“Make no mistake,” declared George Ergatoudis, head of music at BBC Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra, this month. “With very few exceptions, albums are edging closer to extinction.”
I was surprised when I read about the death of the music collection commonly referred to as an album. I just recently started purchasing albums from iTunes. I prefer to listen to a collection of songs from the same source, rather than the eclectic mix that is my collection. I tend to have everything from new country to heavy metal and I prefer to move from genre to genre in an organized fashion. I suppose that I could spend time organizing my collection but many bands use the album as a tool to tell a story.
The band Rush told a story in the 80’s with the album “2112” and then again recently with “Clockwork Angels”. The band then collaborated with an author to have a novel written that compliments the album. Three Days Grace told the story of addiction and recovery with their second album “One” and each of these collections became best sellers and seminal works for the groups involved.
It could be that the instant gratification phenomena associated with the Internet age has spilled over to the music scene, but I really don’t think that is the case. Music has been telling stories since the beginning of time and some stories take more than one song to tell.
I fully expect the album to outlive us all…