From Tom Fine: "...In the studio session environment, it was important to
keep track of time for two reasons -- 1)
musician's union rules and 2) length of songs geared to singles..."
Not just singles. You needed an accurate time in order to cut an acetate for
the producer and artist to take home and make their decisions from.
I was very suspicious about the story that several songs on Miles Davis's
"kind of Blue" were accidently released at the wrong speed. I found out from
Walter Selstead, who was in charge of Ampex engineering, that Columbia had
contacted Ampex almost immediately about the speed problem with some of
their new machines. "Kind of Blue" indeed went out with some songs at the
wrong speed but it was clearly a conscious artistic choice and could not
have been an oversight.
Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!