Though I am still working on a very long piece on the nature of popular music itself, in order to get this thing rolling I have decided to bring up a point that has been concerning me in recent weeks.
There is no doubt that we have all noticed the fall of the album in the record industry. The internet, in yet another unexpected side effect of the information age, has created a singles based market. Though I am fairly certain that the majority of our readership is unaffected by this change, I can say through personal experience that the public at large has bought into this one song-one price movement.
While popular music has experienced this before, the previous incarnation took place long before the vast fracturing and specialization of said music. My fear is that this change will create an irreparable divide between the pre-existing semi-professional music appreciators (five points if you get that reference) and the typical consumer. I also fear it will destroy the chances of less marketable bands ever getting a major label behind them. This could effectively ruin the advances made in the post-Beatles era (i.e. the album as an artistic form, the death of “single” cuts for radio and label willingness to let top artists experiment.)
In response to this fear, I pose two questions:
In the case that you believe my fears to be valid, what can be done to stop this from taking place?
If you disagree with my argument, what will keep this collapse from happening or why is it not a collapse at all?
My next post will be a response to your responses (and yes, Alex is included in this). I will post my rebuttal sometime next week. Write good, Dudes and Duddettes.