Author Topic: General Music talk  (Read 18358 times)

don s.

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Re: General Music talk
« Reply #60 on: June 30, 2013, 10:02:30 PM »
My glib point about Wagner is that the concept of "album length" has existed only since the advent of the mechanical reproduction of music and has been mostly a function of technology and marketing; i.e., how much music fits on a wax cylinder vs. an LP vs. a CD vs. an iPod, and how much will people pay for it? I'm under the assumption that the new era of digital downloads will ultimately make albums irrelevant.

I grew up in the LP era. It drove me nuts, for example, that Beatles albums in the U.K. contained 14 tracks while the U.S. albums contained only 12 -- sometimes only 11. For some reason recently I was listening to some old Simon and Garfunkel albums from the '60s: most of those clocked in at under 30 minutes. Cheap bastards! (Though it's hard to imagine "Bookends" being improved by adding a bunch of extra tracks.) Meanwhile there's this anomaly: Todd Rundgren put out a double album in 1974 called "Todd"; the following year, he put out an album called "Initiation," a single disk that contained more music than the previous double album.

(Who here remembers triple-album sets wherein the disks contained sides 1&6, 2&5, and 3&4 so you could stack them on a changer and then just flip the stack over when the first three sides had finished playing? This is the kind of fun some of you youngsters missed out on...)

The early CD era was characterized by reissues of LPs with random "bonus tracks" that took advantage of the longer playing time; sometimes these tracks were inserted between what had previously been the two sides of the original LP. Those rare instances always struck me as weird, if not sacrilegious.

Having said that, I think that albums that end up being anything more than a random collection of tracks are few and far between, despite the best efforts of cross-faders, skit-makers, or concept-promulgators. The only unifying principle is of course the fact that an artist or band is going to sound more like him/her/itself from track to track than something else.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 10:04:44 PM by don s. »
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shuabert

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Re: General Music talk
« Reply #61 on: July 01, 2013, 01:53:59 AM »
I'm mostly in agreement here with Sam and oldkid. I read an article once that argued that roughly 45 minutes was the "perfect" length for an album, and listed Dark Side of the Moon as its exemplar. I tend to kind of agree with that, not on the bottom end, because short albums can have a great sense of urgency, but as a maximum, as there are so many albums that burn me out when they go longer than 50 minutes. Some are exceptions to that rule, and end up maintaining what you guys called "flow" all the way through. But that is somewhat rare. Even really good bands irritate me when they refuse to cut 2 or 3 songs and insist on having a 60 minute album that doesn't need to be that long (I'm looking at you, Modest Mouse).

The point on LP length and space restrictions is an interesting one too. Last year I named a double album my #1 record of the year (Baroness' "Yellow & Green"). It, like The Flaming Lips' Embryonic, feels sonically appropriate as a double album, but neither exceeds the 80 minute length of a single compact disc, so I can only assume the choice to split those was artistic, rather than practical.

I've become really jaded with the recent trend towards "Deluxe" edition albums, where the standard 10-12 song album proper is supplemented with an extra 2 or 5 or 9 "bonus" songs, most of which are usually throwaway b-sides. But, being a neurotic completist, I feel the need to listen to the Deluxe Edition just in case there are one or two great songs that didn't make the album. Sometimes there are, but it almost never enhances the album experience. It feels like a good trailer attached to a completely different movie.

jdc

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Re: General Music talk
« Reply #62 on: July 01, 2013, 04:30:18 AM »
I'm mostly in agreement here with Sam and oldkid. I read an article once that argued that roughly 45 minutes was the "perfect" length for an album, and listed Dark Side of the Moon as its exemplar.

I suppose similar logic can be applied to film though longer length?

Of course, it just very subjective at which point an album or film starts feeling a bit stretched or two long.  Some that are long still feel too short.

One other limit to the 45 minute mark was the limitation of vinyl.  Somewhere around 22-23 minutes per side would start decreasing the sound quality as they packed the groves in closer together from what I remember.  Though they could go longer it wasn't ideal

that would also put a limit on the length of a song as well.  Both Echoes and Adom Heart Mother go over 23 minutes but which fit just nice on a single side LP

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mañana

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Re: General Music talk
« Reply #63 on: July 01, 2013, 08:32:02 AM »
(Who here remembers triple-album sets wherein the disks contained sides 1&6, 2&5, and 3&4 so you could stack them on a changer and then just flip the stack over when the first three sides had finished playing? This is the kind of fun some of you youngsters missed out on...)
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: General Music talk
« Reply #64 on: July 08, 2013, 04:06:37 PM »
Has anyone heard Paul Williams' Someday Man before? I stumbled across it the other day and I'm falling hard for it.

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mañana

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Re: General Music talk
« Reply #65 on: July 09, 2013, 10:39:04 PM »
Don't know it, I'll check it out.
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Monty

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Re: General Music talk
« Reply #66 on: July 17, 2013, 07:28:42 AM »


"And then it just becomes an industry of...cool."

MartinTeller

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Re: General Music talk
« Reply #67 on: July 17, 2013, 01:02:31 PM »
How funny, I woke up today with in my head


jdc

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Re: General Music talk
« Reply #68 on: August 29, 2013, 12:45:45 AM »
Mazzy Star To Return With First Album Since 1996 :)

Great news..never thought I would see this news. Just looked at Hope Sandoval's official page, had no idea that they actually had done a (limited) tour last year...
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IDrinkYourMilkshake

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Re: General Music talk
« Reply #69 on: August 30, 2013, 04:10:47 PM »
Someone help me out with this, please? I've been trying to find this song now for literally minutes, but I can't find it. The chorus goes something like "You'll be lee-aaving town tonight, on the last traaiiin home". The singer sounds a lot like Stuart Murdoch from Belle and Sebastian but, so far as I am aware, it is not a Belle and Sebastian song.

anyone?....
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