Log in

No account? Create an account
Album != LP - Riffs and Licks
Album != LP

In the last few weeks, I've been corrected several times for using the word "album" to refer to a CD. I've been told the usage is outdated and/or inaccurate. So given the chance to do some "obsessive research" as well as indulge two of my favorite geekery topics (music and words), I thought I'd post a photo essay of some items from my album collection.

Tags: , ,
Current Music: Leroy Carr, "Don't Start No Stuff," remastered from a 78

12 comments or Leave a comment
From: couscous1021 Date: September 11th, 2004 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha! Pretty albums. My grandfather liked the Ink Spots, too.

Not that I ever disagreed with your use of the term before, but now I am convinced that "CD" should refer to the medium but "album" is appropriate for any collection.

"The White CD" would not have been used, even if it had been made today. I think it still would have been "album". It's just a feeling I have.

Do you use "record" to describe CDs, too?
steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: September 12th, 2004 07:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I have to admit the pretty albums were at least half the point of the post -- I think the CD versus album point is fairly obvious although I was surprised at the vehemence of some of the people who were "correcting" me. Yes, absolutely: The White Album would still be the White Album, as The Black Album was The Black Album when it came out last year (ditto the Grey Album).

I do occasionally say "record" when I mean CD, which is, in fact, me being Of A Certain Age. Although sometimes I use "record" to mean "record" since I still own and play about a thousand of them.
From: couscous1021 Date: September 16th, 2004 11:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Do you really own a thousand records? Wow- a handed-down tradition from your family, or do you scan the city for them?
steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: September 16th, 2004 12:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been buying records since I was 11 years old, so they add up after a while. I have an iPod now, which gives me a vested interest in acquiring music in digital form; so much of my listening happens on the go that anything not on the iPod just doesn't get listened to as often.

But prior to that, I could buy ten albums for the price of a single CD and often did. When Fantasy/Prestige finally closed out its LP line, they sold off their whole catalog at $2.99 or 5/$10, and I bought a ton of early John Lee Hooker and Lonnie Johnson and all sorts of blues and jazz. As late as 1990 you could still buy lots of Chess reissues at Tower for $3.99 apiece; I would never have been able to accumulate my blues harmonica collection at CD prices.
From: couscous1021 Date: September 16th, 2004 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
one more dumb question and I shall leave you alone. Sorry for being so nosy!

Because of their value, would you listen to those records if you had a few hours at home, or are they for collection purposes only?

You have an impressive array of tastes and what i imagine must be a staggering collection. If you ever joined up with Bill's insane music list...hoo boy. Trouble for all.
steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: September 17th, 2004 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yes, I would listen to them (and I do, when I can). To me, there's something wrong with collecting records that can't be played, or books that can't be read, etc. Some of the older ones I don't play as much anymore because their condition is bad enough that they'd damage my stylus, but otherwise I would play if I had the time.

It's also worth mentioning that very, very few of them are significantly valuable. And "significantly valuable" means they would probably fetch $50 - $100 at auction; I don't have any of the holy grails of record collecting (like the "Butcher" version of Yesterday ... And Today, or really valuable old jazz sides, or blues 78s.

(And as far as being nosy, it would be weird to post here and then be bothered by people responding!)
rednoodlealien From: rednoodlealien Date: September 12th, 2004 05:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Makes sense to me. Although X says "An album is a somehow thematically linked collection of songs, and nowadays they just throw anything on."
Misanthrope. Cynic. Bitch.
steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: September 12th, 2004 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
The idea of thematically linking albums is a sixties invention, pretty much. Up until then, albums were just a few singles plus a bunch of filler tracks. Frank Sinatra's In the Wee Small Hours (1955) is often cited as the first album recorded as a unit, and meant to be listened to in sequence, but it was a rarity at the time. Another early example is Ray Charles' Modern Sounds In Country and Western Music (1962). Both albums should be in anybody's collection.

As long as we're talking about history, I do miss the album side as a unit of music.
From: mikeskliar Date: September 13th, 2004 08:10 am (UTC) (Link)
i gotta shoot ya down there ("flyin high in april, shot down in may", as a certain song goes.... as to sinatra's 'in the wee small hours' being a 'rarity'..in the 50's. Sinatra's recordings on capitol records from about 1965 to 61 -about 13 albums there (!) were almost all thematically linked.. the downbeat ballad 'suicide' albums such as 'only the lonely', 'no one cares', 'close to you', etc.. the swingin' upbeat albums like 'a swingin affair', and the three 'come fly/dance/swing with me albums, etc.... so 'concept' albums were not all that rare... then of course there were popular jazz albums like miles' sketches of spain, and kind of blue, etc.. or the ella fitzgerald songbook series, which were popular enough to sell alot more then jazz is selling now, I bet.

steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: September 13th, 2004 08:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Fair enough. I guess I was thinking that Sinatra was a rarity in doing concept albums of three-minute pop songs in the 50s. Wee Small Hours was also the first of the Capital/Nelson Riddle albums. Interesting that the same company that put out those early concept albums would later destroy some of the Beatles' best albums (especially Revolver) by deleting and rearranging tracks.

In any case, I was thinking mainly of pop. Jazz and classical, with longer-form pieces, gravitated more naturally to the "album."
From: mikeskliar Date: September 13th, 2004 09:23 am (UTC) (Link)
you're right,, sorta.... actually if ya want to be technical, (and its an interesting historical footnote to your whole discussion) , before the 12 inch record was standard for 33 1/3 recordings, record companies played around with ten inch records, of which there were two by sinatra, and arranged by riddle, which came before 'in the wee small hours'- they are entitled 'songs for young lovers' and 'swing easy' and are now available on one cd....

steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: September 13th, 2004 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
They released albums like that every now and then for years. I have the original Black Market Clash which was a ten-inch EP, and my copy of Look Sharp is the original English double-ten-inch set.

PS -- How much of that Sinatra do you have digitally ... hint hint. I bought a huge pile of Capitol and Reprise LPs from a guy at a garage sale when I lived in NJ, but I have none of it on CD.
12 comments or Leave a comment