There was an blurb I was reading about yet another dying art. In today's technological advances and computerized mindset, the symmetry of an artist's efforts on an album are endangered. Tom Petty was recently interviewed in Rolling Stone regarding online sources for downloading single songs at a buck a pop. I, myself have enjoyed this new commodity a lot. Works great for a lot of new stuff that are one-hit wonders or today's pop music. Even checking out a new artist here or there.
I would easily blow $100 a month bare min. on music; first vinyl, then cassettes, cd's, and now I've averaged about $30 a month on single downloads. Considering the money - I've save 70% by purchasing music this way. HOWEVER, have I lost more in the long run?
Many musicians have hidden masterpieces on a record that never see any airtime. You find these little gems by letting the CD shuffle about while your cleaning the house and go "WOW, that's a great song!" Not only that but how many artists do you know or you can think of that place songs strategically on an album that plays a story within the story? If you only read a page of a book do you grasp the whole concept?
Janet Jackson, from the jump (Control, actually) conceived a record that needed to be heard in the whole. She rec'd plenty of air time however if you actually played the entire album you'd find the bigger story - independence, coming into adulthood, the emotions and little hurdles that come up. Take a song on its own and it was good; put it in the mix and it was brilliant. She's done that with EVERY single cd since.
Another example of this is Fleetwood Mac's Rumors. Everyone knows the gossip, drama, and heartbreak surrounding its creation. The buzz that the band was dismembering over the McVie's divorce and Buckingham / Nicks separation. The pain and anger and emotional twists are all there to be heard in the album. Again, each song on it's own stands up against the test of time, no less. But it makes you feel so much more when you play the songs back to back in the order they were intended. Tit for tat, wish you the best, let's be bigger than this - it's all in there.
I still buy CDs now and again. I rarely buy new, mostly go to resale places or Amazon and ebay. I'm still a consumer that looks for the best deal, duh?! But to have the liner notes in hand and the artwork in its case, nothing replaces that - especially a sharpie on a maxell disc.