'padding' phenomenon being similar to the 'added vitamins and iron' in certain breakfast cerials. If the cerial had been made in a 'natural' way then there would be no need to re-introduce nutrients to the product as they would not have been lost in the first place. Too much interference in the natural flow of things results in homogenous goo, which is of no value to anyone other than the paranoid bean counters who stifle creativity in the quest to increase profitability whilst not upsetting the apple cart. Hmm, mixed metaphor, my favourite.
NB Yesterday's new word was recrudesce, which is usually used to refer to trouble or a disease.
posted by asok at 9:02 AM on July 3, 2003

[unproductive screed]
ALBUMS! Are you people crazy? The album is rock and roll, at least to me. If you are listening to bands that produce crappy albums, you are listening to crappy bands.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:06 AM on July 3, 2003

Thanks for the kind words, Holden.

But you left off the best Sinatra album of all.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:15 AM on July 3, 2003

Why do I sense a lot of anger at musical artists in this thread? If you appreciate what musicans do, and accept that they can't write a perfect song every time, why feel so much contempt at anger toward them? And don't you want them to get paid for the work they do?

Do I feel a responsibility to support/patronize artists whose art I admire? Yes.

Do I feel a responsibility to make said artist into a "rock star" and subsidize them to the extent that they can afford a Malibu mansion whilst I'm in a 50-year-old Cape? No.

Do I feel a responsibility to enrich the record companies who, unilaterally, have determined what the market will bear? Not for one second.
posted by kgasmart at 9:26 AM on July 3, 2003

does anyone else miss the times when you bought an album because of the single, and then were pleasantly suprised that the other songs were BETTER than the single? (just not as commercial perhaps)

I sure as hell do. And it wasn't all that long ago either.
posted by badzen at 9:31 AM on July 3, 2003

the album itself doesn't need to go away. i have a lot of respect for the notion that a band can produce an album as an artistic expression, and i listen to a lot of CDs that i can go straight through while skipping very few songs.

because of that, the itunes store should offer tracklists of songs sold together. this allows bands to define what they consider to be their expression, while still providing music in mp3 format. original songs would be available as well, but the tracklist + mp3s would be slightly cheaper than the mp3s sold individually.
posted by moz at 9:36 AM on July 3, 2003

I miss vinyl albums, when bands would think long and hard about track listing so that side one closed with something great to make you want to put side two on (like the Stranglers closing side one with Hanging Around then opening side two with Peaches). CDs these days just seem to be single, single, single, other stuff. The only band IMO that seem to take real care with the track listing is Radiohead (single at track 9 on new CD).

I also miss those long hot summers when people used to leave their doors unlocked and bad really did mean bad.
posted by ciderwoman at 9:49 AM on July 3, 2003

It's all about back catalog sales. Metallica isn't concerned about selling St. Anger online - they just know they're still making money hand over fist off the Black Album and they're not about to give that up.

The music industry has commodified popular music. Now they have to live with the consequences.
posted by solistrato at 9:50 AM on July 3, 2003

tomplus2: Out of my way, all of you. This is no place for loafers! Join me or die! Can you do any less?

keswick: What a brave poster! I accept the challenge of tomplus2!
posted by keswick at 9:53 AM on July 3, 2003

Wow. I knew I was not your typical music consumer, but I had no idea some people listened ONLY to albums. My taste is so eclectic, and my hunger for all types of music so voracious, that when the iPod came out and I could suddenly hear all my favorite pieces of music in a new mix every time, I was ecstatic. Even an artist who is capable of creating an entirely good album gets tiresome after five or six songs in succession.

I suspect that what cowboy said will answer the Chili Peppers' concerns. There's no reason you can't sell an album as such through iTMS.
posted by divrsional at 10:08 AM on July 3, 2003

"Todays new word is excelsior - thanks to Faze."

Believe It True believers You Old Pal Stan Is legendary for Making This Word Famous. Exclaiming It Many Times In The Pages of Marvel Comics.

And If You Belive My Post Is Corny You Deserve a No-Prize!
posted by Dreamghost at 10:08 AM on July 3, 2003

Without my long-play lp's, how do they 'spect me to get my freak on? I can't be getting up to flip the record over every 5 mins.

Hate the game, but don't hurt the player.
posted by jazzkat11 at 10:23 AM on July 3, 2003

According to Reiter, Apple refuses to sell albums in their entirety unless the artists also allow the tracks on the album to be sold independently as digital downloads.

This isn't true. I've run across a couple of instances where songs were only available as part of an album. Reiter is doing a disservice to his client bands by cutting off this revenue stream. (To be charitable, it might also be that his clients no longer possess the clout to impose the "album only" restriction. Or it's a ploy to get publicity for some flagging careers.)

As for dedication to the integrity of the album, RHCP has already shown that money wins over all when they released their What Hits album.
posted by joaquim at 10:30 AM on July 3, 2003

I say that if the RIAA comes knocking on your door asking for damages, you should shove your CD collection back at them and ask for credit for the songs you didn't want or that served as mind-numbing filler.

[insane vision] Values of unwanted songs could be determined by an independent standards body which rates each album and certifies ones that are reliablie buys. Ratings could be based on all aspects of production, songwriting, instrumentation, etc...

For example, Vanilla Ice's first album (To The Extreme) would get points for Ice Ice Baby, Stop That Train and Play That Funky Music. It would also get a rating based on originality, sales, production, etc... But it would lose tons of points for the other 12 tracks. The RIAA doesn't like your thievery of the new Radiohead album? Simply give them back tracks such as "Rosta Man", "Havin' a Roni" and "Juice to Get Loose Boy." Done, and done.
posted by VulcanMike at 10:37 AM on July 3, 2003

It's all about back catalog sales. Metallica isn't concerned about selling St. Anger online - they just know they're still making money hand over fist off the Black Album and they're not about to give that up.
In the New Yorker piece that I'm so relentlessly flogging, some record company honcho (I can't remember who -- Chris Blackwell, maybe?) opines that the introduction of the CD harmed the record companies in the long run. The reason: For two decades, people replaced their vinyl with CDs, and the record companies feasted on catalogue sales. Thus, the record companies didn't realize that they were doing a horrible job of bringing along good new artists.
The music industry has commodified popular music. Now they have to live with the consequences.
Yup. Exactly. And we have to live with the consequences, too.
posted by Holden at 10:58 AM on July 3, 2003

The music industry has commodified popular music.

This point sincerely baffles me. Name a time and a place in history where music, popular or not, has not been ultimately commodified?
posted by jazzkat11 at 11:06 AM on July 3, 2003

I said this before in another place, but, except for the few artists where the songs are even better in the context of an entire album (some Radiohead, Wilco's "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"- though both have made strong singles), it makes no sense aside from a money perspective to force people to buy an entire album.

If they truly wanted to remain consistent, then why not demand radio play their entire albums instead of playing singles?

Oh, maybe because no one will do it? Maybe because it's really not that important to you artistically?
posted by drezdn at 11:26 AM on July 3, 2003

In response to divrsional, I guess I only listen to albums because I like to listen to a good band. I tend to only listen to music in the car, so I just pop in a CD instead of listening to the radio (which I sometimes will give a chance but am disappointed 98% of the time). I will place the CD on shuffle every now and then so I don't end up hearing the first half of an album more than the second.

I don't have an MP3 player nor do I have the lifestyle that would benefit from one. Otherwise, I would probably load up all my albums and listen to them in shuffle.

Actually, I should do that with the computer (esp. since I work from home), but I guess I just haven't gotten around to it yet (but I just added it to my to-do list).
posted by evening at 11:40 AM on July 3, 2003

badzen: does anyone else miss the times when you bought an album because of the single, and then were pleasantly suprised that the other songs were BETTER than the single? (just not as commercial perhaps)
Still do on a regular basis but then again I tend to listen to music where the best stuff is not always video/radio friendly. For example, Loreena McKennit's marginal hit "Mummers Dance" got us to buy the album which has a 10 minute track of Tennyson's "The Highwayman." The song that got me hooked on the White Stripes was "Little Room" which as far as I know has appeared on the album and a single NPR album review.

But there is quite a bit more to the "album" than just the single band/artist album. There is the collaboration album in which you get a pack of great artists into a studio together to create music. (Although the tendency to pair blues greats like John Hooker, B.B. King or even older rockers like Santana with hot new stars to create coss-over exposure just seems gimicky to me.) I'm a big fan of local charity compilation albums. Many of my recent music purchases have been soundtrack albums that introduced me to Tosca Tango Orchestra and Yan Tiersen.

I think there is a problem with adding poor-quality filler to an album. But this has always been the case.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:48 AM on July 3, 2003

I wonder if there will be artists taking sides on this. Recent article with Ben Folds has him thinking "But I think the institution of the album may be going away. That's my gut feeling. I feel that it is more about songs and the album is a formality that packages things so that you can hype them real big and I'm just not very hype-able".
posted by jmackin at 12:16 PM on July 3, 2003

I'm sorry, Metallica's latest album sucks ass, and the Chili Peppers? Try reading the lyrics to any of thier songs over the tune of any other RHCP song, it's all the same.

"Can't stop addicted to the shin dig
Cop top he says I'm gonna win big
Choose not a life of imitation
Distant cousin to the reservation"

"What I've got you've got to give it to your mamma
What I've got you've got to give it to your pappa
What I've got you've got to give it to your daughter
You do a little dance and then you drink a little water"

Defunkt the pistol that you pay for
This punk the feeling that you stay for
In time I want to be your best friend
Eastside love is living on the westend"

posted by CrazyJub at 12:28 PM on July 3, 2003

Fortunately all of those bands suck.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:33 PM on July 3, 2003

why not demand radio play their entire albums instead of playing singles? - I'm not sure if there aren't rules against that. I remember John Peel being censured for doing it years ago, after he played a whole album, (I think it was the Sex Pistols - NMTB), because it was an incitement to home taping, and would affect album sales.
posted by punilux at 12:52 PM on July 3, 2003

btw, evening, my iPod plays in my car, via headphones when I'm working out or running, on my clock radio, or up on my roof deck.

One of the things I like about Apple products is consistent with the company as a whole: They may not be satisfied, per se, with their market share, but that doesn't stop them from having $4 billion in cash. But there's an economic misconception going around that biggest is best, that "winning" is everything. Similarly, iTunes makes it possible to have only the small piece of a musician's catalog that you genuinely want. Who knows, maybe it will ultimately make whatever false demand there is for filler music disappear.
posted by divrsional at 1:04 PM on July 3, 2003

thanks for educating me, divrsional. I had no idea. I guess I have no excuse not to check it out :)

(and I agree about the "winning" comment -- I've never understood it myself)
posted by evening at 3:25 PM on July 3, 2003

For sure CrazyJub; Anthony Keidis: Can't sing, Can't Rap. But he's not the reason I bought the records ;)
posted by Jimbob at 5:09 PM on July 3, 2003

You know, I'd argue that the album, as unified aesthetic whole, has been dead since the CD took over as music format of choice. Now, I'm not one of these people who claims that vinyl is inherently better, sound-quality-wise, than CD, but to me--and comments earlier in the thread about Abbey Road's side two seem to support this--the sequence of "side one, flip it over, side two" is more conducive to making a 45-minute-long piece of audio art, with its own flow, intro bits and not-quite-song material, rather than the uber-programmability of CD. The fact that you can hit the skip or shuffle button and ignore those tracks that don't immediately grab you, makes you more likely to think of them as "filler" rather than in context of the album as a whole, and even between-song transition material becomes an annoyance to be avoided rather than an integral part of the experience.[*]

If you think about it, though, there's only been roughly 55 years of the album tradition as we know it[**], and audio recording is only a little over a hundred years old, so perhaps the song and the concert are the only "natural" forms of music.

A thought: maybe the kind of bands who are interested in concept albums, etc., ought to look into some sort of Flash-based long form multimedia presentation as a vehicle for the depth and subtlety of long-form work? Granted, what you end up with is no longer purely musical in nature, but I think there's some interesting possibilities there--imagine a collaboration between Josh "Praystation" Davis and Josh "DJ Shadow" Davis. Though the closest example I can think of off the top of my head is Radiohead.tv.

[*] Think of the difference between hip hop "skits" and the dialogue/sound effects segues on Pink Floyd LPs--the first, to me, is generally bafflingly obnoxious, the second is an essential moodsetter.

[**] Prior to the invention of the long-playing 33rpm record, "albums" were collections of 45s or 78s roughly equivalent to today's boxed sets, and AFIAK were mostly a classical music phenomenon.
posted by arto at 5:37 PM on July 3, 2003

Dreamghost: 'Nuff Said! ;P~
posted by elphTeq at 9:17 PM on July 3, 2003

If you are listening to bands that produce crappy albums, you are listening to crappy bands.

marry me, ignatius.
posted by quonsar at 9:58 PM on July 3, 2003

The fact that you can hit the skip or shuffle button

Um, do people really ever shuffle CDs? Or program out tracks?

I intentionally packed my iPod with singles, representing my favorite tracks of all time, so I could have a "radio station" that only played songs I liked. That, I play on shuffle and I make no apologies for that. But CDs always get played straight through. I find CDs far more conducive to enjoying a full album than vinyl. They can hold more music, you can do more things while listening to them because they're more portable, and the only intermissions are ones the artist intends. Notwithstanding all the classic albums made during the vinyl era, I think the album format itself is actually stronger in the CD era than it was in the LP's heyday.
posted by kindall at 10:12 PM on July 3, 2003

If the musicians want to express themselves by album, they should feel free to do it; if they do it well, fans will buy the entire album.

I agree with what others have said - good bands put out good albums. When a song from a band I like plays, I always hear the first few notes of the next song in my head after it ends. The arc of an album is important - it's not as delineated as, say, that of a book, but I would never listen to a CD out of order (I do listen to mixes of songs, sometimes on shuffle). Basically, like with classical music, you can listen to a whole symphony, or just to a movement, but it would be weird to listen to all the separate movements out of order.

If you think about it, though, there's only been roughly 55 years of the album tradition as we know it[**], and audio recording is only a little over a hundred years old, so perhaps the song and the concert are the only "natural" forms of music.

A lot of music I like is heavily instrumental so the format of "song" is kind of hazy there anyway. sometimes tracks are 10 or 20 minutes long (e.g., tortoise, GYBE, yo la tengo, sonic youth etc - YLT have plenty of catchier stuff too of course - they put together a great album, arranging the varied pieces...) And again, they didn't exactly have songs in classical music, at least not the same way we do.

People listen to music for different things; some people like singles more than albums, but that's nothing new. They probably listen to the radio more than their stereo anyway.
posted by mdn at 8:35 AM on July 4, 2003

yeah, I'm using (or trying to use, maybe I didn't make myself clear) the term "song" in a reasonably vague sense, one that includes things like ten-minute instrumentals, multi-verse folk ballads, short classical pieces, etc. Although there certainly were long forms like the symphony, song cycle, mass, opera, etc., in the past.

Hell, maybe it's just my tastes that are changing. I used to be the guy who'd sit down, listen to a whole album at once, while reading the liner notes. Nowadays, I wind up putting my entire mp3 directory on shuffle.
posted by arto at 9:29 PM on July 4, 2003

I'm with arto on that one, though I also miss cassette tape mixes, for the same reason he cited about albums: having 45 minutes or so to build a sound, then turn it over for another take on a similar theme.
posted by divrsional at 9:34 AM on July 5, 2003

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