Saturday, November 07, 2009

There ain't no motive for this crime

Singles promote artists. Radios play a hot single over and over again...6...8 times a day is not too many. Singles generate a lot of money for the artist and their respective music companies but it also makes sure that the artists are constantly in the music charts.

With the digital age came the ability to buy/download a single and only a single (rather than buying a whole album or even a singles "tape/disk" which came with b-sides) which came (possible) unforeseen consequences.

Good: Music is more easily accessible
Bad: There are less album sales
Good: Those reduced sales are offset by increased single sales
Bad: Artists' non-single songs are not being listened to

That last consequence is what lead me to write this article. I love listening to albums. You get so much more from listening to albums. Don't get me wrong, singles are great but there are many hidden gems in albums. If you never listen to albums then you never get to listen to a 'Concept album'. These albums have songs that are unified by a theme. The band that put concept albums to the forefront were The Beatles with St. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Wall by Pink Floyd and more recently The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance. These albums show you a lot about the bands as artists.

By listening to only singles, you lose so much artistic impression. However I may be barking up the wrong tree. Perhaps what I've said in this post is only true of Pop music where concept albums are pretty much non-existent so those that buy only singles lose nothing.

Thats probably why I don't listen to pop music (not really true, I don't like pop music for many more reasons).

To show my appreciation of the bands I like and non-singles. Here is my top 10 (no repeated bands) list of non-singles.

1) Mayonaise by Smashing Pumpkins
2) What Sarah Said by Death Cab for Cutie
3) Jenny was a Friend of Mine by The Killers
4) Skyline and Turnstiles by My Chemical Romance
5) A Certain Romance by Arctic Monkeys
6) Under Control by The Strokes
7) Showbiz by Muse
8) Soft Shock by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
9) Burn by The Cure
10) Holiday by Weezer

Honourable mentions: Airbag by Radiohead, She's Electric by Oasis, I Could Have Lied by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hey Johnny Park! by Foo Fighters, Relapse by Little Birdy

Can you come up with a list of non-single songs that you really like? It is harder than you think.