Album

Early record albums were multiple 78rpm discs packaged in book form, like a photograph album

An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded sound were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album; this format evolved after 1948 into single vinyl LP records played at 33+13 rpm.

The album was the dominant form of recorded music expression and consumption from the mid-1960s to the early 21st century, a period known as the album era.[1] Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have mostly focused on CD and MP3 formats. The 8-track tape was the first tape format widely used alongside vinyl from 1965 until being phased out by 1983 and was gradually supplanted by the compact cassette during the 1970s and early 1980s; the popularity of the cassette reached its peak during the late 1980s, sharply declined during the 1990s and had largely disappeared during the first decade of the 2000s.

Most albums are recorded in a studio,[2] although they may also be recorded in a concert venue, at home, in the field, or a mix of places. The time frame for completely recording an album varies between a few hours to several years. This process usually requires several takes with different parts recorded separately, and then brought or "mixed" together. Recordings that are done in one take without overdubbing are termed "live", even when done in a studio. Studios are built to absorb sound, eliminating reverberation, to assist in mixing different takes; other locations, such as concert venues and some "live rooms", have reverberation, which creates a "live" sound.[3] Recordings, including live, may contain editing, sound effects, voice adjustments, etc. With modern recording technology, artists can be recorded in separate rooms or at separate times while listening to the other parts using headphones; with each part recorded as a separate track.

Album covers and liner notes are used, and sometimes additional information is provided, such as analysis of the recording, and lyrics or librettos.[4][5] Historically, the term "album" was applied to a collection of various items housed in a book format. In musical usage the word was used for collections of short pieces of printed music from the early nineteenth century.[6] Later, collections of related 78rpm records were bundled in book-like albums[7] (one side of a 78 rpm record could hold only about 3.5 minutes of sound). When long-playing records were introduced, a collection of pieces or songs on a single record was called an "album"; the word was extended to other recording media such as compact disc, MiniDisc, Compact audio cassette, 8-track tape and digital albums as they were introduced.[8]

  1. ^ Zipkin, Michele (8 April 2020). "Best albums from the last decade, according to critics". Stacker. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  2. ^ Kreutzmann, Bill; Eisen, Benjy (2015). Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead. Macmillan. p. 259. ISBN 9781250033796.
  3. ^ Philip Newell (18 July 2013). Recording Studio Design. Taylor & Francis. pp. 169–170. ISBN 9781136115509.
  4. ^ "Album Cover Art Series". Rock Art Picture Show. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  5. ^ "The history of the CD – The 'Jewel Case'". Philips Research. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Mendelssohn And Schumann". Old and Sold. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  7. ^ Cross, Alan (15 July 2012) Life After the Album Is Going to Get Weird Archived 8 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine. alancross.ca
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference About Vinyl Records was invoked but never defined (see the help page).