If youíve got a concept album, go ahead and record it. If youíre only interested in selling a little, be my guest. But if you want to penetrate the consciousness of a large group of people and grow the pie, an album isnít working. Hell, itís not even working as a revenue model! Labels are no longer in the record business, theyíre in the star business. How to maximize the revenue of an individual or band in as many media as possible, in as many ways as possible. Yes, while you were bitching about piracy, your whole business model disappeared.
You put out these albums, and in almost every case, the public moves on in a matter of WEEKS.
I know the back and forth here, but these guys look at music only as $$$ not art. Some people are still making great records, and could careless what the "model" is, and a whole lot of us are still enjoying albums.
On the business side of a record label I totally get what this guys is saying could be true for most folks, but as far as music goes, I could careless if you can write a hit song, give me solid catalog.
If I don't like a whole album enough, it doesn't go on my mp3 player. Probably weird. But most of the bands I listen to, 75% of the time singles are usually my least favorite songs. This guy's probably right, but when everyone stops caring about an album working as a full entity, I'll stop listening to new music.
I think he overstated his point, perhaps for the sake of being "edgy," but the core thought isn't completely wrong. Albums in Top 40 are often pretty pointless. Pop music has gone back to that old era decades ago where singles are more important than albums, and that's not inherently bad.
I'd like to see a Rihanna or the like test this theory out by giving up on albums for years and just release a steady stream of singles. I wonder if the loss of revenue from not having albums would make that much of a hinderance. Said artist could still release CDs of the singles released during a certain window of time every few years.
Pop music is largely geared toward the casual music listener, and that type of consumer group only purchases the most music simply because their numbers strongly outweigh those who are serious music fans. Of course the people who tune into American Top 40 care less about albums. They don't lie down on their beds and listen to a record, but they do want simple and catchy tunes for putting on in the car and as background noise for various events. For those who find artistic value in music, albums certainly matter.
I get what this guy is saying in general, and for some mainstream acts this may be a better route, but I'd hunt this man down if he'd try to talk a band like the Wonder Years out of writing another full length [which I know they'd never do what anyone tells them to do of course ;)]
Lefsetz is a mainstream analyst. He doesn't care about anything that isn't moving at least 100K because why should he? It's not having any significant impact. So he's absolutely right here. People on this site may think "but oh my god I love albums" and that's cool. But in the big picture, no one cares about that band's album you love. They're likely a very tiny niche in the vast music business.
This is coming from a guy who 10 years ago couldn't fathom not buying albums and falling in love with every song from beginning to end. Times are changing. Now that people can hear the whole album for free and see that there's only a few GREAT songs on most releases they don't have time or money for just ok or good. If it's not infectious, amazing, undeniable, they're moving on.
I love albums, they're awesome. But yeah, they're not selling too well anymore. I'd love for artists to start experimenting with different packaging of music releases, something different than the standard album/single/EP, etc.