Monday, September 1, 2008

Brief Rant Of The Day


Why does it take bands so bloody long to release an album nowadays? And don't give me that crap about "quality over quantity", either! Back in the 60's bands would release at least one album a year, a ton of them quality stuff, and that continued into the late 70's. 80's bands started taking a little more time between albums, like two years. I think "The Big Wait" phenomenon started in the 90's, possibly the late 90's, and it was all over but the...waiting.
It used to be that if a band didn't release an album within a couple of years their fickle fans would move onto something else, right? So what happened? Is it expense? Is it that bands are touring longer or is it that they don't have the types of contractual obligations with the labels they used to have anymore?

Please enlighten me with your acumen, oh insightful blog readers. I'd like to know.

5 comments:

Nazz Nomad said...

Bands don't make their money on records anymore. Bands make it touring and through merchandising.
Not much a financial incemtive to spend the $$$$ in the studio when so many people "file share".

ThomG said...

I dunno. But I do Have Urge Overkill in my rotation as well. Great minds?

Uncle E said...

but what good is a tour and merchandising if the bands lose their fan base by not putting out new product on a regular basis? I guess they become the Rolling Stones, eh? Oh well...
Yes Thom, I've recently rediscovered the primal joys of UO...they were a fantastic band.

Nik said...

I dunno, up to two years between albums is fine by me (bands I like such as Guided By Voices/Robert Pollard got to be SO prolific I kind of lost interest), but more than that seems weird. Guns N Roses is a classic example of this trend going madly out of control I think. I'd love to see Bowie put something new out (his last was 5 years ago which is quite long for him, but I guess he's getting up there in years now).Man, I loved Urge Overkill in their heyday too.

Mark said...

I think the longer tours have something to do with it, like when U2 puts out an album, the supporting tour is like a year and a half. (Of course, they're kind of a giant band.)

E, you're definitely right about fans moving on to something else, can you imagine in the 50's or 60's if you had waited 4 years inbetween albums? People wouldn't remember who you were! Whole styles of rock changed in 4 years!

And from what I've read, back in the day, record labels would harass artists for as much product as they could squeeze out of them. Hence the Beatles' typical release schedule of 2 albums of all-new material each year, plus assorted non-album singles. Columbia would hassle Dylan in the 60's, even though he put out Bringing it All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde on Blonde (a double album) within 18 months! Frank Sinatra almost always put out at least 2 new albums each year in the 50's and 60's, plus assorted compilations.

But at some point that changed, and artists had to force labels to put out material. (This is an oversimplifcation, I'm sure.) I've heard that David Bowie basically begged Virgin, his label at the time, to put out his album "Toy." (This was 2000-2001.) And they kept putting the release date back...and it never came out. And this is David Bowie we're talking about, not some no-name artist!