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Why do so many bands do just one double album?!

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Xonty View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 14 2014 at 17:23
Just as it says in the title, why are there so many bands (especially in prog rock) that decide to do one double/very stocky album, and then not do another for a long time or ever again? Did they think that it was a mistake (as it wasn't in most cases) or did they spend too much money on it? Neither seem likely, so why does this happen?!?! Smile Some examples of this are:

Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans
Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
Pink Floyd - The Wall
Mike Oldfield - Incantations
Harmonium - L'Heptade

Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
The Rolling Stones - Exile On Main St.
The Beatles - s/t
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland
(Bob Dylan - Blonde On Blonde)

As always, thanks for any feedback! Tongue


Edited by Xonty - March 14 2014 at 18:07
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Robson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 17:29
^Sorry, but the first LP of Genesis i bought in 1981 was also double - "...and then there were three"

Edited by Rick Robson - March 14 2014 at 17:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 17:33
Originally posted by Rick Robson Rick Robson wrote:

^Sorry, but the first LP of Genesis i bought in 1981 was also double - "...and then there were three"

Confused Unless this is a joke I do not understand, my copy of A TTWT, purchased on vinyl, was a singe LP.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 17:35
Anyhow, back to the OP, I think the answer as to why they did not do many double albums was a simple question of logistics, cost, and time. Also, don't forget, most of these bands were almost permanently on the road, so recording time was rather precious.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 17:35
Ummagumma was a double. 
Tommy was a double


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 17:38
Originally posted by lazland lazland wrote:

Anyhow, back to the OP, I think the answer as to why they did not do many double albums was a simple question of logistics, cost, and time. Also, don't forget, most of these bands were almost permanently on the road, so recording time was rather precious.
They were also expensive to buy so sold fewer copies, the record companies didn't like that because that meant they did chart well, and high chart placing always result in even more sales.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 17:39
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

Ummagumma was a double. 
Tommy was a double



I was thinking the exact same thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Robson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 17:39
Originally posted by lazland lazland wrote:

Originally posted by Rick Robson Rick Robson wrote:

^Sorry, but the first LP of Genesis i bought in 1981 was also double - "...and then there were three"

Confused Unless this is a joke I do not understand, my copy of A TTWT, purchased on vinyl, was a singe LP.
 
Quite surprised hearing that from you, because at least from mine i used to read A LOT all the lyrics ON THE TWO INTERIOR SIDES of it, taking for granted my interest in the english language. It seems this LP releasing was better in my country indeed.


Edited by Rick Robson - March 14 2014 at 17:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 17:43
These days (current time) to release a double album does not make sense for an artist because CD Baby etc. charge you double the amount and also in terms of weight postage is also more expensive.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xonty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 18:05
Originally posted by lazland lazland wrote:

Originally posted by Rick Robson Rick Robson wrote:

^Sorry, but the first LP of Genesis i bought in 1981 was also double - "...and then there were three"

Confused Unless this is a joke I do not understand, my copy of A TTWT, purchased on vinyl, was a singe LP.

Yeah, it's only 50 minutes, and is a single LP. You might have some other edition? I don't know. The Lamb is 94 or something, so it's much stockier than ATTWT, and a double.



Also, Ummagumma was half studio and half live. I see it as 2 different albums really. Even so, there was still a 10 year gap between that and The Wall, and there hasn't been one since then.

P.S. Forgot about Tommy Tongue I'll take it out. You get what I mean though Smile


Edited by Xonty - March 14 2014 at 18:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akamaisondufromage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 18:08
Originally posted by Rick Robson Rick Robson wrote:



Originally posted by lazland lazland wrote:


Originally posted by Rick Robson Rick Robson wrote:




^Sorry, but the first LP of Genesis i bought in 1981 was also double - "...and then there were three"


I
Confused Unless this is a joke I do not understand, my copy of A TTWT, purchased on vinyl, was a singe LP.

 
Quite surprised hearing that from you, because at least from mine i used to read A LOT all the lyrics ON THE TWO INTERIOR SIDES of it, taking for granted my interest in the english language. It seems this LP releasing was better in my country indeed.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Robson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 18:15
Originally posted by Xonty Xonty wrote:

Originally posted by lazland lazland wrote:

Originally posted by Rick Robson Rick Robson wrote:

^Sorry, but the first LP of Genesis i bought in 1981 was also double - "...and then there were three"

Confused Unless this is a joke I do not understand, my copy of ATTWT, purchased on vinyl, was a singe LP.

Yeah, it's only 50 minutes, and is a single LP. You might have some other edition? I don't know. The Lamb is 94 or something, so it's much stockier than ATTWT, and a double.



Also, Ummagumma was half studio and half live. I see it as 2 different albums really. Even so, there was still a 10 year gap between that and The Wall, and there hasn't been one since then.

P.S. Forgot about Tommy Tongue I'll take it out. You get what I mean though Smile
 
Maybe that's it, it is possibly another edition, but unfortunately i don't have my LP of ATTWT anymore, very silly of mine not having my LPs with me anymore, i had a special affair with the double ones, which if i remember well was at least 90 % of my LPs (including that consisted of one only vynil packed in a double folding cover, like ATTWT. Maybe that's what you were meaning...)


Edited by Rick Robson - March 14 2014 at 18:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 18:23
Cost more, sell less?

Anyway, most bands in the seventies were releasing one album each year, sometimes two.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Polymorphia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 18:29
I can imagine that some of them were probably creatively exhausting to make. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HemispheresOfXanadu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 18:54
Originally posted by Polymorphia Polymorphia wrote:

I can imagine that some of them were probably creatively exhausting to make. 
That was my first thought too.

Edited by HemispheresOfXanadu - March 14 2014 at 18:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 22:42
Originally posted by Polymorphia Polymorphia wrote:

I can imagine that some of them were probably creatively exhausting to make. 
I also had the same thought....it's hard enough to come up with one album of good material let alone 2.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 23:41
The Who generated "Tommy" and "Quadraphenia," both brilliant works of music!  I'm still amazed at how much of the instrumentation the band members played themselves (strings, horns etc.).  

Otherwise, I think it tends to be the creative drain as well as lack of support by the industry.  Double albums seemed to be trendy for a while....TFTO, The Lamb, Works etc.  

This is interesting:  Some artists still occasionally produce a large enough quantity of material to justify a double album. For example, progressive rock band The Flower Kings have released four double albums out of eleven studio albums.

It appears that many bands would capture entire concerts and release them as live double albums, which makes sense since it reduces studio costs & offers the consumer an alternative product to the studio version.  

Check out John Coltrane!!  And Frank Zappa!!!



Edited by cstack3 - March 14 2014 at 23:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2014 at 05:47
They are doing it just to mess with you... Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote verslibre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2014 at 12:22
Originally posted by Kati Kati wrote:

These days (current time) to release a double album does not make sense for an artist because CD Baby etc. charge you double the amount and also in terms of weight postage is also more expensive.


Since a CD can hold 80+ minutes, that's plenty of space for an original studio album, equivalent to 4 LP sides of yesteryear. Oftimes 2CD studio albums ooze filler.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2014 at 15:12
Originally posted by Xonty Xonty wrote:

Just as it says in the title, why are there so many bands (especially in prog rock) that decide to do one double/very stocky album, and then not do another for a long time or ever again? Did they think that it was a mistake (as it wasn't in most cases) or did they spend too much money on it? Neither seem likely, so why does this happen?!?! Smile 
 
Nowadays with the CD's being capable of having so much more music, many more albums would be considered "double"!!!!!
 
LP's had a limit of about 20/22/24 minutes or so for the longest time, so anyone wanting to do anything of an extended nature was at the mercy of the record company and their whims.
 
Today this is not an issue since you can put 100 minutes on a CD, and guess what ... that's like 2 and a half LP's.
 
I've mentioned this before. The "double album" thing, created a slight problem. All the symphonies you ever heard by everyone from the last 500 years are now "limited" to the size that the LP has created for them, and I'm waiting to see new recordings of things that follow the music scores, and not the LP subscription of how long it has to be.
 
One of the greatest things in the digital age is seeing these limitations totally gone. Now i want to hear the original Beethoven symphonies without them being trimmed or strictly "following" a pattern (timewise) that we're familiar with!!!
 
Wouldn't that be scary?
 
At the very least this did not happen to "popular music" in its rise to their sales, which is now the "new standard" for what is music and is not! But seeing so many bands these days do long cuts and not be bound by the length is partiularly satisfying for me!
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