June 25, 2004

3tunes: No filler

One of the predicted consequences of iTunes and MP3 players generally is the demise of the album. Most albums, so the thinking goes, have some good tracks, some middling, and one or two pure filler. Why would anyone buy the whole thing, filler and all, if they could cherry-pick just the tracks they like?

An interesting associated question is, when you rip CDs into iTunes (or whatever), do you generally take all the tracks, or just selected tracks? If the latter, maybe the album doom-sayers have a point.

So I had a look through my iTunes collection. Turns out I have exactly one complete album on there - Paul Simon, Graceland. Thinking about it, that's plausible; for me, it's an album without a single bad (or even middling) track on it. But I can't think of any other albums I feel the same way about. Are there other albums where every track is a gem?


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  1. I think I still have quite a few full digital albums in my collection. It depends on how much you like an artist or band as to whether you think all of the tracks on an album are sweet or not. In my collection I can think of Dido "No Angel," Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers "Into the Great Wide Open," Green Day "Dookie," and U2 "The Joshua Tree."

    More annoying are those albums that are SO cool and good that they could have made the list except for just ONE lonely bummer track on each. Drat!

    Incidentally, Greatest Hits albums don't count, do they… I mean they're already hand picked compilations of those artists with large enough catalogues to go cherry picking in.

    26 Jun 2004, 06:46

  2. Steve Carpenter

    Orbital's 'InSides' – every track leads perfectly into the next, no 'fillers' and has to be listened to start to finish.

    26 Jun 2004, 14:19

  3. Rialto, by Rialto. I think this may have been their only album, but there isn't a single track on it that I don't like.

    26 Jun 2004, 20:35

  4. Interestingly, I heard an (unverified) story that the Beastie Boys had refused to have their new album distributed over iTunes because they believe people should listen to the album as a whole rather than individual tracks.

    27 Jun 2004, 12:21

  5. No wonder. I do kind of agree that a serious artist would look on selecting tracks out of a whole album somewhat akin to selecting chapters out a novel.

    28 Jun 2004, 08:40

  6. Chris May

    I believe Radiohead did something similar – they negotiated a deal where 'OK Computer' could only be sold as an entire album, not track-by-track

    29 Jun 2004, 12:35

  7. Chris May

    Oh, and to get back on-topic, Olympian, by Gene.

    29 Jun 2004, 12:40


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