From Singles to MP3s

Monday May 11th, 2009 / 13:50 Written by

Remember the days when you could buy cassette singles? I used to get excited about buying singles because unlike the full album, the singles only cost a few dollars. And, sometimes the B-side (sorry for the shameless plug) of the cassette single would have snippets of other songs from the forthcoming album. But, as you know, both cassette albums and cassette singles eventually faded. And although cd singles were around for a short while, they eventually faded too. Today, we have several options for purchasing single songs from albums in mp3 format. Perhaps the most popular options are iTunes, Amazon, and Rhapsody.

When singles were released back in the day, they made us want to purchase the entire album when it was later released, even if that meant we wouldn’t like every song on the album. But, with today’s mp3 purchasing options, someone could preview all the songs on an album and only buy half of them. I wonder how often that occurs. I’ve heard several artists say that they place the songs on their album in a certain order to tell listeners a story. I wonder if an album’s story (assuming that there is one) is lost when we only purchase some of the songs. What do you all think?

If that’s not enough to get us talking, I thought of something else too. Since we as buyers have the option of only purchasing the songs we like, do you think some artists’ are tempted to release songs that are trendy in order to increase album sales? Is musical creativity influenced?


About the author

I'm the editor of Finding the B-Side.

View all articles by Mimi

1 Comments on “From Singles to MP3s

  • I loved buying singles! When money was tight, you could just go get a single and you felt like you still had bought a new cassette or cd.

    I agree, about the temptation for an artist to be more trendy. The temptation to hit a “home run” takes away goal of creating those songs that just grow on you after a while. – Great post!

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