A few days ago, I had dinner* with the publicist of a certain famous opera singer. The conversation went something like this:
Publicist: “My artist is the most talented person I’ve ever worked with. Did you listen to their new album?”
Me: “I tried to. I got five tracks in and had to turn it off. The singing was really good, but the sequence of massive arias just got a bit overhwhelming.”
Publicist: “Yeah. I can’t listen to it all the way through either – but it is really good.”
Possible conclusions here include:
1) A large potential customer base exists, made up of people with a greater incentive to listen to the record than two people who have worked hard to rise to the top of their respective professions so they can get paid to listen to it.
2) We probably shouldn’t make records that we can’t even bring ourselves to listen to.
* I had the risotto. No foam 😉
3) an album is a collection – or a bundle – not a performance. Who says you have to listen to them all at one sitting? Even last-century cd players allowed you to choose the tracks you wanted to listen to and now you can even just buy the tracks you want to download. At last he who pays the piper really can call the tune. Though that’s not always a good thing. The attraction of albums over selected tracks to dumbasses like me who pay to listen is that I often discover tracks on these collections that I was not familiar with – and come to like a previously unknown track on an album more than the trite tune I bought it for and have rapidly grown sick of.
That is the problem with the bleeding chunks that make up most recital discs.