Curious question for old LP fans

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., Dec 5, 2005.

  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hi everybody.

    All of my life I've been a true fan of the good old LP records. In fact, I switched to CDs only when I realized that I had to because LPs weren't released anymore. When I was a kid, I always noticed that most LPs had at least five cuts per side. As an example, the British Beatles releases had 14 songs until Sgt. Pepper's. But when I saw the first LP with less than 10 songs, it was like a shock for me. I wasn't used to songs that long. Which was the first LP you saw with less than 10 songs? Mine was Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Four Wheel Drive", released in 1975 (eight cuts).

    Notice that sometimes the record companies released LPs with a single cut per side which had a long medley of hits remade in that format. That's another story, so please don't include medleys in your choices. Thanks for your input! :)
  2. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    Jehtro Tull - Thick as a Brick???

    - georgestrings
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I was young when I got Thick As A Brick...I don't think I ever played(or got around to) Side 2, either. ;)

    Face songs 'graduated' from 2:00 minute/radio friendly tunes into pieces with 'improv', solos, only made sense that the number of songs per side/per album would decrease.
    Anyway, as I got into buying Jazz records, I was surprised to get more than 2-3 pieces per side.

    On a tangent-
    IIRC, 18:00 per side was about normal.
    What floored me(kinda) was Mingus' Me Myself & of the sides had 30:00+ minutes on it.
  4. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I bet it was a very quiet-sounding LP. I don't know about the technical nuances of this process, but that's where the term cut comes from. After the master tape was done, it had to be transferred to a metal (?) master disc, and the grooves were created by cutting it with a special needle. If there was so much music time, the grooves (well, it was actually one single spiral) should be very tight-spaced and that affected the dynamic range of the record. 12" singles worked the opposite way: The grooves had plenty of space between them for making the song cover the whole vinyl. That's why most of the times these discs sounded louder. If you check most of Iron Maiden's LPs and Queen's "Greatest Hits" compilation among many others, you'll notice that all of them sounded really quiet compared to others because the amount of music in them. Martin Birch in the liner notes of "Live After Death":

    "Cutting Maiden albums is often difficult, as they tend to give you fans great value by putting about 25 minutes of music on each side, whereas an album side normally runs between 16 and 20 minutes. This gives the cutting engineer great problems in getting all the grooves in without losing volume and clarity. However, the best can do it, and we only use the best"

    BTW, maybe I should clarify that my "shock" was about the visual aspect of a vinyl with less than five cuts per side. Not exactly about the songs' duration, since this can be applied to tapes or CDs also. Just one of the many components of vinyl records' magic.