The future of music is heading towards its past. With digital downloads gaining in popularity every year, more and more people purchase fewer albums and purchase more single songs on the internet. There are many debates over this subject that revolve around the “what came first the chicken or the egg”. Did musicians as a whole stop making great albums which ultimately led people to only want the two or three songs that were good, or did people’s short-attention span stop giving albums enough of a listen to really get the other non-accessible songs? I believe it is a combination of both, but regardless the full length album will eventually take the way of the dinosaurs.
When musicians first started recording music for distribution they would record 2-3 songs and send them to a radio station, i.e. Elvis and etc. Two of my favorite bands, The Smashing Pumpkins and Muse, have recently announced they will no longer release albums but release 2-3 songs at a time on the internet. It is where the past meets the future and very interesting how things tend to go in cycles.
This is bitter sweet for me since I believe my favorite albums are great because they captured a theme or a general feeling of a moment in time. These 2-3 songs released will in no way have the same impact as a full length album, but it will ultimately result in more releases through out a 2 year period. Generally a band will release one album every two years and would probably release 2-3 song blocks every couple of months, which is typically a net gain in songs.
So at the end of the day we lose some and gain some. Ultimately, I want more great music and I am excited about what the future will bring as the music industry continues to evolve.
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