Music: How we bought it through the years. Plus: ‘What is an ‘album?’

Posted 21 Feb 2011 in Music + TV News

Albums? No, an ‘album’ does NOT mean vinyl.  For years our radio friends would refer to the music they played as ‘albums.’ Stick around for something from the new Genesis album, or That was ”Song For My Brother’ from the Shadowfax album, ‘Watercourse Way.’

Then as the 80s were ending, so was the way that radio gave us our music.  They were making the transition from playing vinyl to compact disc. It cost them a good penny and they were proud of it!  Maybe their competitor down the dial hadn’t made the transformation?

So even thought they were playing ‘albums’ they started referring to the music they played as CDs. That was ‘Ramona’ from the new ‘NRBQ’ CD, ‘Wild Weekend we’d hear.’ They wanted to tell the listener that what they heard was off a compact disc, and not vinyl.

So little by little we lost the term ‘album.’  Now if you say it people look at you funny. But a CD is an album.  A band releases a new album and, through the years, could have been released in one of many formats. Such as LP, 8-track tape, cassette tape or now CD.

Bottom line… an ‘album’ is a ‘collection’ of something, be it photos or pieces of music.

You don’t see the Grammy’s calling it ‘CD of the year’ do you?

Click to enlarge

How have we been buying them.  Here’s is an interesting graph produced by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Not only does it show how the sales are broken down, but it also shows a very bleak picture on how they’ve ‘broken down.’

You can see that we’ve gone from a peak of nearly ‘four’ annual sales per capita in 2000 to about 1.5 in 2009.  ‘Ouch Babe’

Larry Carta

Posted by Larry Carta


  1. StevenCee (25 Nov 2011, 13:32)

    You are absolutely right, and I’ve been using the word “album” forever, and letting people know a CD IS an “album”…. But then, awareness of what what lots of words mean has deteriorated so greatly, it’s almost a lost cause…. But it sounds so weird to say “our next CD”, etc, it’s like saying “our next cassette” or “our next 8-track”, especially since CDs will soon fall by the wayside. Then what will people say, “our next collection of mp3s” or “our next bunch of downloads”? Maybe ALBUMS will make a big comeback….

    • Larry Carta (25 Nov 2011, 23:11)

      That’s a GREAT point. This is off our collection of MP3s! Perfect. Well done!!!!

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