Will the 'Album' disappear? - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-13-2007, 10:31 PM   #1
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Will the 'Album' disappear?

Some will argue it already has... Some will argue it disappeared with Vinyl.

In my lifetime I've seen the record, the 8-track, the cassette, the CD, the digital release, the DVD single, and now the latest the USB stick release(Stereophonics just announced a release today).

So what are you theories and your wishes?

Will the idea that an artist has to release a 10 song plus collection of songs called an album disappear?
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:36 PM   #2
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I'm intrigued by Sigur Ros latest news of a mini-movie album type thing and the USB stick with video and new music in a very interesting thing.

I think in the next several years we'll have relevant artists that are no longer releasing "albums". Artwork and the packaging of a physical album are becoming much less important.

I can see with video costing less and less that some artist will start releasing more multimedia packages. I can see digitial EPs becoming more and more viable. Two formats that I see more artists exploring in the next few years...
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:49 PM   #3
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I think the idea of an actual album and not just the collection of songs will remain amongst purist bands, just the ways of release may change. Physical albums will probably disappear, maybe as nostalgic items to buy at shows, but the bands may be able to control the means of production more by then. At least I would hope so.

Probably the biggest change will be in pop music, where most of the "albums" are collections of songs anyway. A USB or Digital-only release will just be more viable.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:53 PM   #4
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I don't like the idea of a USB stick.

I mean, how is that supposed to fit onto my CD shelves? Talk about messing up the visual of my CD collection.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:58 PM   #5
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I think it's too early to tell for sure, and of course will greatly depend on the artist and genre. I can definitely see the pop album disappearing in the not too distant future, in it's place just a continual stream of singles. I mean for the Britneys etc filling out 10-12 tracks has always just been a chore when only 3 or so on every album matter. But for those artists who have both an artistic need and fanbase demand for complete albums, I'm sure the concept will stick around, perhaps though similar to the Sigur Ros idea - if anything making it even more of a complete experience, rather then a lesser experience.

For the 'average' artists somewhere in the middle - don't know.

I was in a presentation yesterday about the future distribution, viewing habits, promotion blah blah of television shows - how we find out, why we watch, what we watch, where/who it comes from. These guys were at the peak of the game, and still have really no concrete idea what our entertainment lives will be like even in just 10 years. Just a lot of maybes based on what we know now. In other words - who the fuck knows.

How many of you got the facebook email today from 'Bono'?
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:14 PM   #6
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I just bought the new Saul Williams "album." I actually paid the five bucks to download the FLAC version.

I converted the FLAC files to 256 kbps AAC for my iPod, but I'll store away the originals for future use.

I really like this model; all of the quality of a CD without the overhead of packaging, shipping, etc.

Any sales model where the bulk of the profits go to the artist instead of the label is a winner in my book.

If Radiohead really had cajones, they would have released In Rainbows as a lossless download and not offered a physical CD.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:15 PM   #7
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Do you think word of mouth will ever truly replace proper promotion?
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Earnie Shavers
I think it's too early to tell for sure,
Sure, but it reminds me of the point when DVD quickly replaced LaserDisc. Everyone thought LaserDisc would last, but those that could actually afford it, found out very quickly they bought one of the quickest obsolete technologies in history.

I really think it's an interesting time. I know many "purists" are still hanging onto the 'album' idea, that it will last, but I really think these changes will lend to much more interesting releases. Either the "more complete experience" as you put it, or even the smaller yet conceptual projects.

Here's one of my wishes; I really think the digital release or USB can lead to shorter length albums(i.e. digital EPs) but with much more conceptual tighter themes. I'm in love with the idea of "conceptual albums", but I find that most of them have far too much filler in order to make it a releasable album. I like the idea of the concept EP. Plus I think we'll get more releases out of artists if we move to shorter formats...
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Earnie Shavers
Do you think word of mouth will ever truly replace proper promotion?
Well if by "word of mouth" you mean MySpace and other formats, then yes... But not completely.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:21 PM   #10
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All I can say is that it better not...
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Earnie Shavers
Do you think word of mouth will ever truly replace proper promotion?
No, but there's no reason why "proper promotion" can't be used to promote a digital release rather than a CD.

It's easy to imagine a pop-up or an instant message on your iPhone letting you know that the latest U2 track is available for download.

Starbucks has already been selling cards that allow you to download a specific album from the iTunes store.

I can't recall the last time I was enticed to buy a physical CD by a display in a CD store.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:26 PM   #12
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for one, I imagine pretty soon they will do away with hard copies and prices are gonna fall far when all youre buying are the artists ideas and not record company salaries/packaging/electric, rent bills/ whatever. Youre just gonna go to the band's website and buy it. i saw this coming well before in rainbows
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:27 PM   #13
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Are old albums dead/dying as well? How will - for example - U2 convince people in 10yrs to pick up Achtung Baby as a complete set?
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:28 PM   #14
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I don't know where things are headed, but it sure is fascinating to watch the trends.

I'm much less album oriented now (think playlists and shuffle), and I've all but stopped buying CDs, but when I buy music online or when I use the Rhapsody online music service, I tend to search artists by album still.

I think for the foreseeable future we will see artists continue to put out albums. I mean, Radiohead's big move was to put out an album online, but it's still 10 songs, it's still considered an album, and there will be a CD down the road.

I don't see much in the way right now of artists moving away from putting out 10-15-song albums. They're still in that album mindset, and I think it will last a while.

The USB stick thing doesn't interest me much, but I do buy CDs sometimes when they're paired with good DVD content.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
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All I can say is that it better not...
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