Is the album is dying? This guy says it’s dead.

Everywhere I read about the music industry (blogs, tweets, magazines and newspapers) pundits have been saying the album is dying. This guy says it’s dead.

In a few straight-forward statements, Bob Lefsetz lays it out. In a Variety article, he uses sales data from the recent releases by Katy Perry, Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Paul McCartney, Lorde and others to make the point that people don’t care about concept albums anymore. And if your album is just a collection of unrelated songs, they care even less. People want a hit song. If you give them one, they’ll ask for another one, not a throwaway cut from the same album.

No one had more hype than Miley Cyrus, but “Bangerz” didn’t even sell 45,000 copies in its fourth week of release. She can go on “SNL,” tweet her life away, but it’s not moving the needle. Lorde is selling as much as Miley without the benefit of scorched earth, proving quality music is as good as hype. But Lorde isn’t burning up the chart either.

We’ve turned into a nation of grazers. And the artist’s job is to constantly be at the smorgasbord. Not to deliver one big meal that is picked at and thrown away, but to constantly provide tantalizing bites to the public.

Read Bob Lefsetz’s Variety article here.


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3 Responses to “Is the album is dying? This guy says it’s dead.”

  1. Jon McAuliffe Says:

    The “Industry” and “NashVegas” continue to tell “artists” what is and is not real and then we’re all supposed to genuflect. A huge number of us, who couldn’t care less about radio’s crap-laden idea of a hit single or Miley Cyrus for that matter, but who write, sing and perform because we love to and because we believe in the power of song, will continue to record “albums” of the songs that audiences respond to regardless of somebody’s self-imagined “smorgasbord.” Art and commerce have never had much in common anyway. This ‘singles only’ mentality, too, shall pass away. Probably when artists stop kowtowing to an industry that has destroyed the idea of creating quality music. It isn’t always about $ucke$$.

  2. Mahesh Songwriter Says:

    The kind of music the majority of the audience is expecting has changed so drastically in the past few years that it really is very sad. Bob could not have said it any better. The public now constantly asks for tantalizing bites of music. It more has to do with the impatience that this generation has brought. If you think about it now, it’s just too rare that a non-musician just sits and listens to an entire album and simply appreciate it. ( I know it is not happening where I live ). I really do hope this changes.

  3. DW Says:

    It’s too bad that people feel that way. I LOVE albums; especially when all the songs point to a particular mood or message the artist is trying to convey. I feel like that as everyone wants things “right now”, this is becoming a lost art for our culture.

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