googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: The LP As Art

The LP As Art

Recording an album seems obsolete these days, that is, recording ten to twelve songs that are suppose to flow together to form a stylistic or narrative whole has been replaced by recording singles. And singles these days doesn't even mean a two sided record with two songs but one song and more and more as a digital download.

There use to be different kinds of songs that could make up an album. They were placed strategically to allow for pacing and dynamics, that was called sequencing. The different types of songs, all of which could be on the same album were;

The Opener - This was the "theme song" of the album. Some famous ones are Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles or Doolin Dalton by The Eagles. These songs set the tone and paint a picture of the show to come.

The Rocker or Raver - This song was the exciting, uptempo tune that got people out on the dance floor. An example was The Beatles' I Saw Her Standing There and Twist And Shout.

The Ballad - After a couple of exciting opening numbers it's time to slow it down and as if in a screenplay, time to introduce the love interest. This is the love song and there can be one per side (or two on a CD) but much more and you've got a Best Of Bread Cd.

The Hit - Record companies used to want this to open a side of an album because it's easier to cue up for a radio station and therefore has the most chance to become a hit. If you've ever wondered why a particularly lame song on an album loaded with much better material has become the hit, notice if it is the first song on a side (Bennie And The Jets). The second most played songs on an LP are the last songs on a side since getting out in time isn't so crucial for a DJ.

The Novelty Song - Many times the Novelty Song becomes a hit but when heard in context with the rest of the album it sticks out not as hit material, but as a sore thumb. Yellow Submarine by The Beatles and Suffragette City by David Bowie are two Novelty Songs that sound like they should be on different albums than Revolver and The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

The Instrumental - An instrumental song or even a small instrumental interlude adds a cinematic feel to an album. If the vocal songs are the "scenes" the instrumental is the soundtrack transition between them. Some bands have such extensive instrument introductions to their songs or such extended solos that the instrumentals are built in automatically. Flying on The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour album makes that album feel like the soundtrack album it actually is.

The Reprise - A reprise is a repeat of all or some of a song already heard. Using a reprise ties the album together and announces the end. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Reprise and Doolin Dalton Reprise are two famous ones.

The Cover Tune - Having a cover song (a song that was previously a hit by another artist) on your CD helps your audience discover where you're coming from. David Bowie did an entire album of covers called Pin Ups as his seventh album. It wasn't that he ran out of original compositions to record but that he wanted to claim as his own all the songs that influenced him such as See Emily Play by Pink Floyd. He chose songs that already sounded like "Bowie" songs and that gave his audience an instant way to relate to his otherwise alien sounded music.

The Filler - Filler is a derogatory term that refers to the songs on an album that seem like they're just filling space (and time). If you don't make it your own, a cover song can very often sounds like filler. You don't want anything on your CD that comes off as filler, rather, shoot for more Hits.

The Art Song - The Art Song is really what an LP (Long Player) is for. Artists that have a mind to can utilize the 42 minutes an album provides (as oppose to 4 minutes a side for a seven inch single) to explore and experiment. These songs usually stand out as being different than the rest of the material, more poetic and a lot longer. They are usually placed as the last song on a side. Some famous Art Songs are The Beatles' A Day In The Life, David Bowie's The Bewlay Brothers and Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven.

The combination of these songs as well as the order of their placing in relation to each other on a CD is what makes some CDs stand as works of art rather than just a collection of individual songs.


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