If you like music, there’s a time that everyone experiences: the switch from singles to full albums.
For my dad, David, — as well as myself —that transition didn’t happen until the summer entering college. I can’t point to one record that began my musical journey, but my dad can.
After buying singles in high school for a couple years, he stumbled upon the Eagles and their fifth studio album, Hotel California. The rest is history.
“That’s the first album I listen to. I bought singles before that and that’s the first album I listened to that was like, ‘Oh, you can do more than singles,'” he said.
Forty years later, he still rarely listens singles. The farthest he will go is the ‘shuffle’ feature on his iPod. Instead, he will listen to an album front-to-back when he buys it.
Lucky for him, he got to experience the golden era of when albums were made to be played all the way through. Just before his time, in the 50s, singles were the norm. These days, we again are seeing a resurgence of the single.
Forbes covered this very topic in an article titled: “The Album Is Dying — And Good Riddance”.
In the Nielsen mid-year report, album sales (including CDs, cassettes, vinyl LPs and digital albums) have fallen by 13.6% this year but even more worrisome is the fact that albums by current artists aren’t catching on, falling by 20.8%.
The article goes on to say that since albums are long, time consuming and expensive to make, artists are focusing on the one or two songs from an album that people will listen to. They do this because people will either buy those songs or cherry-pick them through streaming services.
Albums will still be made by artists in it for more than just a paycheck, but will be harder to find. It’s up to us to support them!