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  #91  
Old 25-08-2020, 17:09
robg1979 robg1979 is offline
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It's one of the reasons for me personally why I love them so much. They have never slowed down, the desire and need to create more material - art - is massively strong with these guys. They could have easily gone on hiatus for 5, 6 years but they have never wanted to. Hence why there is talk of a new album next year.

I think its brilliant. They don't owe it to anyone at this stage in their career to be prolific as they are. You could argue that because they've never been away from the public eye for any massive length of time people have never had chance to miss them, meaning diminishing album sales and general concert attendance waning over the years. For the average fan anyway, not for us loons!!

Last edited by robg1979; 25-08-2020 at 17:40.
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  #92  
Old 04-09-2020, 15:11
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I think its brilliant. They don't owe it to anyone at this stage in their career to be prolific as they are. You could argue that because they've never been away from the public eye for any massive length of time people have never had chance to miss them, meaning diminishing album sales and general concert attendance waning over the years. For the average fan anyway, not for us loons!!
Often find myself thinking like that.. Of the British rock and indie bands who got big in the 90s, there's only really Manics and Radiohead who are still with us without a money spinning reunion or owt. Course, Radiohead are four albums behind Manics but they're still an arena filling and festival headlining band. I'm not sure they would be if they'd done as much material or as many tours as Manics.. wonder if Manics would be arena filling and festival headlining if they'd done less albums and tours. Who knows eh?
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  #93  
Old 04-09-2020, 16:15
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Often find myself thinking like that.. Of the British rock and indie bands who got big in the 90s, there's only really Manics and Radiohead who are still with us without a money spinning reunion or owt.
The Divine Comedy are (is?) still going strong.
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  #94  
Old 04-09-2020, 17:05
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The Divine Comedy are (is?) still going strong.
Aye. The Charlatans. Ocean Colour Scene. Probably a couple more that aren't coming to mind, but there are only a few.
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  #95  
Old 04-09-2020, 17:20
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The Divine Comedy are (is?) still going strong.
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Aye. The Charlatans. Ocean Colour Scene. Probably a couple more that aren't coming to mind, but there are only a few.
Ah I was meaning bigger bands, they haven't really hit the heights Manics have. Maybe Charlatans, I'm sure they headlined Glastonbury and maybe V in the 90s? Just been on their wiki mind, three number one albums They're a bit of a musical blackspot for me really. Weird how you can forget how big a band has been.
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  #96  
Old 04-09-2020, 17:36
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The weird thing is that The Divine Comedy are actually charting higher these days than they did in the '90s.
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  #97  
Old 04-09-2020, 18:03
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Their last album is brilliant too. Got tickets for four out of five of the Barbican album gigs so far, missing Casanova night which I presume is the most in demand one. Ah well, see nearer the time. Would've been this week actually.
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  #98  
Old 05-09-2020, 14:33
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Ash have never really stopped either. Think they headlined one of the nights at Glasto at one point.

Suede split for a while, but their material post reunion has been pretty strong.
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  #99  
Old 06-09-2020, 13:49
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Only 7 and half albums from Ash, mind. Glasto 97 I think. Could be wrong, but don't recall them ever being an arena or award winning band.

Oh bloody hell aye, Suede.. For me, there's never been a band make as good a comeback as they have. Only saw em once first time round, Glastonbury 2003 and they weren't on form at all shall we say.. didn't listen to em for a decent while after and by the time the reunion came round I was in two minds about going to the Ritz warm up gig but thank fuck I did. Going from closing with She's In Fashion first time I saw em to opening with Europe Is My Playground the next time... blown away. Very close call between Blue Hour and Dog Man Star for me favourite. I dunno, always hope to be wrong but tend to think that once bands have hit and passed their peak, raised the bar that much, it's impossible to sustain or recreate. Bit of a double edged sword though, feel absolutely spoilt by Suede and it's left me wondering if Manics have got another... well, not Holy Bible in them, but something that makes an impact like that.
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  #100  
Old 06-09-2020, 15:55
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Only 7 and half albums from Ash, mind. Glasto 97 I think. Could be wrong, but don't recall them ever being an arena or award winning band.
To be fair if you judge Ash by album releases alone, you could miss the A-Z period where they released a song every 2 weeks for a year. They had 3 years off after the intensity of that (2012-2015), but that's not unusual for a band of their age. I doubt many bands have the work ethic of MSP, but Ash have always had a similarly strong work ethic.

They almost made arenas. I'm not 100% sure about this, but I'm sure around the same time that MSP cancelled the KYE arena tour, Ash did something similar. Doubtless they never quite had the same profile as MSP, but they were ace in their own way. And the whole "singles band" thing was always bullshit. They made some ace albums.

Note: I was a big Ash fan back in the day so perhaps a tad biased...
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  #101  
Old 06-09-2020, 18:01
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To be fair if you judge Ash by album releases alone, you could miss the A-Z period where they released a song every 2 weeks for a year. They had 3 years off after the intensity of that (2012-2015), but that's not unusual for a band of their age. I doubt many bands have the work ethic of MSP, but Ash have always had a similarly strong work ethic.

They almost made arenas. I'm not 100% sure about this, but I'm sure around the same time that MSP cancelled the KYE arena tour, Ash did something similar. Doubtless they never quite had the same profile as MSP, but they were ace in their own way. And the whole "singles band" thing was always bullshit. They made some ace albums.

Note: I was a big Ash fan back in the day so perhaps a tad biased...
Well that A-Z thing completely passed me by. Wonder if it was a case of start and finish a song in two weeks or if they'd had a few leftover half songs from previous albums and rehearsals and that. Was never more than a casual fan of Ash really, seen em three or four times cos festivals, fucked if I can tell you last time I listened to em of me own accord.

To be fair, as far as the A-Z output goes Manics have probably matched that a few times. First three albums in consecutive years, 16 months between Journal and Postcards and a fuck load of Postcards b-sides, 10 months between Rewind The Film and Futurology... Lads haven't had a gigless year since they started. I'm counting 2000 since they played after midnight...

Do find it interesting though, in the 60s and 70s an album a year seemed to be pretty much the standard even with massive tours inbetween. Course bands slow down as they get older, to be expected but I'd say really from mid-90s to now, even for bands starting out since then it's been rare for anyone to put out albums with less than a two year gap inbetween. Not got any stats or owt for that, just a casual observation and I wonder why that's been. Never been in a band or owt, presume the recording process has got more efficient in some ways since the 60s and 70s as technology has advanced? Or wonder if it's a case of as time goes by and more and more has been done, it's harder to do something that hasn't been done? I dunno, digress but I like this digress...
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  #102  
Old 06-09-2020, 18:25
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Well that A-Z thing completely passed me by. Wonder if it was a case of start and finish a song in two weeks or if they'd had a few leftover half songs from previous albums and rehearsals and that.
You weren't the only one mate! It was a failed experiment in so many ways. There were some fab songs in the mix. If I recall correctly, they said they had some songs written at the beginning, but the idea was to create as they went. In a way it's not a dissimilar concept to KYE, although the execution and style of release was very different. They wrote a song and put it down without overthinking it. But the problem was, not doing an album for so long put them so far off the radar that, perhaps like your good self, people forgot about them. Even in 2007 the classic cycle of album & 3-4 singles had merit. Which leads me nicely to...

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Do find it interesting though, in the 60s and 70s an album a year seemed to be pretty much the standard even with massive tours inbetween. Course bands slow down as they get older, to be expected but I'd say really from mid-90s to now, even for bands starting out since then it's been rare for anyone to put out albums with less than a two year gap inbetween. Not got any stats or owt for that, just a casual observation and I wonder why that's been. Never been in a band or owt, presume the recording process has got more efficient in some ways since the 60s and 70s as technology has advanced? Or wonder if it's a case of as time goes by and more and more has been done, it's harder to do something that hasn't been done? I dunno, digress but I like this digress...
I think commercial context has a lot to do with it. Bands make (or should that be made?) most of their cash from touring and records are/were expensive to make. So they'll spend a chunk of change on the recording, and then tour for a couple of years and go again.

That and the fact that coming up with a set of new tracks to put down takes time. Bands used have to pay for big studios and go through a whole demo-rehearse-record cycle. Like almost every other art form, digital tools have has eliminated a lot of that, to the extent that many elements of demos find their way into the finished tracks. And that was a rarity many moons ago. All that said, the reason the 2 year gap and the album format have remained for most artists, is mainly because that gap allows the time to take stock, reflect and write something new.
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Last edited by darkanddivine; 06-09-2020 at 20:42.
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  #103  
Old 06-09-2020, 22:54
IntlDebris IntlDebris is offline
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The change in the shape of the industry has really affected the release schedule thing - more money is made off tours, therefore artists and labels are less inclined to put money into recording. Also, there are so many big name artists around these days, and really long promotional campaigns for albums, that labels need artists to take a few years off just so they can promote someone else.

The industry has always shaped release rates, so it's not necessarily so much to do with creativity or technology. When the head of Spotify made some controversial comments a few weeks back about how artists will have to release albums more often than every three-to-four years if they want to make a profit, there was a huge controversy online, and although I agree that his general reasoning was shit and he can fuck off, I was amazed at just how many people on Twitter seemed to be arguing that that's simply how long it takes to make an album and anything quicker would be compromising artists' creativity. Made me think that, even after the '60s, when two or three albums a year wasn't uncommon, a lot of artists were still writing releasing an album every year and backing it up with several singles' worth of b-sides; not just major label artists either, but large numbers of independents.

Even in the late '90s, I remember two years seemed like an age between albums: Be Here Now was such a ludicrously hyped album because Oasis hadn't released anything since 'Don't Look Back in Anger' 18 months before; before This is My Truth came out I'd begun to think the Manics had broken up because it had been well over a year since I last saw them on TV. Those kinds of gaps were almost unheard of for hugely successful artists. And it has to be said, most artists released their most loved, acclaimed and well-remembered material during those bursts of creativity when they were releasing 20 songs every 12-18 months.

Only a few years later and The Coral released three albums in three years, to some surprise. Shortly afterwards, Franz Ferdinand announced their second album the year after their debut and the music media was totally amazed at the turnaround, as if this sort of thing wasn't just commonplace, but actually expected, only ten years previously.

Some artists are keeping up the work rate. Guided by Voices have averaged two or three albums a year for nine years now. In the '90s the material would probably have been released as an album, a couple of EPs and a split single, but they're still churning stuff out.

In order to sell an album now, however, for most artists it really has to be marketed as some sort of comeback, and as a big statement. For decades, pop music was fairly straight-forward: a new album that sounded largely contemporary, with a few singles. Now even pop artists are doing conceptual albums with huge marketing campaigns that signify each record as a totally different 'era': Taylor Swift does a joyous pop album as an intentional contrast to her previous 'dark' record; Lady Gaga does an uncharacteristically 'stripped down' personal album and follows it with a record about a planet where ballads are banned. When the most straight-forward, accessible, mainstream music requires a big conceptual campaign to mark a comeback every three or four years to sell music, it's a signifier that the '12 tracks and some b-sides every year' format has kind of died for the most part.

When the internet became widely used and piracy came along with it, some people predicted the death of the music industry, but it just reshaped. This spread-out 'big album statement' model, and the death of the physical single (and thus the b-side), are the legacy of Napster and Spotify.
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  #104  
Old 13-09-2020, 19:18
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Some absolutely mega food for thought there IntlDebris. You properly made me think with that one.

Hmmm. It's a strange one. I do get your point. In theory the fact that digital eliminates the time and space that used to put a buffer between most big album, coupled with the advances in recording *should* mean that bands can put out more stuff. I also completely agree (and have written elsewhere) that the pop single and B-side is as dead as a dodo.

You're right that from a marketing perspective, lots of artists love the "era creation" that goes with remaking their image in a completely new light. My favourite break from the "typical" release cycle in this era is probably Robyn. It took her 8 years to follow up Body Talk, but in between times she almost never disappeared. She always popped up every 6 months or so with a remix, a collab or even the odd original song. The same goes for Burial who made 2 albums in 2 years (06 and 07), but hasn't released one since, preferring to release EP's as and when he gets a few tracks down.

In terms of speed, it can happen that bands turn stuff around quickly. MSP of course began their career with 3 in 3, Kent (one of my fav bands) released 2 albums within 12 months, and System of a Down polished off Steal this Album (essentially a bunch of Toxicity offucts) and released that just a year after Toxicity itself.

But even with all that said, I'm not sure I totally go along with the idea that the 12 track album every couple of years is gone for good. I'm not totally sure why that is. But I think for many bands, there just is a gestation period where they like to down tools, reflect on what they've done and all that jazz. To this day, you're lucky to see a band like Mew more than twice a decade. Some of this is of course inertia, and perhaps dictated by following a template set by the majority of other bands. But even in the digital era, many bands still ply their trade with a minor tweak to the album format itself, and they deliver a slab of work every couple of years still.

If you look at a band like Enter Shikari, on the face of it they're keen on playing around with releasing one off tracks and EP's. Yet their track record of releasing a standard looking album every 2-3 years hasn't let up. And Tove Lo who has been lauded for the way she is a savvy, modern pop star pretty much does an album every couple of years too. And the one time she did try to do the "quick and often" thing, she lost a bit of cred for effectively chucking out a bunch of half finished stuff.

Interesting to ponder nonetheless.
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Last edited by darkanddivine; 13-09-2020 at 19:23.
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  #105  
Old 14-09-2020, 10:32
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Lyric sheets from the 2001 vinyl. I don’t remember seeing these in the CD, but I binned it years ago so can’t check!

Royal Correspondent seems oddly ordered - written out by Sean Maybe? The rest look like Nicky apart from Ocean Spray which is James on top and Nicky bottom



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