LONG LIVE LONG PLAY
John Jenkins (Letters, last month) was complaining about the missing Ray Charles albums on CD. However, Charles is not the only artist being victimised in this way. The record industry is all about hits these days, and churning out the same titles in different packages. Check out any artist of merit and you’ll find scant few classic originals in print, most likely three or four times as many compilations of essentially the best known hits from his or her catalogue.
The business has always been geared towards hits, but the advent of downloading means the emphasis is not only on hits, but also on ‘tracks’. The album as a work of art has been devalued almost to the point where it no longer exists. I noticed a change in my own listening habits a few years ago as I was spending more time with my iPod than my turntable, largely because I can listen to my iPod at work. I was still buying vinyl but began to miss the experience of hearing an album from start to finish as conceived by the artist.
So I made a decision to stop loading tracks into my iPod, and began downloading complete albums instead. In the process, I’ve rediscovered many great songs I’d not listened to in years. Just because technology has changed, does not mean the album has to die.
Also in the same issue was a letter complimenting your piece on Bowie’s Hunky Dory album. At work, and before I’d read that letter, I listened to Hunky Dory, McCartney’s Ram, and Harrison’s All Things Must Pass on my iPod only to read his letter afterwards mentioning all three, and asking for similar pieces in RC. I’d not listened to those albums start-to-finish in quite some time, and I think it was the article on the Bowie LP that triggered it.
That’s the real value to me in a magazine like RC. You or your readers will mention something which will result in repeating a great listening experience. You can’t put a price on that.
Nobody should wonder why RC has lasted 30 years or why it’s (almost to the point of absurdity) so much better than every other magazine out there. I hope I live 30 more years so I can keep reading Record Collector.
by Tim Frueh
<< Back to Issue 365
You might also like:
- DVD REVIEW: Fats & Friends by Fats Domino, Ray Charles & Jerry Lee Lewis
- ALBUM REVIEW: Genius + Soul = Jazz by Ray Charles
- BOOK REVIEW: Kennedy’s Blues: African-American Blues & Gospel Songs On JFK by Guido Van Rijn
- DVD REVIEW: Live In France 1961 by Ray Charles
- ALBUM REVIEW: Rare Genius by Ray Charles
- ALBUM REVIEW: Rhythm & Blues: The Early Recordings 1949-1955 by Ray Charles
- LETTER: Shame About Ray
- ALBUM REVIEW: The Genius Hits The Road by Ray Charles