Is iTunes Ruining The Concept Of The Album (Not To Mention The Concept Album)?

The Snow Goose

As I type this, I thought you might like to know that I am listening to the below album, on iTunes (new download which appears to do fuck all differently, anyone want to tell me what’s new about 9.2.1?).

tsgimg Is iTunes Ruining The Concept Of The Album (Not To Mention The Concept Album)?

The Snow Goose (or more accurately, “Music Inspired By The Snow Goose“, which got Camel out of legal issues with Paul Gallico) is one of the classic Progressive Rock albums of the 1970′s. Entirely instrumental, it helped shape my own understanding of music, even as a toddler. It uses all the classic concept album tricks, including repeated leitmotifs, lengthy solos, & that most feared of Prog Rock tools -  the orchestra.  It is an album made for listening from start to finish.  The point I make, is that excepting my first listen to any new album I buy, I can’t remember the last time I sat down & listened to an album from start to finish.  The sole reason for this, is iTunes.

There’s no denying that iTunes has enriched my life.  Thanks to it, I now have 21 days’ worth of music on my iBook/iPod.  I always, always shuffle my music; I love it when a tune comes on in the car that I’ve not heard for ages, or if something mentally loud comes on when I’m in the queue in the bank.  Bizarrely, I especially like it if my Italian Linguaphone comes on when someone’s in the car with me.  But I don’t listen to albums through anymore.

Who remembers life Before iTunes?  B.i. you’d go & buy a CD (or for those of us old enough to remember, those big, black CDs you used to be able to buy easily), & listen to it to death.  Every nuance, every clever bit of production or instrumentation would be picked up & cherished.  Nowadays, it’s a life on the go, & sitting down to listen to an album doesn’t get priority.

So if you read this, do me a favour & go put on your favourite album & listen to it through.  As long as it isn’t Seriously Don’t Release This, of course…


  1. admin says:

    Great article. You know, I’d never considered “Best Of” albums; I suppose it is somewhat hypocritical to sue if you release them. Or, for that matter, if you release singles.

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