The vinyl lp as an artform

Discussion in 'General Music and Vinyl' started by fritzg, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. fritzg

    fritzg Well-Known Member

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    I can't find the reference, but Little Steven said in an interview that CDs have ruined albums because they are too long. His reasoning is that hardly many artists have more than eight or nine songs good enough to be put out. The approx 45 minute lp perfect length he argues. The longer CD is just too long. Another aspect of the lp lost in the CD and streaming age is that artists paid attention to how long each side was and which songs would be on which side, kinda like acts in a play.

    I think I agree. And this is another reason why I am not too enamored with vinyl records Not specifically made for vinyl, like the Epic by Kamasi Washington.

    So, I don't want to have a digital vs. analog discussion here.

    I want to know which artists/labels are making albums designed to be lps. Newvelle Records does this.

    Who is making vinyl records as an art form itself?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  2. AnthonyI

    AnthonyI Well-Known Member

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    Agreed!
     
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  3. KenKaniff

    KenKaniff Well-Known Member

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    Thank god for The Migos 3XLP of 'Culture II'. I think they recorded it with the same sentiment.
     
  4. uvwxVinyl

    uvwxVinyl Well-Known Member

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    Combine this with ever shorter attention spans and busy lifesfyles and it makes sense. I do enjoy 30-35min albums that I can listen to and focus on uninterrupted.

    All of Kanye's new releases have been conscice 7 track albums with the logic that if they can't wow you with 7 tracks they shouldn't be making music.

    What bugs me though is when they start selling these single LP albums for the same prices as 2LPs.
     
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  5. SKOT_FREE

    SKOT_FREE Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I kind of agree here. Look at most Of the classic jazz albums and they’ll have 5 songs on the whole album. Miles Davis and John Coltrane albums come to mind here. Now if artist has the content to fill out 13 songs fine but a lot of times you get a lot of filler songs.
     
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  6. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    I mean I agree and disagree. I don’t think CDs destroyed the album, I think bloated messes like Use Your Illusions I&II and the popularity of streaming have had a negative impact on the concept of an album.

    Vinyl itself is an art form and often times a completely underutilized one. Sure ADA would be ideal on every release (really in modern times it is ridiculous to expect AAA) but the proliferation of the masses to make music through digital means has hampered even that from being a common thing. Why bother with an 8 track recorder when you can have infinite possibilities on your iPad?

    We’ve created a way for the common man to produce music but taken every bit of the creative process out of it through user friendly programs and digitation of more than just bleeps and bloops.

    The art form of vinyl itself is in the care taken in the last A of the chain. I’ll take a digitally recorded album that was digitally mastered with vinyl in mind over something that was recorded on analog, mastered in analog and then sticky puddied up in the transfer to the record I receive.

    The music itself is the art and the art that is inherent in vinyl should not restrict what the artist does with their music. No, I don’t want an unedited Do Your Thing on two discs at 45 rpm, but I also don’t want Do Your Thing to be stifled by an arbitrary length dictated by what is in fact an archaic and niche delivery system.

    I want musicians to make good music and when the decision is made to put that music on a slab of wax, I want the people who do it to be thinking about that slab of wax and the way it will sound. Too often, the color, packaging and need to strike while the iron is hot override all of that.
     
  7. jaycee

    jaycee Well-Known Member

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    It seems like there's some reasonable logic here. I've been trying to think of a current artist that is intentionally making music to relay their story, their art on the vinyl platform and I'm having trouble finding a definitive yes.

    I agree with the thought that current lifestyles and expectations are playing a role. People tend to expect to do more with less time and have that expectation of others. The desire for convenience is strong.

    That's one of the reasons I wanted to get into listening on vinyl. Slow down. Take the time to read the liner-notes... but I understand that it's a cumbersome choice for people - taking the time to clean everything before the first listen, searching out vinyl, all of the returns of warped product, etc.

    Maybe people's stories are just changing too. A lot of folks relay their existence or the impression of their existence in tweets, instagram photos, text messages... we don't take the time to tell our stories to each other as much with phone calls, evenings spent drinking with others, hanging-out with neighbors.

    I think the metal genre are making art for vinyl. Their fans care about it and the music lends itself to the platform whether it be an opus, or a series of 3 minute songs, but is it intentional? I don't know?

    Some hip-hop and country artists are all about storytelling and having a theme to their albums but again how many are intentionally creating their art based on the vinyl platform?

    The recent Cool Kids: Grandmaster Deluxe seems to be made with vinyl in mind. Each side has a different feel, different production, but it's also a little disjointed imo... anyway I think this could've been intentional to coincide with the 4-sided, 2Xlp format.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  8. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    I read it. I just think saying the art form has been ruined because we don’t limit ourselves is a disingenuous premise. It isn’t a Vinyl versus digital argument, it’s a reality.

    I don’t buy into the worldview which is why I had not posted, but you asked.

    There are plenty of double albums that don’t suffer from their length.

    There were long bloated works before recording existed.

    I also don’t think there is or can readily identify anyone who let only time or format dictate what they did. The earliest albums were collections of singles, the format dictated what comprised their content but did not define them. The Beatles and Beach Boys and Axlerod changed this pretty much single handedly and it’s no surprise that within a few albums, Lennon & the boys and Wilson & the boys were releasing double albums. I’m not familiar enough with Axlerod at this point to understand his intentions or catalog.

    Should the format dictate the art or should the art push the boundaries of the format? I think both play hand in hand.
     
  9. cul8er

    cul8er Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if it was specifically planned for vinyl, but St. Vincent - Masseduction is very well thought out with the order of the songs. I always get a kick out of the last song 'Smoking Section' with the lyrics "it's not the end" repeated over and over like the record is stuck, and clearly it is the end of the record. Also, having seen her show for this tour, St. Vincent was very deliberate and theatrical with these songs.
     
  10. mcherry

    mcherry Spam Slayer ☠️ & Moderator Extraordinaire

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    D’Angelo and the Vanguard - Black Messiah was absolutely made with vinyl in mind.
     
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  11. SKOT_FREE

    SKOT_FREE Well-Known Member

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    To the original point I don’t think CD’s ruined anything In music really, it’s just another medium to deliver the music but it’s highly impersonal. When I hold a CD in it’s plastic case and silver disk, I feel nothing. Everything about CD’s scream artificial. That’s made worse by the realization that I can take that disk, pop it in my PC and download the music off of it and throw it away and burn it to another disk or distribute it freely to someone else to burn.
    What I’m kind of worried about now is that Vinyl becomes a trendy thing and when people find the next thing and vinyl stops selling so well it’s abandoned again.
     
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  12. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    I did not know this. Do you have a source? Because I have a hard time believing an album that was released as a surprise
    Midnight drop was specifically designed to be on vinyl (it’s also a double lp which stretches @fritzg ’s concept)

    Maybe that was part of Kanye’s ploy with the ten song albums this summer (especially since they are being released on vinyl)?
     
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  13. SKOT_FREE

    SKOT_FREE Well-Known Member

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    I think Kanye’s approach is have 10 quality songs rather than 24 mediocre songs. I can go back to Rap albums in the 90’s that follow the same formula and the albums end up having 10 good songs and The obligatory song for the ladies, then the 5 singles on the album that by the time the album comes out are played out. You can usually tell these albums by the fact you have to skip songs which brings me to another thing about Vinyl vs CD which is that Artist had to put more thought into vinyl releases because it was not made to skip songs. You put the needle down, let the side play out, flip it and repeat. With CD it’s easy just to skip on past crappy songs and not much thought is put into how the CD flows.
     
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  14. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    I’ll conflate what I want! :p
     
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  15. mcherry

    mcherry Spam Slayer ☠️ & Moderator Extraordinaire

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    It’s all analog, baby. D’Angelo wanted this thing to be perfect for vinyl.
     
  16. ChristoBee

    ChristoBee Well-Known Member

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  17. waitressboy

    waitressboy Well-Known Member

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    The obvious mention here is Kate Bush. Hounds of Love was clearly made for vinyl: side A is the collection of singles, side B is a conceptual play about a woman drowning. Almost twenty years later she made something similar with Aerial, but she decided to split the album in 2 cds.
     
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  18. JoeMac7

    JoeMac7 Well-Known Member

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    Unlike Hounds of Love though Aerial is too long to fit on a single CD even if she wanted it to.
     
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  19. JoeMac7

    JoeMac7 Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know if I like the premise of the thread. I think that there were overblown/overlong albums well before CDs. Sandinista is a prime example there.

    Also is there anything wrong with sequencing an album for a cd, especially in the period that they were the dominant format. Often older albums didn’t always make sense in the cd era as without the flip there was a often a dip in tempo in the middle of an album. Neither is right they’re just artifacts of their time.

    Singles on the other hand, bring back the 3 mins whatever of the 45...
     
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  20. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    You take back that insult about The Clash!
     

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