March 22nd, 2007

eliphas, napping

Someone needs music history lessons

While getting my e-mail, I see a headline on my e-mail provider's web page, which has lifestyle and sports brain candy headlines for 10-line articles: "Music album threatened -- customers prefer to buy single songs."

No shit, Sherlock.

You know, once upon a time there were these black disks, about seven inches in diameter, had two songs on them and to switch from one to the next you physically turned the disk over? Ask your parents if you do not believe me. Those things were called "singles" and they were quite common. The Beatles (you might have heard of them) actually released nothing but singles for half a year, and were already somewhat known when they had their first "album". (It was 44 years ago today...)

Bands that wanted to sell whole albums instead of singles did "concept albums", where every song was connected to the others and the whole was more than the sum of its parts.


People always wanted to pay only for the music they actually wanted to hear, or to own. I bet that ticket sellers in opera houses in 18th century Vienna regularly got customers complaining that they only wanted to hear one aria und would leave afterwards and shouldn't have to pay the full price.

Geesh. Young people these days.