I’ve always been an album listener. I was a sucker and joined Columbia House and BMG CD clubs when I was a kid, and I remember my first purchase included the likes of Pearl Jam (Ten), Nirvana (Nevermind), Alice in Chains (Dirt), Soundgarden (Badmotorfinger) and Red Hot Chili Peppers (Blood Sugar Sex Magic) … in addition to Boys II Men, Paula Abdul, The New Kids on the Block, and Janet Jackson. I listened to all of those albums multiple times through – as well as the hundreds I’ve purchased since. There are thousands of songs I love that I would have never found if I only listened to the singles.
Additionally, many albums develop a character or story of their own. The album cover and the musical ups and downs weave their way into one chapter in the story of an artist’s life. This is especially true for bands I’ve “hung with” as they made it big, sold out, broke up, found themselves, got back together, overdosed, changed lead singers, etc. It’s not the drama that’s interesting, though – it’s the history that comes out in the music.
I think I’ll always be an album listener.
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