Number 1 With A Bullet

You can’t rely on time, to change the way you feel, ’cause time it often loses track of who it’s go to heal.

Jill Barber

In Perfect Time

I’m tempted to print the entire lyrics to that Jill Barber song because I think it is a wonderfully written song.  Speaking of songs a little while ago I pointed out my friend Dave’s new blog, The Song Review, and challenged him to write a post about Bruce Cockburn. So he did.  He raised an interesting point in the first post the that blog when he mentioned that this is the “iTunes age.”  His point is that people can buy as many individual songs as they like without being forced to endure the “filler songs,” namely those that are there to make the album long and to justify the price.  People willingly pay $0.99 for Radiohead’s Paranoid Android but probably not their less rocking (though oddly interesting) Fitter Happier. Maybe tracks from Ok Computer aren’t the best examples, but you get the point. Actually if I was pressed I would say that Ok Computer is an example of why the album shouldn’t disappear as an art form. From time to time a grou puts out a record that is great from start to finish.  Some of the quality would be lost if you cherry picked the most popular songs while ignoring the less known tracks.

I’m sure it’s been debated elsewhere, but perhaps we are moving towards the true death of the album.  Although there is a lot of excitement in the coming of a new album, perhaps the music buyer of the future will only be interested in having the very best tracks from many artists, rather than an up and down album from their favourite band.  I really doubt that musicians will give up writing and recording entire albums of songs becuase it’s such a fun process. If the proliferation of independent music labels continues, along with the availability of quality recording equipment, I think we will in fact see more albums, with even more filler songs. The good news is, we can ignore them if we want.

Either way I love the concept behind Dave’s site, so get over there and read!

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One Response to “Number 1 With A Bullet”

  1. fallicule Says:

    Thanks for the plug, Peter. I don’t think the album will ever die but there are relatively few artists who are actually capable of producing 12 QUALITY tracks that come together cohesively enough to warrant release in a single artistic work (album). Even the best artists today (at least in my opinion) such as Coldplay, U2 and John Mayer have great albums but there is still filler on there, usually in the last 1/4 of the album. Even for the best albums you can get 25% off the price by using iTunes to filter out the duds by first listening to the samples instead of just buying the whole album.

    You can also help save the environment in the process because there is no plastic CD being produced or transported to a store, plus you don’t have to go to the store to get it.

    iTunes also encourages pop stars to just give up. I think they have more to lose than genuine musicians because their bankability is no longer an album, but a single track or two tracks at best.

    I might do a post some time in the future about the merits of iTunes. I love iTunes! The more I think about iTunes, the more I love it!

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