Six reasons why Bobby Owsisnki thinks the album format died and why they’re (mostly) wrong.

There’s a good music blogger I follow named Bobby Owsinski, and the other day he posted his six reasons on why he thinks the album format died. I commented, but Bobby seems to be one of those bloggers who only posts comments he wants to post (all are moderated by him), so my carefully thought-out counterpoints to his points remain suspended somewhere on the ‘net. But I figure, well, if Bobby won’t share my thoughts, I will! So here they are:

1) Bobby says:It was a visual experience. I say, “I don't see it that way.”

Booby talks a lot about how albums were so much more visual than CDs and while he he has a point, it’s only true for vinyl, not cassettes, which outsold LP vinyl in the end.

2) Bobby says: It was an informational experience too. I say, “True, but see the information above.”

Plus, what about the most important information of all, the music?

3) Bobby says: The demise of the record stores. I say, “Huh?”

Bobby talks about the visual experience of browsing in a record store and how you could see all these albums. Um, last I checked, I want to hear music not see it, and there were many times I bought albums that looked cool only to get them home and hate them. And since record stores would not take albums back, I was stuck. In their last decade of popularity, they made a half-assed effort to let you listen to music before you bought it, but selection was limited, headphones either broke or greasy and seating uncomfortable. No, the death of record stores did not kill albums, it just got rid of a bad business model/approach.

4) Bobby says price. I say, “Dude, ever heard of inflation?”

Bobby cites prices of $3.98 and then a gradual rise as record companies consolidated and, well, it sucks, but that’s what happens. Besides, what’s 1975’s $3.98 in 2010 dollars? $16.19.

5) Bobby says the CD. I say, “You gotta be kidding me.”

Bobby laments that the CD’s extra length over vinyl created too much filler and this made people feel ripped off and disappointed. Maybe, but the total number of good songs on an over-stuffed CD was probably about the same as a decent album. Plus, let’s not forget all the alt-takes CDs allow!

He closes by talking about the arrival Napster and the return full circle of the music business from singles to albums to singles. All in all, I’m not buying much of it, save for the afterthought about Napster. In my opinion, albums are dying, true, but not for the reasons Bobby cites. I’ll post more tomorrow or the next day about why albums are really dying and what that statement even means.

In the meantime, we're bringing Amelia home from the hospital tonight, so I have work to do. Her sister will be chauffeured home tomorrow, fingers crossed!