Rush Ponder The Death Of The Album And Everything It Represented'

The 'Clockwork Angels' release is proof that Rush are still a fan of the album format, but one of the band's members thinks that the days of the long player may be numbered.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
4

Guitarist Alex Lifeson tells M Music in a new conversation that while he would be sad to see the format go, "you have to get over it" because "it's just the way it is now." But that doesn't mean that it's not a difficult transition for him to think about.

"We grew up with albums, and for us the album was always the thing we've never been a singles band. We've released singles, sure, and we've had some moderate success with some, but we've never been that kind of band. So yes, I'm sorry to see the album and everything it represented go. It was like a book, and now you're buying chapters that don't always relate to the whole book. That said, it was fun to release a couple of songs beforehand as a bit of a teaser. It got us thinking that in the future we might record two or three songs and release them every six months. But for now, especially with a project this size, an album was the only way to go."

Bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee also praised the spark that producer Nick Raskulinecz brought to the recording sessions for "Clockwork Angels". Calling Raskulinecz a "fantastic producer", Lee says that he "pushes" the band and refused to "let us skate in any way... it's important to work with people who expect a lot of you."

When the band hits the road this fall, they'll be prepared to deliver "Clockwork Angels" tracks. Lee says they'll be "rehearsing for at least seven or eight weeks this summer to make sure that we can play these [new] songs."

Thanks to UltimateClassicRock for the report.

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    gateway01
    I think that society, in general, is just moving faster and no one has time, or wants to, sit down and listen to a full album. Sucks, because usually the best songs aren't the hits.
    Doctor.Dolittle
    Minivirus2 wrote: Seriously, **** singles.
    Sometimes singles are fine. But as a musician, you shouldn't record singles all the time like many artists do nowadays. It's fine to release a single every now and then, but it's better to release full albums.
    Maiden95
    Now..this is just me, but I can't say that the "album" is totally dead just yet. Afterall, Clockwork Angels sold over 100,000 copies in the United States alone after its first week. It might be a dying breed, but there is still a market for it, a big one at that, including most of us here.
    iommi600
    Alex Lifeson tells M Music in a new conversation that while he would be sad to see the format go, "you have to get over it" because "its just the way it is now."
    I love Lifeson, he pretty much summed up my thoughts on the subject here. It's great to grab an album and let it play in its entirety in your sound system, but most people won't give a **** and just download a single song... I can't find anything good at it.
    Skodward714
    I doubt album's are ever going to die off. I love concept albums, or one's that are one long track split into parts like Dream Theater's Metropolis Part 2 or Meshuggah's Catch 33. It wouldn't suprise me if pop stars abandoned albums, but there are WAY to many musicians out there who would never do that.
    iommi600
    INSULIN wrote: WHO CARES .I DON'T LIKE ALL THESE DOWN TUNED 7 AND 8 STRING BANDS .GOT PARENTS OLD RECORD COLECTIONS RECORDED ON CASSEETTES AND ON CD'S.ALL BEATLES-ROLLING STONES-LED ZEPPELIN-THE WHO-BLACK SABBATH-JIMI HENDRIX .MY 2 YEAR OLD SON LOVES BASEBALL AND THE BEATLES GOD I'M BLESSED
    And that, kids, is why you need to say "no" when someone asks "wanna try crack?".
    Superperfex
    Singles were great back in the day when you bought the vinyl and it had a few other songs, usually rarities, on it. You would get a great package. Now it's just all in cyberspace and not personal at all. On another note, cloud technology scares me even more...
    Trentaru
    Albums may disappear but physical copies will not disappear, the fact that cds or whatever are "dying" just means we are going to have another medium come out and in 10 years or so cds will come back.
    goochmaster15
    INSULIN wrote: WHO CARES .I DON'T LIKE ALL THESE DOWN TUNED 7 AND 8 STRING BANDS .GOT PARENTS OLD RECORD COLECTIONS RECORDED ON CASSEETTES AND ON CD'S.ALL BEATLES-ROLLING STONES-LED ZEPPELIN-THE WHO-BLACK SABBATH-JIMI HENDRIX .MY 2 YEAR OLD SON LOVES BASEBALL AND THE BEATLES GOD I'M BLESSED
    Cocaine's a hell of a drug...
    CinderellaFan14
    Maybe it's because I think old fashioned in a modern world, but am I really the only one who would just die if Rush only released 3 songs every 6 months and no new albums? I don't think the album is dying out. Plus, why spend 10 bucks to buy the album online when I can spend 10 bucks and buy an album in a store? Or 20 bucks for a vinyl copy? 0.0
    Kueller917
    Really album is becoming a lost art. People are allowed practically unlimited space which is causing a lot of filler in many releases. And it seems very few artists now are giving much attention to order and coherence. Then there's the fact albums in general don't sell as well because individual files can be bought. And the internet makes it easier for smaller artists to simply self-release songs as they come. Of course, not every band is going to stop making albums. There's some great artists out there who can still put out great full releases. But I could see in the future styles moving towards singles or maybe small EP's. And as Lifeson said, as much as I love hearing albums, I'd have to let it go.
    DexterF
    Well. For a band that's in business for over 3 decades now singles might be a opportunity as well: when you've been in the same band for so long it gets harder to make something new that is not a repetition of everything you did the last 30 years and still stick to the particular style that made your name big. Now if you would release a single every once in a while that's been distilled the essence of what defines you the great masters of rock would stay in business, in the heads of people, thus attract even more new listeners who eventually check out the old stuff.
    pfinnegan
    I love Alex Lifeson, but I disagree a bit. I don't think the "album" will die off, it will just shrink to more specific genres. The concept of a physical album will certainly die down to near nothing in the next 50 years. Everything will be digital. However, releasing a collection of songs, be they related (concept) or not, will be around for quite some time. This is especially true in the rock genre whose fan base will be exposed to the 2112, Wall, Metropolis, Mindcrime albums. Those works, and many others, will influence for time to come. The experience (album liner, cd sleeves) will become more digital, as we are seeing now, but the release of an "album" will still appeal to many.
    INSULIN
    WHO CARES .I DON'T LIKE ALL THESE DOWN TUNED 7 AND 8 STRING BANDS .GOT PARENTS OLD RECORD COLECTIONS RECORDED ON CASSEETTES AND ON CD'S.ALL BEATLES-ROLLING STONES-LED ZEPPELIN-THE WHO-BLACK SABBATH-JIMI HENDRIX .MY 2 YEAR OLD SON LOVES BASEBALL AND THE BEATLES GOD I'M BLESSED
    Fuzzface16
    Yep he nailed it here, I never buy single songs, ESPECIALLY from Rush, it's the whole package or nothing. Most people forget that the b-side of an album carries the best songs sometimes not just the single. It's very true how Alex said the entire album tells a story or has a "concept" or "theme, I look at it as a self portrait of that time of the bands evolution, why break it up and buy parts of it? Take the whole thing?! and just taking snippets of a record just seems wrong too me. If a band goes into the studio for however long it takes for their hard work to complete an album they want everyone to hear every song they wrote and worked on.... Not just two or three songs on the 12 song record. I cant see myself buying only 2 or 3 songs off a Zep album or a Tool album, hell no its the whole record from front to back that makes it a masterpiece. Folks that only got a few tracks off Clockwork Angels are missing out cause that damn record (like all of Rush's EP's) is totally solid from beginning to end! And hey if doing singles from now on is the best marketing plan for a band now to get all the music presented and purchased in a more efficient way then go for it thats how the record industry used to do it back in the 30's, 40's, and 50's.... I'll still buy the singles. And hell it's less work on the bands part too if you look at it. I guess going and writing 4 songs for an LP every 6 - 8 months would be pretty efficient than doing a damn 12 track record every year or so that only half the record will be purchases by an average listener. But in the end here guys we all know that if we are true Rush fans we pick up the whole enchilada!! Not just three f***ing songs! Let everyone else go buy partial of the albums... their the ones missing out one one of the greatest rock experiences ever.
    vikkyvik
    CinderellaFan14 wrote: Maybe it's because I think old fashioned in a modern world, but am I really the only one who would just die if Rush only released 3 songs every 6 months and no new albums? I don't think the album is dying out. Plus, why spend 10 bucks to buy the album online when I can spend 10 bucks and buy an album in a store? Or 20 bucks for a vinyl copy? 0.0
    Well, 3 songs every 6 months would actually be a much higher output than they've been doing.
    Kueller917
    CinderellaFan14 wrote: Maybe it's because I think old fashioned in a modern world, but am I really the only one who would just die if Rush only released 3 songs every 6 months and no new albums? I don't think the album is dying out. Plus, why spend 10 bucks to buy the album online when I can spend 10 bucks and buy an album in a store? Or 20 bucks for a vinyl copy? 0.0
    I can't remember the last time I saw a new album for $10 at a store. Damn.
    Megadethfan245
    Kueller917 wrote: I can't remember the last time I saw a new album for $10 at a store. Damn.
    I just bought the first Van Halen album for $5 at Walmart, but that's probably due to the fact that it's old.
    yoman297
    an indie developer recently released a game for the dreamcast. shows some things never die.
    daverolston
    Nothing beats listening to records, especially with headphones on. Gimme that crackle and pop. I love it.
    clockworkangels
    They made the album like an opera. One song is like a play and if you take it out, it can stand alone, but if you want to have the full experience of the meaning of the song, then you have to listen to the whole thing.