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An album full of nothing but hits does not necessarily equal a good album Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 1st September 2014
  #61
i think it's great that this thread came up, cause it's only when I started working on my own album that i really began to appreciate the beauty of a well-done albums. it's more than just songs in a playlist... it's an atmosphere, it's interludes, it's a mood and a sense of timing. respect to all the makers of the greatest albums... and those who are making new ones today.
Old 1st September 2014
  #62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benprogfuse View Post
It's funny.. I honestly just assumed that everyone else listened to the whole album of every artist that they listened to, until 2 years ago when this 21 year old girl was sitting next to me at work. she was playing with my phone and asking me what music I listened to etc then showing me her itunes and I noticed that she only had 1 or 2 songs from each artist and was listening to everything in a playlist. I told her that I didn't do playlists and that I listen to everything one album at a time and she was astonished and told me that the idea of doing that had never occured to her.

Then I was astonished...
i just felt like this needed to be quoted.
Old 23rd October 2014
  #63
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You are correct. It doesn't make a "good" album, it makes a "great" album.
Old 24th October 2014
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benprogfuse View Post
It's funny.. I honestly just assumed that everyone else listened to the whole album of every artist that they listened to, until 2 years ago when this 21 year old girl was sitting next to me at work. she was playing with my phone and asking me what music I listened to etc then showing me her itunes and I noticed that she only had 1 or 2 songs from each artist and was listening to everything in a playlist. I told her that I didn't do playlists and that I listen to everything one album at a time and she was astonished and told me that the idea of doing that had never occured to her.

Then I was astonished...
Haha I hadn't read this. Too true! The power is more in the consumer's hands than ever. And of course if you can put together your own "albums," ie playlists, that's what most people are going to do.

Honestly it makes sense to me. The music business straight up ripped people off by charging $17.99 for an album that people just wanted for a song or three. We can look back as musicians and wish for those "glory days," but for the most part (outside the occasional standout album) the "glory days" were about an industry bulk packaging 2nd rate products in with the gold, and charging for the bundle.

It'd be like you need to buy a cup of coffee, but there's a minimum purchase of 8 coffees, 6 of them weak and without cream and sugar! Of COURSE coffee makers would get pissed if they'd gotten used to taking first class flights off of this business model, but there's no way around it: this model is unfair to the customer.

There are of course standout albums as well. But a LOT of it was the above. If the album doesn't demand you buy it as a whole due to the artistry and quality it delivery, there's no reason to make people buy the whole thing.
Old 24th October 2014
  #65
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It all depends on the artist. Some are capable of creating complete albums of interest. Most are not. At least many used to try, along the lines of the OPs point. I think there are a lot of "customers" who would probably love a great complete album, but since those don't exist, might as well pick and choose the hits. Do "album cuts" even exist anymore at all? Songs that weren't singles but become hugely popular anyway? Like The Beatles, for example. So many many classics that weren't singles and weren't meant to be. Maybe Kanye has some album classics? He's supposed to be a genius, but I can't bear to listen to even his hits.
Old 26th October 2014
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray View Post
It all depends on the artist. Some are capable of creating complete albums of interest. Most are not. At least many used to try, along the lines of the OPs point. I think there are a lot of "customers" who would probably love a great complete album, but since those don't exist, might as well pick and choose the hits. Do "album cuts" even exist anymore at all? Songs that weren't singles but become hugely popular anyway? Like The Beatles, for example. So many many classics that weren't singles and weren't meant to be. Maybe Kanye has some album classics? He's supposed to be a genius, but I can't bear to listen to even his hits.
Some killer, some filler.
Old 26th October 2014
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray View Post
It all depends on the artist. Some are capable of creating complete albums of interest. Most are not. At least many used to try, along the lines of the OPs point. I think there are a lot of "customers" who would probably love a great complete album, but since those don't exist, might as well pick and choose the hits. Do "album cuts" even exist anymore at all? Songs that weren't singles but become hugely popular anyway? Like The Beatles, for example. So many many classics that weren't singles and weren't meant to be. Maybe Kanye has some album classics? He's supposed to be a genius, but I can't bear to listen to even his hits.
Yeah exactly. That's what I meant by my last sentence. Yes, albums still get released on the regular, fans of Kanye can spend their money on all his experimentations while fans of certain songs can pick and choose. He just can't FORCE people to spend their money on all his experimentations like in the past, in order to gain access to the song or two they like.
Old 26th October 2014
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
He just can't FORCE people to spend their money on all his experimentations like in the past, in order to gain access to the song or two they like.
I suppose in the olden days, people would just buy Kanye's 45s. Then if they wanted the whole album, they could borrow it from someone and make a cassette.

The trouble with the Itunes mentality is that people are probably less inclined then ever to buy a complete album, so the artists are less inclined to even attempt to make one. So really, an album of all "hits" is probably the way to go. But the culture of pop music gets that much weaker.

I'm familiar with most of today's hit songs, but if artists are writing anything interesting or different with their album cuts, I have never heard any of them.
Old 27th October 2014
  #69
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So forcing record buyers to spend money on music they don't like was for the greater good of art in your opinion?

When I bought that 2nd Pearl Jam album and every cut but a few were unlistenable, sounding nothing like what they were known for or the big tracks they promoted from the record, I wasn't enlightened, I was pissed that they'd stolen my 14 year old self's money! And it was the last Pearl Jam record I ever bought. And no, there were no 45's or singles of any sort as an alternative.
Old 27th October 2014
  #70
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Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

I agree with "an album full of nothing but hits doesn't necessarily make a good album."

What makes something a hit is that it sells a lot and/or gets a lot of media exposure (including radio play, of course).

What makes something good is that an individual likes it. Good is always to someone.

So of course one won't necessarily like an album just because it's full of hits.
Old 27th October 2014
  #71
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Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benprogfuse View Post
I told her that I didn't do playlists and that I listen to everything one album at a time and she was astonished and told me that the idea of doing that had never occured to her.


I had friends going back to the 60s who would play individual tracks from albums rather than listening to the whole album . . . although that used to annoy me when I'd hang out with them. It always seemed to me like just watching a scene from the middle of a movie or reading one chapter from the middle of a book and not bothering with the rest.

I suppose I'm on the other extreme though. I see very little as "filler," and I tend to really like most music. I listen to complete releases regardless of what they are. So if it's something like the Madonna "Human Nature" CD-single with 9 different edits, remixes, etc. of the tune that last for 50+ minutes total, I listen to the whole thing from start to finish.
Old 27th October 2014
  #72
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Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
I think your not understanding me, I'm a big fan of quality album cuts, what I'm saying is the most modern records don't have them.
I don't feel that way about music at all. I've always felt that there are very few albums that are not of pretty consistent quality all the way through . . . which is why I've never been able to pick "favorite songs" from particular albums when someone asks. The vast majority of the time I like every tune on an album just about the same amount.

I'm also like that with artists and albums. Most artists are pretty consistent from album to album for me. There are a ton of artists that I consider favorites where I love every album they did. There are a ton that aren't quite favorites where I like every album they did just about the same amount. There are some that I'm more lukewarm about where I feel that way about their whole output. Etc.

Yes, there are some albums where I like some songs far more than others, and some artists where I like some albums far more than others, but those are actually pretty rare for me.
Old 27th October 2014
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
So forcing record buyers to spend money on music they don't like was for the greater good of art in your opinion?

When I bought that 2nd Pearl Jam album and every cut but a few were unlistenable, sounding nothing like what they were known for or the big tracks they promoted from the record, I wasn't enlightened, I was pissed that they'd stolen my 14 year old self's money! And it was the last Pearl Jam record I ever bought. And no, there were no 45's or singles of any sort as an alternative.
I don't know if "forcing" is a fair word. Pearl Jam and their record company put a gun to your head?

I have bought tons and tons of records, and I never once experienced the feeling you had. I personally would never buy Pearl Jam. Their hits don't even interest me.

I have, however, countless times, experienced the magic of different sorts of songs that have been enlightening, and had the artist only been concerned with writing hits, I probably never would have become interested in music in the first place.

I think the big artists now do seem to be only interested in hits, and I imagine it's partly because of the playlist mentality (and partly because it's all they can do anyway). No one can take a chance. The album is essentially, at this point, dead. So pop music albums, as art, seem to be all explosions as of now.

How can one explain Katy Perry being on the biggest selling chart 9 times, and Lennon/McCartney a mere 4?

Partly because Lennon/McCartney, whilst being great hit writers, also spent a lot of time being creative. Sgt. Pepper's had zero singles. And, imo, pop music is/was better for it. You disagree?
Old 7th November 2014
  #74
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Strange Leaf's Avatar
 

I too agree with "an album full of nothing but hits doesn't necessarily make a good album." The proof is all the greatest hits albums that pale in comparison to regular albums by the same artists.
Old 8th November 2014
  #75
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Radiohead "King of Limbs" has no hits and its a great album!
Old 9th November 2014
  #76
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Keys2TheCastle36's Avatar
 

There are some artists and writers whose more obscure songs strike more of a chord with me than their hits. I enjoy a mix of both though.
Old 5th February 2015
  #77
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Benprogfuse's Avatar
So many great responses lately. I want to respond to a few when I have time.
Old 5th February 2015
  #78
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Benprogfuse's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaredCA View Post
I agree. In fact, most of my favourite songs aren't the "hits" on the album. Normally a hit is really attractive since it's repetitive, predictable, instantly apparent of what it is. It feels like you already know the song, so you can get into it right away. The same thing that makes you instantly like it is why we get bored of it pretty quickly.

The non-hits take a few listens to get into...to truly understand what it is. Great non-hit songs are what makes albums for me.

Some of my favourite bands, I remember listening to for the first time and thinking they were terrible. Now, those are the bands where I'm still listening to their music 5 years later.
I absolutely agree and this is also my opinion. This is pretty much why I started this thread.
Old 10th February 2016
  #79
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Benprogfuse's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaredCA View Post
I agree. In fact, most of my favourite songs aren't the "hits" on the album. Normally a hit is really attractive since it's repetitive, predictable, instantly apparent of what it is. It feels like you already know the song, so you can get into it right away. The same thing that makes you instantly like it is why we get bored of it pretty quickly.

The non-hits take a few listens to get into...to truly understand what it is. Great non-hit songs are what makes albums for me.

Some of my favourite bands, I remember listening to for the first time and thinking they were terrible. Now, those are the bands where I'm still listening to their music 5 years later.
I'm surprised that this isn't apparent to most people.
Old 11th February 2016
  #80
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bitman's Avatar
T think every track on the Cars 1st release was on the radio.
Great album. Just what we needed.
Old 11th February 2016
  #81
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It just amazes how people want to QUANTIFY a complete SUBJECTIVE art form and then be astonished why somebody didnt agree with their SUBJECTIVE idea of what a "great" album or "great song" should be as if that person's SUBJECTIVE idea is THE OBJECTIVE end all be all criteria of what a "great album" or "great song" is.

This type of human behavior completely baffles me because I would think grown men would understand that damn near there are no rules to music and all type of songs have been hits that were recorded on horrible mediums or the mix was terrible depending on who you ask so trying to OBJECTIVELY QUANTIFY what is a great "album" or "great song" IS POSSIBLY IMPOSSIBLE.

I just finished reading a thread about the time when Lugo got his Chandler Mixer and was super stoked on it and damn near all the people there sounded like ITB can never sound like analog and Lugo actually believed this himself yet Serban Ghenea, Andrew Scheps, and Tchad Blake are banging out hits with the biggest acts mixing 100% ITB so WTF is going on here???

Its pretty interesting because something is definitely going on that we as human beings have not deciphered yet.

Last edited by Adonis Martine; 12th February 2016 at 02:43 AM..
Old 12th February 2016
  #82
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Owen L T's Avatar
A very interesting discussion.

There were two groups who immediately sprung into my mind as I was reading this thread: Steve Miller Band and Abba.

Steve Miller Band because I went to college (in the US) just as the 80s became the 90s, and for me the sound of Swingtown - followed by Jungle Love, Take The Money & Run (ie the first Greatest Hits album) - is forever the sound of spring, when the New England weather got warm enough that people would open their dorm-room windows, and blast away.

That 'package' or 'collection' is (for me) an 'album', because I've only ever heard those songs in that order. (And, it probably helps that the hits cover a fairly short time-span, with a pretty consistent sound.)

On the other hand, I recently picked up a re-packaged collection of all the Abba albums (excluding any greatest hits), several of which I had on cassette as a kid. And listening back through those, it was ALL about the album tracks for me. Sure, everyone knew the hits, but you could really root for some of the album tracks, the way you can root for a good underdog in a movie.

So maybe a lot of this does come down to our formative experiences (I think Herr Weiss talked about what might happen if useful musical education was taught in all schools). For sure, a lot of it is highly subjective.

Really not sure I added anything to this thread - which is totally unheard of on GS?!
Old 12th February 2016
  #83
Greatest hits packages were a good intro to a band in the days before you could sample every track on youtube or amazon. With great track order selection a hits collection can be just as great a listen as an album. The first album I ever bought with my own money was Duran Duran — Arena, which is a 'Live' best of. I still think it sums up the band perfectly. Apart from their debut, I felt all their albums to be on the patchy side.
Similarly, I've never felt the need the buy a Hot Chocolate album, 20 Hottest Hits covers all their best work.
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