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album length

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  • progjeff2000
    ... i find it really hard to maintain concentration on one album for more than an hour. I ve often wondered why many artists insist on filling a CD, or even
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 1, 2003
      Jerry wrote in response to Bice and me:

      > I couldn't agree more!!!
      i find it really hard to maintain concentration on one album for more
      than an hour.

      I've often wondered why many artists insist on filling a CD, or even
      releasing double CDs (*cough* Flower Kings *cough*), if all of the
      material isn't top notch. Granted, maybe they feel that they can't
      tighten things up any more, but 75 minutes (and in some cases, 130
      minutes) is a lot of music to pack onto a disc, especially if there is
      only 50 minutes of quality stuff in there.

      Looking through my collection, pretty much all of my favorite CDs are
      in the 40-60 minute range, with a few clocking in at under 40. And,
      for the record, a good many of my favorites have been released in past
      15 years, thus negating the old "time restraints of vinyl" argument

      - Jeff
    • Jerry Harkey
      ... is ... are ... past ... And I ve often wondered what length the classics - Supper s Ready , Close to the Edge , Tarkus - would have wound up had CD
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 1, 2003
        Jeff wrote:
        >
        > I've often wondered why many artists insist on filling a CD, or even
        > releasing double CDs (*cough* Flower Kings *cough*), if all of the
        > material isn't top notch. Granted, maybe they feel that they can't
        > tighten things up any more, but 75 minutes (and in some cases, 130
        > minutes) is a lot of music to pack onto a disc, especially if there
        is
        > only 50 minutes of quality stuff in there.
        >
        > Looking through my collection, pretty much all of my favorite CDs
        are
        > in the 40-60 minute range, with a few clocking in at under 40. And,
        > for the record, a good many of my favorites have been released in
        past
        > 15 years, thus negating the old "time restraints of vinyl" argument


        And I've often wondered what length the classics - 'Supper's
        Ready', 'Close to the Edge', 'Tarkus' - would have wound up had CD
        media been available then. Composition and editing no doubt
        influenced those tracks due to the "time restraints of vinyl".

        Imagine 'Tales from Topographic Oceans': four songs, four CDs, 300
        minutes. Whew.

        Imagine 70 minutes of 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida'. No thanks.


        JH
      • progjeff2000
        ... Conversely, maybe TfTo or The Lamb might have been edited a bit to fit onto one CD, which might have worked in their favor. (Somehow I think Yes wouldn t
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 1, 2003
          --- In ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry Harkey" <harkey@c...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          > Imagine 'Tales from Topographic Oceans': four songs, four CDs, 300
          > minutes. Whew.

          Conversely, maybe TfTo or "The Lamb" might have been edited a bit to
          fit onto one CD, which might have worked in their favor. (Somehow I
          think Yes wouldn't have gone this route tho - they would have bloated
          it even more. They probably would have based the album on the whole
          stinking bibliography rather than just the lengthy footnote) Genesis
          "Live" would most certainly have featured the long rumored version of
          "Supper's Ready" that was initially pressed, then scrapped


          > Imagine 70 minutes of 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida'. No thanks.
          >
          >

          Or 78 minutes of Pictures at an Exhibition, featuring Emerson's "Moog
          improvisation variation 1 and 2 on Baba Yaga Theme" or some other
          nonsense (with some more of Lake's lyrics). Ick.
        • Noah Lesgold
          ... The main thing I usually notice is that shorter CDs get played a lot more in the week or so after I get them, and thus get a better chance to make an
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 1, 2003
            On Wed, 1 Oct 2003, progjeff2000 wrote:

            > Looking through my collection, pretty much all of my favorite CDs are
            > in the 40-60 minute range, with a few clocking in at under 40. And,
            > for the record, a good many of my favorites have been released in past
            > 15 years, thus negating the old "time restraints of vinyl" argument

            The main thing I usually notice is that shorter CDs get played a lot
            more in the week or so after I get them, and thus get a better chance to
            make an impact. There are a bunch of CDs that break that rule, though.
            Mogwai's _Young Team_ is around 70 minutes and I spun that like crazy
            after I got it. I think the real answer is that you shouldn't fill up
            the CD unless you have quality material to do it with, but if you do, go
            for it. This is why many double CDs are awful. It is not because they
            are long, it is because many times the people making them have no sense
            of quality control or editing.

            --
            Noah Lesgold http://nlesgold.freeshell.org/
            nlesgold@... AIM/Y!: nlesgold ICQ: 132716231

            "Your brother gave you devices of mass destruction for your birthday and
            you don't see anything wrong with that?"
            "It's the thought that counts." --Adventurers! (www.adventurers-comic.com)
          • Jerry Keller
            this thread reminds me of johnny winters second winter which was a 2 lp set but one side was blank. in the liner notes he basically said this was the best
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 1, 2003
              this thread reminds me of johnny winters "second winter" which was a 2 lp set but one side was blank.
              in the liner notes he basically said this was the best stuff and thats all he wanted to give.
              good thinking.
               
              jerry
               
              np    strawbs      baroque and roll 
               
            • Joseph Shingler
              The debate about album length has always troubled me. In my opinion an album is as long as an album is. It is not our place to second guess, edit, or put a
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 1, 2003
                The debate about album length has always troubled me.
                In my opinion an album is as long as an album is.
                It is not our place to second guess, edit, or put a time restriction on an artists work. That's what AM radio did in the 50s' and 60s'. Demanding that songs come in under the three minute range. 
                But progressive rock is a genre that allows an artists to extend his palet as he or she sees fit. And whether it takes four sides or two sides to create a work like "Topographic Ocean", that is totally up to the artists composing the work. Progressive Rock is not a genre for a person with a short attention span.
                Even the great classical symphonies have mediocre moments which may not be as dazzling as the movement that preceeded it - but when taken as a whole the works have become timeless masterpieces.
                I'm among the few who enjoy the bloated double CDs of The Flower Kings. These guys provide their fans with 'more for the money'. A double CD from The Flower Kings is usually around the same price as a single disc from a popular pop rock group or rap artist. So if you don't like a song or two - simply program the player to skip the track. 
                I for one - choose to listen to the entire CD. Although I find myself skipping a few track as well on "Flower Power".
                 
                Joe Shingler/Ghosts Of Pompeii
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 7:15 AM
                Subject: [ProgAndOther] album length

                Jerry wrote in response to Bice and me:

                > I couldn't agree more!!!
                i find it really hard to maintain concentration on one album for more
                than an hour.

                I've often wondered why many artists insist on filling a CD, or even
                releasing double CDs (*cough* Flower Kings *cough*), if all of the
                material isn't top notch. Granted, maybe they feel that they can't
                tighten things up any more, but 75 minutes (and in some cases, 130
                minutes) is a lot of music to pack onto a disc, especially if there is
                only 50 minutes of quality stuff in there.

                Looking through my collection, pretty much all of my favorite CDs are
                in the 40-60 minute range, with a few clocking in at under 40. And,
                for the record, a good many of my favorites have been released in past
                15 years, thus negating the old "time restraints of vinyl" argument

                - Jeff




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              • progjeff2000
                ... on an artists work. That s what AM radio did in the 50s and 60s . Demanding that songs come in under the three minute range. I m not saying there should
                Message 7 of 8 , Oct 1, 2003
                  --- In ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com, "Joseph Shingler"
                  <josephshingler@s...> wrote:
                  >
                  > It is not our place to second guess, edit, or put a time restriction
                  on an artists work. That's what AM radio did in the 50s' and 60s'.
                  Demanding that songs come in under the three minute range.

                  I'm not saying there should be a time restriction, rather an artist
                  shouldn't feel obligated to pad out a CD.

                  > Progressive Rock is not a genre for a person with a short attention
                  span.

                  Huh. You lost me there? Where was I? Oh yeah....

                  > Even the great classical symphonies have mediocre moments which may
                  not be as dazzling as the movement that preceeded it - but when taken
                  as a whole the works have become timeless masterpieces.

                  Again I will politely disagree. My all-time favorite albums tend to
                  clock in at <50 minutes. Usually for an album to qualify as an
                  all-timer, it has to have no weak spots as I tend to listen to stuff
                  from start to finish. Anglagard's Epilog works so well because it is
                  only 44 minutes long - no padding whatsoever. Ditto for Anekdoten's
                  Nucleus. Had they thrown a meandering improv in to make it 60 minutes
                  long, it could detract from the album. A better example might be
                  NeBeLNeST (oh boy, here he goes again with the Nebels...) - the first
                  album has fifteen minutes dedicated to improvs, most are kindof
                  pointless. In particular, the long one that closes the album does
                  pretty much nothing and doesn't quite close out the album the way that
                  "Crab Nebula" might have. On the second album, they trimmed out the
                  improvs, incorporating a terrific percussion improv into the beginning
                  of the final song - which eventually builds into a spectacular finale
                  for the song and the album.



                  > A double CD from The Flower Kings is usually around the same price
                  as a single disc from a popular pop rock group or rap artist.

                  While that is true, there is still a lot of down time on your average
                  FloKings release. I find that a lot of their songs either lose steam
                  about midway through, or just jam on a certain theme(the latter is not
                  necessarily a bad thing. YMMV but I prefer tighter compositions).
                  Pretty much every review you read of their stuff - including the
                  glowing positive ones - will concur to this point as well.

                  In short (well, okay, I guess I should say "In long..."), I prefer
                  quality over quantity.

                  - jeff

                  NP: Magma, MDK, not a weak moment in its 38 minutes
                • Don Arnold
                  Hi all, I ll chime in here. It s a good discussion point for progheads given the shunning of 3m/45s songs for radio airplay. I should interject my own
                  Message 8 of 8 , Oct 1, 2003
                    Hi all,

                    I'll chime in here. It's a good discussion point for
                    progheads given the shunning of 3m/45s songs for radio
                    airplay. I should interject my own writing here to
                    suggest there are many fine prog pieces in that time
                    range, like "Boys in the Band" on Gentle Giant's
                    Octobus album.

                    I also really enjoy the FK's music, long songs
                    included. True, they don't always work, just as some
                    shorter pieces by any band don't always work.
                    Speaking to the longer songs, if there's a melody or
                    groove that I'm enjoying, and the band wants to
                    embellish that melody, stringing it out, coming back
                    to it several times, then great. I think both 'epics'
                    on Unfold the Future are superb. I don't give as high
                    a grade on all the other pieces though, but there's
                    still some pretty good stuff packed in between those
                    two longer songs.

                    I basically agree with Joe below in that the
                    musician's offering is their 'art'. It's from their
                    mind and heart, not something that's dictated by a
                    producer who wants a certain sound to match the trend
                    or to make for the best sell. As consumers, we can
                    all choose to buy it or not.

                    In conclusion, I never pay too much attention to the
                    length of a CD when I'm buying or nor when I'm playing
                    it. At any given time, I might want to listen to a
                    symphonic offering from the FK, or a more aggressive
                    sound from the likes of Dream Theatre, or Therion,
                    etc. If it's a longer CD, and I've had enough after
                    60 minutes, then I'll just press the stop button.
                    Another time, I may want to play it again!

                    I'm not sure how articulate I've been but for whatever
                    it's worth....

                    Don Arnold
                    Victoria, BC


                    --- Joseph Shingler <josephshingler@...>
                    wrote: > The debate about album length has always
                    troubled
                    > me.
                    > In my opinion an album is as long as an album is.
                    > It is not our place to second guess, edit, or put a
                    > time restriction on an artists work. That's what AM
                    > radio did in the 50s' and 60s'. Demanding that songs
                    > come in under the three minute range.
                    > But progressive rock is a genre that allows an
                    > artists to extend his palet as he or she sees fit.
                    > And whether it takes four sides or two sides to
                    > create a work like "Topographic Ocean", that is
                    > totally up to the artists composing the work.
                    > Progressive Rock is not a genre for a person with a
                    > short attention span.
                    > Even the great classical symphonies have mediocre
                    > moments which may not be as dazzling as the movement
                    > that preceeded it - but when taken as a whole the
                    > works have become timeless masterpieces.
                    > I'm among the few who enjoy the bloated double CDs
                    > of The Flower Kings. These guys provide their fans
                    > with 'more for the money'. A double CD from The
                    > Flower Kings is usually around the same price as a
                    > single disc from a popular pop rock group or rap
                    > artist. So if you don't like a song or two - simply
                    > program the player to skip the track.
                    > I for one - choose to listen to the entire CD.
                    > Although I find myself skipping a few track as well
                    > on "Flower Power".
                    >
                    > Joe Shingler/Ghosts Of Pompeii
                    > ----- Original Message -----
                    > From: progjeff2000
                    > To: ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 7:15 AM
                    > Subject: [ProgAndOther] album length
                    >
                    >
                    > Jerry wrote in response to Bice and me:
                    >
                    > > I couldn't agree more!!!
                    > i find it really hard to maintain concentration on
                    > one album for more
                    > than an hour.
                    >
                    > I've often wondered why many artists insist on
                    > filling a CD, or even
                    > releasing double CDs (*cough* Flower Kings
                    > *cough*), if all of the
                    > material isn't top notch. Granted, maybe they feel
                    > that they can't
                    > tighten things up any more, but 75 minutes (and in
                    > some cases, 130
                    > minutes) is a lot of music to pack onto a disc,
                    > especially if there is
                    > only 50 minutes of quality stuff in there.
                    >
                    > Looking through my collection, pretty much all of
                    > my favorite CDs are
                    > in the 40-60 minute range, with a few clocking in
                    > at under 40. And,
                    > for the record, a good many of my favorites have
                    > been released in past
                    > 15 years, thus negating the old "time restraints
                    > of vinyl" argument
                    >
                    > - Jeff
                    >
                    >
                    >
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