compared to ten years ago, physical album sales are way down. People stream now. I stream now. It’s easy and functional and affordable. Really affordable.
In my teen years, around the early 2000s, just before music streaming saw began to boom, albums were still the big thing. My whole week would revolve around a trip to the city to buy the latest album from my favourite artist. It cost me most of my allowance. But I didn’t care. It was all I wanted. An album in 2001 was priced at around $20. A premium streaming subscription is still only $10 per month.
Every Saturday night, my friends and I would all gather together, lock ourselves away in a bedroom and listen to the album on repeat. Front to back. We would discuss each song. Sing along. Share in the experience of hearing a work of art for the first time, together. A magical experience. Starting from zero with each album meant something. Joint conciseness was formed. It became special, a memory to keep.
“Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.” ― Frank Zappa
Today, we consume music instantly and in the most part, alone. The fanfare upon the release of an album is minimal. It just appears online. We hit the play button and listen.
The ability to access millions of songs and albums in an instant is something to celebrate. It has enabled me to discover music I never would have done otherwise. And I realise this is the natural order of things. Music formats come and go, trends fleeting. The soul of music is powered an enforced by youth, constantly adapting. It’s how it should be.
“The release date is just one day, but the record is forever.”– Bruce Springsteen.
I would never be able to go back to living before music streaming. It is just too damn accessible and the content to numerous. It feeds my desire to absorb as much new music as possible.
But every now and then, I feel a sadness that those special moments, huddled in a friends bedroom, are lost.
Thank you so much for reading!