The recording industry has been ripping off music album buyers for a long time. It all started a very long time ago with greatest hits packages. There are always one or two of the very biggest hits left off the album. So it isn’t the act’s greatest hits. For instance, after buying two double albums of the Beatles greatest hits, I defy you to tell me where “Twist and Shout” is on the compilation. With greatest hits packages you always have to buy at least one more album.
The first act I know to rip you off the following way is Led Zeppelin. No amount of album buying can save you from what they did. Even if you have a complete set of their albums, you do not have the song “Hey Hey What Can I Do” which to my ears, could have been a single in its own right.
I guess singles sales weren’t high enough at the time because they put it on the B side of the single “Immigrant Song”. Now, Immigrant Song is off Led Zeppelin III. The rest of the album sucks. I do however like Hey Hey What Can I Do. So, if knowing all this before buying, I’d buy the single of the Immigrant Song instead of Led Zeppelin III. And I’d save myself some money in the process.
I guess the recording industry tried to make it back up to us with the advent of the CD. A lot of albums from that era are 55 or 60 minutes. Compare this with the 40 minutes standard of the record album.
But one thing that can’t be seen easily is that very, very few acts are ever capable of making solid albums of that length. The only two that I thought gave it a good go were Nirvana with Nevermind and Pearl Jam with Ten. Even though most of these songs were solid, the unrelenting harshness of these two albums does not make me want to listen to a full hour of it.
So, because of the return of the 40 minute album, more great albums have arisen.
Now we are in the era of streaming. Basically everything gets put up for streaming. But if this is the focus, why are acts still trying to rip off us album purchasers?
Yes 40 minute albums are better. But in my eyes less can be seen as laziness. Recently Olivia Rodrigo had success with a 33 minute album. And Bastille just tried a 32 minute album on the public. Now I don’t know about Olivia Rodrigo but Bastille has “extra” songs in streaming that I would have liked to be on this album. I feel ripped off.
But the worst offender has got to be Imagine Dragons and their latest ploy. Last year they released an album called Mercury Act I. This year they released a double album called Mercury Acts I and II. It’s the price of a double album. It includes the full first album. And nowhere do you see Mercury Act II by itself. I don’t want to buy an album I already have for the 2nd time. So I haven’t as yet. Thus we are stuck in a stalemate. It’s me and the recording industry in a great big stand off. F U Interscope Records!