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Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

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Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

Old 11-13-13, 02:33 PM
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Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

Article in Variety On Line:

Katy Perry’s ‘Prism’ a Good Example of How Albums Don’t Work Anymore

http://variety.com/2013/biz/news/kat...re-1200824933/

Concluding paragraphs:

You put out these albums, and in almost every case, the public moves on in a matter of WEEKS. A few bought it, they heard it, and they’re satisfied — and left waiting for years until you grace them with a new release. The rest of the public is just waiting for a hit single to burble, and if it does, they’ll tap their toes and snap their fingers and ask, “WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU GOT?” And what you’ve got had better be just as good as the hit.

No one wants album tracks anymore unless they’re every bit as satisfying as the hit.

So it’s not only classic rock acts who have stopped putting out albums; eventually, no one will do it. Oh, it won’t be soon, because artists think making albums is part of their DNA, going into the studio and making a 10-track statement.

But that’s like saying typewriters have to be an office fixture. And you can’t post online unless you write in multiple paragraphs. And texting must be abandoned because it’s not in-depth enough.

The goal of a musician is to be AHEAD of the audience. Right now everybody’s behind.
I don't follow American pop music (or any American music), so I don't know if this is old news or not. I kind of thought it was. But Variety just put it out like it's new news. So, what do I know?

Any thoughts after reading the whole article?
Old 11-13-13, 02:48 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

All music is product but not all product is music.
Old 11-13-13, 03:35 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

This isn't surprising. In fact, I expected it to happen sooner when the iTunes model became dominant. Why not just have a string of isolated singles? Unless you're Radiohead, most people just want to hear the singles. Daft Punk could probably destroy by doing that.

I'm not saying I want all albums to go away, but the idea that the album is the main unit of artistic merit was really only pushed with the release of Sgt. Pepper. Up until then, singles were the main focus of most artists, and now the economics and distribution method allow us to go back to that system. Albums made the most sense in the tape and CD era, when the physical size of the medium didn't change based on the amount of content on it. Vinyl records lent themselves well to singles, and so do MP3 players.
Old 11-13-13, 06:37 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

So because overproduced pop stars can't sell albums an entire type of product is dead? I would think the thousands of bands and artists now making a living outside the old studio system are doing just fine and disprove Varietys theory. I guess if NCIS or some dopey procedurals ratings go down next year it would mean the tv drama as we know it is dead.
Old 11-13-13, 06:49 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

I'm an album guy. I'd hate to see everything relegated to singles.
Old 11-13-13, 07:02 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

It's not that everything will be relegated to singles, but some band will make a killing with a run of hit singles unattached to any particular album, and that will lead to a lot of other artists following their lead. But plenty of bands and artists will still record full albums as their main output.
Old 11-14-13, 11:27 AM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

I agree completely with the statement as it pertains to pop acts like Katy Perry or Rihanna. They always engineer those things with loads of filler and now that people have the option to cherry pick individual tracks off of any album from the get-go, filler tracks make less sense. And the later singles are always old news by the time they are officially singles, so they just end up throwing together some 'remix' version to make it fresh again, with a tacked on verse by some rapper or guest singer. Or the trend of releasing a 'deluxe edition' or 'part 2' of the album down the road, with some new tracks. I think those acts are doing it backwards... they should release a string of singles first then put out the album as a compilation of sorts.
Old 11-14-13, 12:08 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

I love listening to albums. If the art of making an album went away, I wouldn't listen to as much music, as the disappearance of the 'album' would be like destroying the essence of what an artist can do with their music in a structured form.

Would anyone like it if we only had short stories or chapter installments of books or if films were only relegated to becoming mini-features like ads on television or something? Maybe a few of the same people who think an album is a bad way of listening to music.

It's a format of storytelling for musicians. It's the form used for artists to make their 'statement' or to tell their 'story', as Variety mentioned. People have also demonstrated short-attention-spans when it comes to watching movies or reading but I don't see the 'theatrical film' or 'book' form going away. If they mean a physical method of distribution might eventually disappear, it's theoretically possible. But that seems doubtful too.

The album isn't going anywhere -- that's a means of music-creation for artists that is important, and a serious fan of any artist will feel that way. The people who just want 'singles' are the people who only want to hear a few nice songs to listen to on an iPod that only goes on shuffle or that would be good to hear at a party or the like. They will still be catered to as the 'single' isn't going away either.
Old 11-14-13, 01:06 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

Originally Posted by GenPion View Post
I love listening to albums. If the art of making an album went away, I wouldn't listen to as much music, as the disappearance of the 'album' would be like destroying the essence of what an artist can do with their music in a structured form.

Would anyone like it if we only had short stories or chapter installments of books or if films were only relegated to becoming mini-features like ads on television or something? Maybe a few of the same people who think an album is a bad way of listening to music.

It's a format of storytelling for musicians. It's the form used for artists to make their 'statement' or to tell their 'story', as Variety mentioned. People have also demonstrated short-attention-spans when it comes to watching movies or reading but I don't see the 'theatrical film' or 'book' form going away. If they mean a physical method of distribution might eventually disappear, it's theoretically possible. But that seems doubtful too.

The album isn't going anywhere -- that's a means of music-creation for artists that is important, and a serious fan of any artist will feel that way. The people who just want 'singles' are the people who only want to hear a few nice songs to listen to on an iPod that only goes on shuffle or that would be good to hear at a party or the like. They will still be catered to as the 'single' isn't going away either.

That's why I got into vinyl.
Old 11-14-13, 11:06 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

Not really surprising, people have the attention span of young children now days. Personally I'm an album guy for the most part and would be disappointed if they started disappearing.
Old 11-15-13, 06:00 AM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
Not really surprising, people have the attention span of young children now days. Personally I'm an album guy for the most part and would be disappointed if they started disappearing.
If we're talking about people that (solely) listen to acts like Katy Perry, then yes they have the attention span of a young child. I still can't fathom that there are people that only enjoy music that is force fed to them by radio stations, hammering out the same 20 songs every two hours.

Anyway, back on-topic. If we're talking about pop acts that fill albums with "I love you", "I'm sorry I cheated on you", "I'm heartbroken" and "LOOK AT ALL THIS STUFF I HAVE AND YOU WILL NEVER HAVE!", then yes the album has become obsolete. However true artists and bands still have the means to fascinate people with a collection of songs that move them.
To name a few albums I listened to all the way through recently:
Queens Of The Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork
Woodkid - The Golden Age
Ghost - Opus Eponymous
Old 11-15-13, 06:25 AM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

If that means the death of filler, good.

I think the album format only came about because the technology made it possible. If your music is distributed on a 78 rpm disk, you write 3 minute songs. If you have 45 minutes of vinyl to play with, you can create a compilation of songs that go together, if that interests you. It got explored, but now there is no time limit and artists moved on.

Last edited by Nick Danger; 11-15-13 at 06:39 AM.
Old 11-15-13, 06:31 AM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
If that means the death of filler, good.

I think the album format only came about because the technology made it possible. If your music is distributed on a 78 rpm disk, you write 3 minute songs and move on. If you have 45 minutes of vinyl to play with, you can create a compilation of songs that go together, if that interests you. It got explored, but now there is no time limit and artists moved on.
Not that I disagree that many (if not most) albums have some filler, but one person's filler is another's "deep cut."
Old 11-15-13, 08:17 AM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

Originally Posted by JAA View Post
Not that I disagree that many (if not most) albums have some filler, but one person's filler is another's "deep cut."
What are the deep cuts on the new Katy Perry album?
Old 11-15-13, 08:37 AM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

Originally Posted by cungar View Post
What are the deep cuts on the new Katy Perry album?
The wrists of the people who are subjected to listening to her music...
Old 11-15-13, 08:47 AM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

Some insight on the newer pop hit factory mentality as it relates to Rihanna...

Rihanna and her team don’t fear over-saturation because they understand the new nature of the market. “Kids want new material all the time,” her manager told the BBC. “I think you become disposable when you put out an album every three years.“ Rihanna knows that as long as she can adapt to what her audience thinks is fresh, they won’t ever get enough of her.
His definition of disposable is pretty much completely opposite from mine... I think 'irrelevant' might have been a better choice, although it still imparts a pretty sad state of affairs.

http://madamenoire.com/112459/use-ri...m-coming-back/
Old 11-15-13, 10:13 AM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

I disagree.

What makes an album cut a single? Someone in an office deeming it release-worthy? How many albums do you have where some of your favorite tracks were never released as singles.

Different stroke for different folks, I guess.

What happens when an artist creates a song, and the studio says "nope - not a single." These bands, while deserving of making music, may die off instead of trying to just churn out hits.

Sorry - I still prefer albums.
Old 11-15-13, 10:25 AM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

That article has absolutely no bearing on the music I listen to.
Old 11-15-13, 01:11 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

I think some artists would thrive on releasing a track or two several times a year, as opposed to an album once every 3 years. Those would be primarily the pop and already single-oriented artists that don't really need to have a cohesive thought throughout the album. On the other hand, there are still a lot of artists that utilize the length of an album to get their point across.

I'm open to either option, and I don't think that the ability to get single tracks by themselves is going to destroy the album format.
Old 11-15-13, 01:45 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

I know it pains people to admit, but Katy Perry had just as many hit singles off "Teenage Dream" as MJ did on "Bad". So calling people out for just creating "Overproduced Pop" or calling her a "Singles Artist" isn't really accurate.
Old 11-15-13, 03:14 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

I doubt albums will die anytime soon. When it comes to promotion/marketing, it's a heck of a lot easier for the record companies to put money and a campaign behind an album's worth of new material vs. a single song.

I can definitely see the Rhianna/Katy Perry's of today favoring singles, but the true artists, especially the indies, will always produce albums (or collections of new songs, if you prefer).
Old 11-15-13, 03:34 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

Originally Posted by achau9598 View Post
I disagree.

What makes an album cut a single? Someone in an office deeming it release-worthy? How many albums do you have where some of your favorite tracks were never released as singles.

Different stroke for different folks, I guess.

What happens when an artist creates a song, and the studio says "nope - not a single." These bands, while deserving of making music, may die off instead of trying to just churn out hits.

Sorry - I still prefer albums.
Stairway To Heaven was never released as a single.
Old 11-15-13, 03:54 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

Weird Al has stated that he doesn't know if he's going to release another album after his next one (the last on his contract), and may just focus on doing timely digital releases. I think for the type of thing he does, it could really be a benefit.
Old 11-15-13, 04:21 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

Originally Posted by Chrisedge View Post
I know it pains people to admit, but Katy Perry had just as many hit singles off "Teenage Dream" as MJ did on "Bad". So calling people out for just creating "Overproduced Pop" or calling her a "Singles Artist" isn't really accurate.
I think this is a good point and shows it's worth making albums even if you're a pop artist. It's different vibe when you're producing an album's worth of songs in one production period. You get into a groove and all the songs produced during that period will have a similar sound and will likely be mixed at the same time.

Doing one single every 3-4 months is like hitting a reset button on everything once you finish a song. Even if all the songs on Teenage Dream weren't planned in a specific order, there is likely still a cohesiveness there that likely wouldn't be present if those same 10 songs were recorded one at a time every 3-4 months and then put together in the same order.
Old 11-15-13, 05:03 PM
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Re: Variety offers "a Good Example of How Albums Donít Work Anymore"

Albums aren't just about art. It's about money to the artist (band). Most artists make little money from downloads or purchases of CDs. Way less than 50% of each sale. Most of the money goes to iTunes/Amazon, the record company, producers, etc. before the musician gets a dime.

Musicians make the most money from touring and playing live shows. You can't tour or play a two hour show with one or two songs, or even five or six released one every few months.

Some people might not like Katy Perry's album cuts, but until a musician has a few albums of hit material, they need albums to fill up a show's time requirements.

That is a big reason why the album is not going anywhere anytime soon, no matter how much the public might want to buy one song at a time.

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