Will Playlists Kill The Album?

If you write songs and post them online as albums , you probably spend a lot of time playing around with the sequence of songs.  I certainly do.

Back in the day – when vinyl and then the CD ruled the roost – sequencing was something of an art form.  There was the opening track – the one with which you hoped to wow your audience – and from there you took listeners on a journey that culminated in the album closer. And very often the closing song would be one of the best on the album.  A good final number was like the closing chapter a novel. Whether an out and out rocker or an atmospheric dying fall, it was the climax of the experience.   Sadly in the age of streaming, a lot of listeners won’t make it to the closer.

But hey. Today we still have albums, but we also have playlists.  Now I’m a great believer in albums as entities in themselves, but I have to say there’s something to be said for creating playlists of your own material as well. Songs from different albums that seem to go well together.

And it’s not just me. As reported this week in the Guardian newspaper, increasing numbers of artists are eschewing the album concept and instead creating rolling and ever-changing playlists for the streaming community. Will this destroy the album?  I hope not, but what it will do is provide musicians with another way to package the songs they write and produce.

With that in mind, I’ve just created a little four track mini-list bringing together some bluesy tracks (see below)on Soundcloud and will be doing something similar on Spotify. Hope you enjoy.