We live in an era of singles. One-offs. Momentary attention.
Think back to your favourite albums as a teenager.
Remember sitting beside the CD player (record player, tape deck) and letting your favourite music overtake you.
I remember sitting with Hayden’s Everything I Long For song after song. I remember playing all 28 tracks of my double-disc copy of The Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness over and over as I leafed through the gorgeous booklet.
Would these albums have been made in this age of streaming? I hope so, because the album is a different animal than the single.
A great album is a journey. It’s immersive.
It’s also a ton of work and expense for an artist. The music gurus are telling me it’s foolish to make an album now, as a small indie artist. Singles and EPs with a quick turnaround are the way streaming heaven. The investment an album requires won’t pay off for me, they say.
So obviously I’m making an album.
Today I’ve finished the first mix of every song (ten in total – my teenage benchmark requirement for any good album). There are revisions to come, but I now have something I can listen to and reshuffle until it feels right.
In celebration, here are three Good Things in celebration of the Almighty Album.
Thing to Listen To: Pete Drake & His Talking Steel Guitar
I love the old country vibe of the track Satisfied Mind – but man oh man that talking steel guitar “steels” the show. I literally did a double take when this weirdness came up on Spotify.
This may more of a case against album-making, because I’m sure the novelty can’t last through the 18(!) tracks that make up Pete Drake & His Talking Steel Guitar. Still, thi salbum comes from a time where a concept like this was all you needed and viola! An album!
Thing To Look At: The 100 Greatest Album Covers of All Time
This list is just begging to be argued with, but there are some undeniable gems on this post from UDiscoverMusic.com.
Of course, there are notable omissions too. Nevertheless, you’ll find 100 beautiful, inspiring works of art waiting for you from album designers of yesteryear, whatever their ranking.
What covers would you add to this list?
Thing To Use: CKUA’s Top 100 Albums of 2020
If you’re not from these here parts, you may not know that CKUA is the greatest radio station in the world. If that sounds a bit proud for public radio, let’s just say they are right up there at least. They’ve supported me many times and I’ve discovered so much great music on their airwaves.
If you are looking for great new music this is a wonderful, eclectic place to start. The top 100 albums according to CKUA listeners last year contain many local releases like Joe Nolan’s Drifters and Cayley Thomas’ How Else Can I Tell You?(one of my favourite releases last year). You’ll also find Canadian gold from the likes of William Prince, Bahamas and Frazey Ford among international releases from Margo Price, Leon Bridges, Waxahatchee and lots more. Cos’ there’s a hundred.