Are Albums Necessary?

LPDuring my travel from California to Illinois, then my long-term cold recuperation (which still isn’t complete), I thought about today’s music distribution and whether full-length albums were even needed anymore (for the most part anyway).

The thrust of music has become a long, long playlist these days since the arrival of the iPod.  Of course the iPod hastened this form of listening but honestly, if it wasn’t the iPod, it would have been something else soon enough.

It would seen that the long-player has really become a worn out ideal.  It’s seems to be held onto simply because that’s the way the music of the golden age was distributed.  And yes, it’s still a cool form.  Get the best 7-10 tracks and get them onto an album, and let the album talk for itself.  Except, I’m doubting whether many albums talk for themselves at all.

Yes, there are forms of music that still need the complete album.  But the audiences for those are built in, and more than ready to buy those albums to enjoy a full experience.   Prog band, free-form music, and such like those that benefit.  But more often than not, most recording artists create songs.

And those songs really come off better as singles sold thorough iTunes, or other sources.  I cannot tell you how many times I have been fond of a song, only to hear the rest of the album, and wonder, “what happened?”

I thought that this would be an interesting reentry point for me while I start to assemble the TAPSheets that are long overdue.

Simply put, I wonder whether the need for the album largely exists anymore.  What do you think?