Rupert sent me something about the iPod today. It was someone moaning about how the iPod and iTunes was devaluing the importance of the album. Me, I couldn’t be happier.
There is a school of thought that says, in terms of Rock’n’Roll, that it was all downhill after Little Richard. Or Elvis. Or one of those dudes anyway. It’s a seductive argument, not least because the time of early rock’n’roll was one dominated by the single. And man, were there not some classic singles?
Of course there were classic singles in the ‘60s too. And the ‘70s, ‘80s and yeah yeah, you get the idea. But somewhere along the line, the perceived value of ‘the album’ came along. People thought that rock’n’roll and Pop had to grow up, become more mature. And whilst for sure that idea of striving for something greater than the three minute Pop song led the medium into intriguing avenues and left us lasting monuments, it also led into the realm of concept albums and long winded expanses of extreme tedium. Need I say more?
So I say Hurrah! for the iPod and iTunes as our newest champion in the triumph of the Pop song over the self-indulgent boredom of the Rock album. Wear your white ‘phones with pride, kids.