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When to make an album?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by pklima, Feb 24, 2016.


  1. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    And is the answer becoming "never"? I know, you buy albums, and you have friends who buy albums, and you want your favorite artists to keep making albums. But are there still enough of you?

    I see Martin Garrix has announced his first album will be released. He's been a huge star for a couple of years already. Ariana Grande also announced her first album after she already had a top 10 single. Hardwell also was #1 in the DJ Mag annual poll before announcing his. Kanye and Rihanna seem to be treating their new albums as ways to generate publicity in ways that have to seriously reduce their sales (Kanye by acting like he still believes in Tidal, and Rihanna by giving it away for free initially).

    So, has the profitability of albums gotten so poor (at least in the pop and electronic music worlds) that there's no reason to make an album unless you're already a really huge, top-level star?
     
  2. WhoSeyes

    WhoSeyes

    Aug 18, 2008
    Barcelona.
    Here in Spain there are two "teen" rock bands that have been getting a lot of attention lately in the underground scene. None of them has released an album yet, and it's something that every article that talks about them mentions.

    I am a musician and have friends that are musicians... but most of them don't buy albums at all, not even from big bands like Iron Maiden or so.

    The concept of "album" is too tied to its physical form. I expect that in the near future, it will be something that maybe will only be released by "retro" bands that wan't to have a vinyl (or a cassette!) for aesthetic purposes.

    Nowadays, people wait for your next videoclip in YouTube, your next show or your next big scandal on the news. They don't care about your albums.
     
    Jah Wobble Fan likes this.
  3. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player

    Mar 14, 2011
    Most first albums have a few well written songs and the remainder is useless filler. I know, I've made some.
    I'm much more a proponent now of releasing a single or two first. Then an EP of 6 max proven songs if demand is there.
    Much better use of your resources to spend on a well produced song or two than stretching your budget and creativity and making a turd.

    However, the usual mode of a new originals band is to push out something made on a shoestring after they have enough material written.... just to get something to sell to the fans.
     
  4. whatizitman

    whatizitman

    Sep 9, 2014
    I see Youtube as the primary publishing system now - even surpassing iTunes, etc... Not only albums are on the out, but singles releases that don't have at least something interesting visually connected to it. Music and video, if anything, are just going to be more and more inseparable in the future.

    Albums should not be an end goal of an established band. Single song videos are replacing that.

    For the short term, Runnerman is right on. Lots of up and coming artists wait until they have enough fan and promotional support behind them before they make anything more than an EP. And sometimes most of the EP ends up on the album in some form or another. Things are changing fast, though.
     
    WhoSeyes likes this.
  5. WhoSeyes

    WhoSeyes

    Aug 18, 2008
    Barcelona.
    It would be interesting to hear from those of you that have actually published albums in physical form... ¿how many copies did you sell and how many of them did stay in cardboard boxes under your bed?
     
  6. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    I agree that releasing albums as such is now largely a retro gesture. And even at that, good luck getting listeners to pay. Kanye's new album was file shared one million times in its first week of release, a loss of upwards of ten million doll hairs.
     
  7. ImNotJoel

    ImNotJoel

    Jan 12, 2014
    Connecticut
    Between album leaks and the record company taking its big slice there is really not a lot of meat left on the bones. With home recording being so advanced and all these networking options it doesn't make sense to make a traditional physical album.
     
    Jah Wobble Fan likes this.
  8. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    Kanye reportedly lost 10 million in sales in the first week alone due to file sharing.
    For that matter, he released the album without even having a physical record out -- in his case the album was largely a tool to leverage other deals.
    So it is now too with the little guy.
     
    ImNotJoel likes this.
  9. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    I don't think it is so clear cut. The album v. single priority has changed numerous times through the decades. Maybe not in the traditional format, but...
     
  10. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    The standard has indeed changed over the decades, and right now we appear to be right back to square one and the late fifties/early sixties, where it was all about the single, and the album was a mere crumb catcher, an afterthought.

    Movie theaters have likewise reverted to a 50's and early 60's model of offering extravagant entertainments so as to lure otherwise content viewers away from their TVs.
     
  11. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    Rianna is one of the biggest selling artists ever (believe it or not!) Upon release, her recent album "Anti" enjoyed 4.2 million streams, 126,000 sales of individual tracks, and complete album downloads in the amount of 460.
     
  12. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    With home recording equipment so readily available, the whOle process is different now, and what an album is and does has changed. Due to the "democratic" part of my current band, we have over 40 tunes, 22 of them recorded, 2 released into the wild. Of those 22, some were professionally tracked, some tracked by us, some mixed by us, some by talented cats we paid, a few have had mastering (not by us), and every combination thereof. Point is, making an album is very very easy to do physically . Now when you get down to making an ablumn, a collection of songs, it get tough if you want to control how you're reviewed and perceived by others. Selling them is almost a waste of time in my sphere, i'd just as soon give them away and play a great live show.
     
    WhoSeyes likes this.
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    And in the '60s (before my time, I swear), they used to say singles was what you bought for yourself - albums were what your grandparents got you for Christmas. Then we had Sgt. Pepper, Pet Sounds, Tommy, Dark Side, etc.
     
  14. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    I think an album helps show you in greater depth after you've piqued some interest with a single or EP. You can find you're core with the fewer, then build on it with a larger collection afterwords
     
  15. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    Of course. But it remains to be seen just how circular time is.

    What's your most recent album purchase, out of curiosity? I don't think I have bought a CD in a good three years.

    How many albums do you buy a year?
     
  16. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    Zero to two.

    How many do i download though..
    I always have new music coming in, and I look for albums, never get individual songs if I can help it.
     
    Jah Wobble Fan likes this.
  17. whatizitman

    whatizitman

    Sep 9, 2014
    I haven't bought an album in a few years now. My wife still buys one or two a year. But in general our album buying days are all but over.

    Like 5 or 6 years ago I realized my Undertow and Aenima CDs were nowhere to be found. Both I bought new shortly after they were released. I think I let someone borrow them, and then forgot about it. That's not like me. Every once in a while I think I will replace them. But I haven't yet, and probably never will. Don't really want or need to pay for them again. Downloading them is just not the same, either.

    Let that sink in a moment. Undertow and Aenima. I not only had no problem letting them out of my sight only to forget about it, but I haven't replaced them.

    Something seriously wrong in the universe.

    What changed? Youtube happened


    At any time I can pull up youtube and find whatever song I feel like listening to at that moment. Easier and quicker than pandora or spotify. Easier than sifting through stacks of CD, and finding a decent CD player (remember those?). If I want the "radio experience" I can go to Radio Paradise.

    I'm even getting too lazy for iTunes these days. It's too much hassle to upload/rip my CDs, pay to download albums, or make playlists. I have yet to upload anything to the "cloud" because it just takes too long. And then what do I have? 500gigs or whatever of files stored on some remote server that I have to make an account for, pay to keep and/or manage. All for the chance I might decide to stream it to my car?

    Youtube has all but ruined the album experience for me, along with everything else media-related.

    I don't have to own anything anymore. I'm just about ready to get rid of my CD collection. It's starting to gather dust.
     
    Jah Wobble Fan likes this.
  18. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    ^
    +1

    I too will Youtube songs despite owning them on sonically superior vinyl or Cd simply because it is more expedient.
     
  19. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    I've seen words about "touring to promote an album" or "concert to promote the new album" a few times in recent years. That just looks so old-fashioned now...
     
  20. whatizitman

    whatizitman

    Sep 9, 2014
    "Promote" sounds better than "pay for".
     
    Bassist4Eris likes this.

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