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Songs per album

Discussion in 'Bar' started by narcossintese, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. narcossintese

    narcossintese Member

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    Recently I've read that the songs per album average is 13. This number seems right from what I've got used in the last decade or so, but when I think back, some of the most iconic albums I can remember had only 8 and they all felt like solid complete works.

    From the top of my head I could list:
    Black Sabbath - Paranoid
    Deep Purple - Machine Head
    Led Zeppelin - IV
    Metallica - Ride The Lightning
    Iron Maiden - Powerslave

    Do you have any politics regarding how many tracks you put on each album?
     
  2. MarcusGHedwig

    MarcusGHedwig Member

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    I feel like 10 is closer to the average, at least for albums that are mostly solid from start to finish (meaning, little to no filler)

    EDIT: And intros and interludes and all that crap don't count either
     
  3. Keregioz

    Keregioz Kimon Zeliotis

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    Yeah, 13 is way too much, are you sure it was about metal albums? I'd say the average is about 8-9 based on albums I actually like.
     
  4. smy1

    smy1 Member

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    The song count is not that relevant, I think. You can just write 50 1 minute tracks and have a 50 minute album - which would be an interesting experiment. The actual length of the album seems to be more interesting.

    I averaged the running time of all my favorite albums of all genres and I ended up with 42 (I'm not making this up!) minutes. I think roughly between 40 and 50 is a good length because it's long enough to get into it but not too long to get bored and (if the album is good as a whole) leaves you wanting to replay it.

    And yes, I am aware of the fact that standard LP length was dictated by vinyl limits. I still think that most bands are simply unable to make 75 minutes of compelling music without the listener skipping. I mean, most bands can't even make 1 minute of music that you don't wanna skip ... :D
     
  5. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

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    I heard that labels usually demands minimum of 40min for a full length album. How many songs doesn't matter.


    OOHHH 3k posts :D
     
  6. narcossintese

    narcossintese Member

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    It was an average from all genres. But today I was reading the thread about "making an album on february" and it did consider an album 14 songs, reason why I thought about this subject.

    I believe the LP standard was around 45 minutes (22 min on each side), so maybe this physical limitation shaped the way we consume music today.
    CDs probably had to match that to "keep the value".

    -----

    This is a total subject topic, but I guess that fewer tracks gives more spotlight for the best songs. There aren't many albums nowadays that I can remember the name and order of every track like I can do with "Master of Puppets" or "7th Son of a 7th Son". Curisouly the last album that blew my mind this way was "Age of Winters" (by "The Sword"), which has 8 tracks (+1 intro), and I believe that the track count played a major role on this.
     
  7. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    Albums got longer when we moved from Vinyl to CD as the primary industry format. What you can fit on a single CD used to constitute a double album (the longer each side is the lower the quality).
    I agree that the song count is way less important than the length (and quality) but 10-13 has become the mainstream standard. From a musician and engineers standpoint, anything past 60 minutes is too much IME.
     
  8. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    I'm a firm believer that 30 minutes is generally the ideal time for a live set and an album. There are exceptions, but not really.
     
  9. ArthurD

    ArthurD Member

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    Ramones loco live 33 songs in 1 album lol
     
  10. vespiz

    vespiz Mixing!

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    Our last album was 8 songs and 36 mins. We had 12 songs originally, cut to 10 and then we thought, screw it, this way it'll have more punch and you maybe want to listen to it again because of the relatively short length.
     
  11. Plendakor

    Plendakor Member

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    Well that's not an album. It should be called something else.
    A dwarf album perhaps.

    An album should always be at least one hour and idealy fill the entire fucking CD.
     
  12. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    That's EXACTLY an album. What you want is for every release to be a double album. Good luck with that. We're a lot more likely to see the death of the album since single sales are the only area of sales expansion in industry.
     
  13. lanky noob

    lanky noob Member

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    I find 35-40 minutes is best, anything past 45 and I start to get bored.... for instance the last album I listened to that completely blew me away was Unto the locust, and I think a fair part of that was the fact it's pretty short, which makes it punchier and leaves you wanting to listen again... compared to something like death magnetic, nearly 80 minutes? come on, I find myself bored anything past 45.

    Robb Flynn brought up an interesting point in one of his blogs actually about short albums and how they tend ot be better, best example is Reign In Blood, sure when it first came out people were like "BUT I CAN LSITEN TO THE WHOLE ALBUM ON ONE SIDE OF TAPE", but now nearly 30 years later, do you really hear people going "mehh I just wish it was half an hour longer"
     
  14. Keregioz

    Keregioz Kimon Zeliotis

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    A 30-35 min. album sounds ridiculous to me. I don't even think I've ever owned an album that short.

    I believe 40 to 60 minutes works best for an album. More than that usually means decrease in quality, although there are some exceptions.
     
  15. Nimvi

    Nimvi Member

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    I agree, the 50 minute mark is where I consider an album to be a respectable length. Doesn't mean a shorter album can't be awesome, but I remember buying some albums as a teen and finding out they were only about 30 minutes long and I honestly felt a bit disappointed.
    I like to put on a CD while doing other stuff, like drawing. 30 minutes are just over before I really get into it.
     
  16. Skyweaver

    Skyweaver Shred or Die !

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    if maiden wrote a 13 song album...it would have a run time of 3 days - and thats a good thing !
     
  17. Clockwork

    Clockwork Bass playing guy.

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    My band's first album was 28 minutes after we trimmed a couple songs :D I think the length doesn't matter so much if the quality is there. Some bands can pull off a 60 minute album and some are fine at 45. Anything less seems to me to be an EP (which is also totally totally legit but should be advertised as such).
     
  18. Plendakor

    Plendakor Member

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    Same for me
     
  19. abt

    abt BT

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    The idea that an album should be a certain length is antiquated and ridiculous. You should be more concerned about how all the tracks relate to each other as one coherent work. I'd rather hear 30mins of great songs than 70mins where half of them aren't up to par or make no contextual sense. I want killers not fillers.
     
  20. vespiz

    vespiz Mixing!

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    Exactly.
     

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