I’ll provide the answer in a few paragraphs but many music writers, including a guy whose blog I read regularly, Bob Lefsetz, say the album is dead. We live in a singles, on-demand world.
But I’m listening to Ozzy’s Boneyard on Sirius/XM and earlier tonight I heard the opening riff of You Got Me Runnin’ and my music lover brain said, that’s from the album High ‘N Dry. Def Leppard’s second album, after On Through The Night, and before Pyromania.
So if you’re a fan of Kanye West, do you connect any of his tunes with the albums they came from? If you do, great. I’m thinking you don’t but please correct me if I’m wrong.
Then again, we could be returning to the late ’50s when it was all about the single. Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis put out singles and numbers like Good Golly Miss Molly were not linked to long playing records. They were 45s.
The Beatles Sergeant Pepper album is regarded as one of the greatest discs ever recorded. A listening experience consisting of two sides and thirteen songs. No singles, even though With a Little Help From My Friends and A Day In The Life are regarded as such.
In recent years the only records I can recall that were Pepper-ish were Green Day’s American Idiot and The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance. Those albums had a flow and sequence that took you on a musical journey.
Lefsetz frequently advises new acts to put everything into one or two killer tracks because in his view, cutting 40 or 50 minutes of music is a waste of time. And if you use the most recent U2 album as an example…the one that got sent to every iTunes subscriber whether they wanted it or not…maybe he’s right.
Bono and his band did not come up with a great single, just a collection of good but not memorable songs.
And these days, that’s not good enough. We have too many things competing for our time. We work long hours so between Facebook posts, Instagram and Snapchat photos, podcasts (check out Johnny Maraca’s Rockin’ Time Machine on iTunes and Stitcher), hundreds of TV channels, Youtube, Twitter, Periscope and perusing Flipboard for the latest articles from major magazines and newspapers, we can’t devote half an hour or more to a collection of brand-new tunes.
It has to knock our socks off. Otherwise it falls into the “I’d love to but I’m too busy” category.
The Boneyard is playing Murders In The Rue Morgue.
Iron Maiden. From their second album, Killers.