Over at Popdose, my current favorite music site, DW Dunphy prophesizes the end of the album as we know it. In a sense, he says the music industry could very well go back to its’ Sixties model, where artists were signed to “singles” contracts (with singles being the primary income source for the label), and albums were generally an afterthought.

The industry’s boom period of roughly 1995-2002 coincided with the death of the commercial single, an industry move that I think is reason #1 for the situation it’s in today. iTunes is popular now not only because it allows people to purchase music without leaving the comfort of their own home (because, lets’ face it, we’re some lazy motherfuckers), but because you don’t have to spend $12.99 on a piece of shit masquerading as an album. The public went along with the “no single” gambit for a short time-it’s how “artists” like Lou Bega, Aqua and Chumbawamba went on to sell millions of records, but the public eventually wised up (and technology helped) and we’re back to what music has always been to the casual fan (and I’m pretty solid in my belief that 75% of music buyers are “casual”)-a question of whether they like a song, not an album or even necessarily an artist.

Does this mean the album as we know it will die? I’m not too sure about that. I’m positive the industry will move towards signing more artists to single deals in the future, but there’s no way that bands like Radiohead, U2, The White Stripes, Kanye West, Dave Matthews Band, Linkin Park…artists who generally make cohesive statements will follow suit, nor will most of the kids influenced by these acts who are just starting out. There’ll be a changing of the guard, to a degree, but I don’t think the album will ever vanish nor will major labels completely stop signing artists to album deals (although they’ll hopefully be a little more discriminating going forward!!)…

Here’s the original Popdose article here: http://popdose.com/dw-dunphy-on-the-end-of-the-album/

(As a sidenote: I am slowly getting settled in a new locale, and we’ll be ramping the entries up here at the Musichelpweb blog, so stay tuned and keep checking often!!)