Rock History

What Would Pink Floyd Think?

I am old enough to remember record cover art and I remember that it actually was significant to me as a rock and roll fan at the time. Checking out the latest Rush or Pink Floyd record, the excitement of the 6 different covers to Led Zeppelin’s In Through The Out Door or the cutouts on Some Girls by the Stones were all part of the fun of buying records. It seems I’m not the only one who misses this. Great Tunes, but Where’s the Cover? really made me nostalgic for the craft of putting an album together. From the music, to the sequencing, to the cover art and the liner notes, there was a crafstmanship that doesn’t seem as noticeable today and the trend to downloads will all but kill this artform. I guess I’m just showing my age.

One reply on “What Would Pink Floyd Think?”

You’re exactly right. Downloading kills the concept of the album and the artistic expression that went into the entire package. Not only that, but from what I understand, some MP3 players and some download services don’t allow for an album to be played in sequence (without some fiddling with the actualy files). That means all the work that the band and producer put into sequencing the song is thrown out the window. I can’t imagine listening to some albums out of sequence. The entire experience is changed, and in some cases for the worst.

But, alas, I think we’re sounding old fashioned, Mark. People will get so used to streaming and downloading that the packaging of an album will become less important. I don’t think, however, that physical album (CD, LP, whatever) will completely go away. But I wouldn’t be surprised if in ten years half of all album sales were digital. (For all the tech freaks who think the CD will be completely gone, don’t bet on it. The same thinking fueled the rabid funding of countless dot-coms, and look where they are now. The physical CD–or whatever the format–will be around for years.)

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