The On Going Battle of Singles vs. Albums


Can you imagine the day that you walk into a Target or Best Buy, and there is no music section? I couldn’t picture it either. The world continues to become more disgitally advanced. You can listen to music on your iPod, your smart phone, your tablets, your latops, your cars… Even  some fridges can program Pandora. So, whatever happened to the album? When they were “records” they had their stake.  You couldn’t just pick one or two songs to listen to. You had to buy the whole package.  Today’s a whole other story. It’s completley singles driven, and that is a little disheartening.  This generation is going to inreasingly lose the entire message of a record due to the selective options we create.

Of course we come from a society that likes instant gratificiation.  It used to be you’d have to wait until release day to get the record.  Now you can download something like “Call Me Maybe”  in minutes from your own home.

Sure it creates more opportunity for air play. The faster you can put a song on radio, the more publicity you get.  However, like I stated before, the whole message of the entire album gets lost.  When an artist makes a record, they are making an entire record… They’re not in the booth just to shoot out one hit song. They want to release many hit songs.

I was watching some behind the scenes footage of OneRepublic making Waking Up. You could see how much work went into making just one album. Finding a remote location in Denver, turning a house into a recording studio. Then there’s writing, recording, producing… all the elements into making a record. An album doesn’t make itself. The process is extremely lengthy and tedious. They commented on this topic, and they share the same views. They want people to hear the record in its entirety. However, since they are a group for radio, they understand the game and understand that instead of releasing their album on a quicker pace… OneRepublic would have to just do it single by single and then release their record.

Honestly, whether a musician’s album has a theme woven in all the songs or not they still have a message within it.  If you skip out a song, you could be missing a piece of the puzzle. Imagine not hearing “Yesterday” on Beatles record… or skipping out on “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Every song has its signifcance. Instead of getting a slice, try enjoying the whole pie.

2 Comments

  1. Rahni Porter

    Awesome article. The singles-based success format has caused the consumer to singlehandedly change the music industry. OneRepublic is a great example of an artist’s desire to preserve the integrity of the comprehensive message of an album and yet still in reap the rewards of a singles-based market. Also because of this format, the instance of one-hitter-quitters have increased in ALL genres.

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