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ARSCLIST  September 2014

ARSCLIST September 2014

Subject:

Re: CD time limit - Beethoven

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 9 Sep 2014 13:42:09 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (61 lines)

Hi Paul:

Rock n Roll albums may have started out as "basically 2 - 3 minute songs compiled," but you might 
have missed the 70s and onward! The Rock Album actually started earlier, with groups like the 
Beatles (Sgt. Pepper onward), Moody Blues (Days of Future Past, etc), Zombies, etc. It's true that 
rock and pop music has gone back toward collections of individual songs in the download era, but in 
the CD primetime era, the album concept was taken even further than the 70s because of the 74-80 
minutes of time on a single line-priced CD vs 45 minutes tops on a single line-priced LP. Rock 
double albums were definitely made (and some were quite famous and sold quite well), but it was a 
fight to get the record company to spring for a double album unless you were Pink Floyd, Led 
Zeppelin or Bruce Springsteen. Double live albums were somewhat common, and double-LP greatest hits 
collections were issued occasionally. But most rock artists lived and died on the single-LP format 
in the 70s and 80s.

This is not to say there wasn't always the top-40 hit single, and indeed separate singles mixes have 
always been common. There again, though, once the 45RPM 7" record stopped being the dominant single 
format, the 2-3 minute length went out the window. Find airchecks of 1990s "home of the hits" rock 
FM stations. There are very few 2-3 minute songs being played. It's different for bubblegum pop 
music, that format has always liked the songs short, punchy and effective. I personally can't stand 
99.99% of pop top-40 songs, but I do understand the formula and it's made a lot of people a lot of 
money.

Back to my original point -- just like in the LP era, very few rock groups or musicians could pull 
off excellent 2LP studio albums, very few longer-than-45-minutes rock CDs are undilluted and full of 
stuff that shouldn't have been cut to a 45-minute album. I think that it's very hard to write, 
record and produce much more of a single statement if you are keeping tempos tight, lyrics compact 
and solos edited down to maximum impact.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Paul Urbahns" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2014 12:55 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CD time limit - Beethoven


> Paul Stamler wrote:
>>
>> 5" was also an attractive size because the player for a 5" disc would fit
>> into the standard cutout in a car's dashboard. At the time many cars had
>> radio/cassette players, and the Compact Disc was intended as a replacement
>> for the Compact Cassette, to use the formal names for each format.
>
>
> I agree Paul that makes a lot of sense, and even though  Tom Fine makes a
> case fir Rock music, Rock is basically 2 - 3 minute songs compiled.
>
> I can see where you would take the longest classical piece (they are
> usually played through at once) and develop a playing time to fit. That way
> all the others should.
>
> But as you say physical size was important (where have I heard that line
> before???) and we all remember how important the auto industry was to 8
> Tracks!
>
> Paul Urbahns
> Radcliff, Ky
>
> 

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