by Bobby Owsinski
Excerpt adapted from Music 3.0, A Survival Guide for Making Music in the Internet Age by Bobby Owsinski, published by Hal Leonard Books.
[Ed note: Throughout this excerpt there are references to M1.0, M2.0, etc. Owsinski defines these as follows: Music 1.0 is the first generation of the music biz, where the product was vinyl, the artist had no direct contact with the buyer, and radio was the primary source of promotion. M1.5 is the second generation, where the product was primarily CDs. M2.0 saw the beginnings of digital music and peer-to-peer networks. M3.0 is the current generation, in which the artist can communicate, interact, and sell directly to the fan.]
M3.0 requires new thinking regarding song releases. If we go back to the ’50s, vinyl singles had a notoriously fast manufacturing turnaround time, despite the labor-intensive process required to make a vinyl record. At that time, it was not uncommon to have a single (the small 7-inch “45” with a song on each side) on the streets within days of recording (and sometimes even writing) the song!
Of course, the quick turnaround was helped by the fact that the song was usually recorded in a few hours, since there was little or no overdubbing, so it was possible to record a song on Monday and have it on the radio on Wednesday of the same week. Perhaps the last time a record turnaround happened this quickly was with the 1970 release of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s “Ohio,” documenting the Kent State shootings.
When the emphasis on releases turned from singles to albums, the length of time between releases increased accordingly, which was natural considering that more songs were being recorded. During the M1.0 days there was a limitation on how many songs could be recorded for an album because there was a limitation of the vinyl itself. Twenty-three minutes per side was the goal to get the loudest and highest-fidelity record. Any longer, and the noise floor of the record increased as the volume decreased. As a result, artists were confined to about 45 to 50 minutes per album, but consumers didn’t seem to mind since they still felt they were getting value if they liked the songs…
Written by Bobby Owsinski
Read the rest of this article @ http://blog.discmakers.com/2010/03/the-new-release-schedule/