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Kid A is a big steaming load of shit.
(and that's just the DiSer- BURN)
that's a bit less snappy though
However, i really like albums which end with a period of silence at the end - i admire artists who respect the power of nothingness, and so actively place it into their work. Resonance etc.
- The song
- Then silence
- Then some instrumental bit
- Then silence
I can't stand ploys like that, they make me feel like the attention span-less idiot I probably ought to feel like. I mean, I would love to "respect the power of nothingness," but it just never really happens.
but i find the idea of "hidden" tracks in general to be fairly irksome
However, if an album ends with a period of silence then the artist is making a conscious decision to attach some resonance to the ending bars. Of course, it's more of a symbolic thing since if you're listening to the album it stops and goes silent anyway (shuffle listening notwithstanding). But it pleases me nonetheless
Additionally, this is why i really dislike the label commissioned bonus tracks which appear on re-released records. Albums are supposed to be silent when they end, it totally ruins the effect otherwise. Although i suppose these symbolic ending silences might serve some purpose in such a case
p.s. have you heard the Mark Hollis solo record?
even though I really really ought to have by now. That ends with silence, doesn't it?
'Hidden' bonus tracks also totally suck, they ruin the structure of the album, and diminish it as a document as anything. The label-commissioned bonus tracks I used to hate when I still listened to music on a CD player but now I just rip the main body of the album and the bonus tracks separately to stop that whole not-ending-at-the-end thing happening. They do diminish the CD as an object definitely though, because it's not like the 'complete' album anymore, as it was heard originally. Its the complete album plus some stuff which the band deemed not as good, which isn't right (Pavement deluxe box sets do rule though, there is genuinely a point to them however).
the ability to cut bonus tracks off is one of the few areas where mp3s far outweigh any other format. However, since i spend most of my time listening to CDs nowadays it does irritate me a lot.. if i knew how to program my player then i probably would, lame though that might be
And yes, you should definitely check out the Hollis solo record. It's so quiet and intimate that (cliche alert!) the silence is actually another, very important instrument in the mix
*starts* with 10 second of silence, almost as if it's allowing you time to start playing the CD/record and then get back to your seat so you're sitting comfortably before the music starts.
The last ten seconds of "Vauxhall & I" by Morrissey spring immediately to mind.
True in most cases.
"What in fuck's name are you on about?! Idiot"
I would hope not in this case.
Or maybe i would.
I spent three years doing a Scriptwriting for Film and TV degree and one of the main points we got drummed into us was that you have to get the first 10 pages and the last 5 pages right and if you fuck those up then it could fuck everything up no matter how good the rest is.
So in actual fact I will argue - the most important parts of an album are the first 10 seconds and the last 10 seconds.
the opening 10 seconds are definitely of utmost importance, but with music i don't think it's always the first impressions which count most. If something begins poorly then it has 45 odd minutes to clear that initial feeling, but if it ends poorly then you're left with nothing to make up for it. The last memory is the most powerful
of course, if you're talking about radio listening then it's another matter - a lot of people will just turn over if they don't immediately like the song. The same could also be said about "shuffle-culture", but in both those cases the idea of an opening track is meaningless
if i've actually listened to the last ten seconds of any album ever. i usually get bored long before that.
if i have it's only because i was reading fiction at the same time, and finished the book while stopping listening.
(although i wish i could claim to only listen to singles and tracks individually.)
with new albums i play them start to finish a couple of times - the rest of the time i skip tracks, change cd, replay bits, all over the place.
cant keep you interested for the length of an album?
i cant rememeber the last 10 seconds of any album. i might spend tomorrow listening to the last 10 seconds of my favourite albums to see if youre right, i love being unemployed
if they try any of that "fading away until it's quiet then cutting to silence instantaneously" bullshit then their position in your personal chart should definitely be contested, even more so than albums which just end abruptly. Dishonesty, innit
i'll bear that in mind. im going to be disappointed if this isnt a revelatory experience :(
you might have to be as dorky as me to gain the full effect
i think the last 10 seconds decide if an album can last on your stereo
the first 10 seconds decide if you're gonna let the thing into you.
for example the first 10 seconds of kid a or ok computer
I hate the first 10 seconds of Airbag.
if you put an album on, then you're already a captive audience. You're inclined to keep on listening so will likely hear somewhere between half of the first song and the rest of the album. And, as i said above, that's enough time to alter the initial diagnosis
Obviously, the beginning of an album is very important in instilling a mood or making an impact, but there's a whole load of stuff to come afterwards
Additionally, i think it's easier to start an album well than it is to end it well. But that's debateable..
all parts of an album are equally important.
also, all albums finish well on vinyl. either the beautiful closure of the arm retreating, or the joyous infinity of a locked groove.
but some are just a little bit more equal
Most songs end about 2 minutes too late, so it follows that most albums have at least 2 minutes of crap at the end.
By the end of an album I don't remember the last 10 seconds most of the time, even though it's the most recent part. I'm usually still thinking about the best songs previous to this, unless the last 10 seconds is the best bit but this is hardly ever the case. I would say the first 10 seconds is the more important part, it would be more accurate to say the first song though.