Whether it’s on CD, MP3 or good old vinyl, the album is rebounding | IndyStar.com | The Indianapolis Star

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NEW YORK — Don’t bury the album just yet.

Yes, it’s struggling, with album sales down by half since the historical high set in 2000 — sales dropped another 8.5 percent in 2009 to 489.8 million, even as overall music sales climbed 2.1 percent, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

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Album-buying havens, such as the Virgin Megastores and the Tower Records chains, vanished, and music industry and technology leaders have been trumpeting what they see as the more attractive profit margins of single sales and $1.29-a-pop downloading for years.

That death knell sure is getting pretty loud. Or maybe it’s just a wake-up call.

Britt Daniel, whose indie-rocker band Spoon recently enjoyed commercial success with its first Top 5 album “Transference,” says regardless of industry hype, the album (and by “album,” we mean a collection of songs on one kind of medium, not just a vinyl record) will continue to validate artists and fans.

“It’s certainly the test of a band’s mettle,” says Daniel, whose critical success was cemented when Spoon was named Artist of the Decade by Metacritic for the Austin, Texas, band’s consistently praised albums in the 2000s. “It’s hard to make an album’s worth of songs and do it well. The ones that do occupy a higher place in mind and in psyche. . . . Live shows can be wild and fun, life-changing if done really well. But a great album has always meant the most to me.

“Albums are what fans get into when they really get serious about a band,” Daniel continues. “That’s when they are finding something that means something to them, something that they feel is worth spending time with, that they will get to know what an album really is by listening the whole way through. Until they do that, they’re just a casual listener, not the most passionate fan.”

Daniel isn’t alone in his vocal defense of the album. More and more artists and fans are banding together to support the album as an art form and as a way to distribute music.

Independent record stores around the country have united to create Record Store Day, which takes place April 17, to “celebrate the art of music.” Digital retailer eMusic has launched an “Embrace the Album” campaign on Facebook and Twitter

, as a “place to highlight records that are best consumed whole.”

Posted via web from The LP Revival Blog

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~ by lprevival on February 28, 2010.

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