Nas was wrong – it’s The Album that’s dead
ReadWriteWeb has news about Weird Al’s new music release plan, which entails:
releasing songs on iTunes right after he finishes them, bypassing the standard album model for a faster and more flexible approach.
I only mention it because I’ve been waiting for this moment for probably close to 10 years. Ever since Ben said it would happen.
And thus, the death knell sounds for The Album as we know it. Sure, it’s not going to go away any time soon because the major lables will probably take another 10-20 years to realize that most artists are better off selling singles as they produce them. I realize this may be hard for some artists who are used to going on tour and then holing up to write and record a whole album, but it’s a concept that’s been around for a long time, albeit in a slightly different form known as the EP. The Smashing Pumpkins released their American Gothic EP exclusively as a download on iTunes and then followed it up with a CD vesrion that is only available in the US as an Import. (Yes, I know there are probably many other more recent and pertinent examples, but that’s the one I picked, because the Smashing Pumpkins were one of the first bands to release a full album [two in fact] on the internet for free, and they deserve a lot more credit for that than I feel they received)
Anyway, the point is: I am excited to see that the Single is one step closer to replacing the Album.