On 19th June 1948 the world woke up to a new kind of album – one that would change the way they perceived and listened to music forever! People were used to buying an album of 10-15 78s as pictured below but suddenly they could buy a single 33⅓ LP instead. But the album had been welded into the collective subconscious so the album continued to be used for the latest release of a new collection of songs but it changed the way the world perceived and listened to music forever! Although the single product containing a collection of songs got smaller & smaller and contained more & more over the years – from LP to cartridge to cassette tape to CD to DVD to USB Stick to SD Card in your Smart Phone – the big step had been taken with the coming of the LP! One thing containing a whole collection of songs which were more convenient to produce, collect and play.
On 19th June 2016 I discovered why we refer to the latest recording of a pop group as their latest album! I happened upon and read with fascination the following article on the internet.
The Long Playing album (LP) was born in the early 20th century after technological innovations, governmental restrictions and marketing strategies to boost sales. The name still lives today and remains the industry standard even though our way of listening to music evolved as formats changed through the years, but have you ever wondered why it was called an album?
Plain and simple, in the early days of recorded music, the standard format was 78 RPM 10 inch discs that contained only a few minutes of music on each side, so when one wished to buy a complete classical symphony for example, the master piece came in a collection of many records and these discs usually were sold in a cardboard album where the discs were placed in individual sleeves, attached to the book like the pages of a photo album.
So why do we still call it an album if records have obviously not been sold in such packaging for the past 60 years? The story all started when Columbia popularized the new Long Playing Microgroove format in 1948 where all fifteen 78 RPM discs of an album would fit on one single record. From then on, the music industry was changed forever – EVERYTHING changed – the way music was sold, packaged, recorded, composed and listened to… Albums simply became soundtracks to each of our lives. As Travis Elborough so smoothly explained: “the album was welded in our collective consciousness“. Emile Berliner could never have imagined that by creating a disc format that could be mass reproduced, the world would be changed, generations at a time. Read more […]