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This article is about albums of recorded sound. Album_sentence_0

For other uses, see Album (disambiguation). Album_sentence_1

"Music album" redirects here. Album_sentence_2

For the Canadian television series, see Music Album (TV series). Album_sentence_3

An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Album_sentence_4

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 ⁄3 rpm. Album_sentence_5

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. Album_sentence_6

Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have mostly focused on CD and MP3 formats. Album_sentence_7

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. Album_sentence_8

An album may be recorded in a recording studio (fixed or mobile), in a concert venue, at home, in the field, or a mix of places. Album_sentence_9

The time frame for completely recording an album varies between a few hours to several years. Album_sentence_10

This process usually requires several takes with different parts recorded separately, and then brought or "mixed" together. Album_sentence_11

Recordings that are done in one take without overdubbing are termed "live", even when done in a studio. Album_sentence_12

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. Album_sentence_13

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_sentence_14

Album covers and liner notes are used, and sometimes additional information is provided, such as analysis of the recording, and lyrics or librettos. Album_sentence_15

Historically, the term "album" was applied to a collection of various items housed in a book format. Album_sentence_16

In musical usage the word was used for collections of short pieces of printed music from the early nineteenth century. Album_sentence_17

Later, collections of related 78rpm records were bundled in book-like albums (one side of a 78 rpm record could hold only about 3.5 minutes of sound). Album_sentence_18

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. Album_sentence_19

History Album_section_0

An album (Latin albus, white), in ancient Rome, was a board chalked or painted white, on which decrees, edicts, and other public notices were inscribed in black. Album_sentence_20

It was from this that in medieval and modern times album came to denote a book of blank pages in which verses, autographs, sketches, photographs and the like are collected. Album_sentence_21

This in turn led to the modern meaning of an album as a collection of audio recordings issued as a single item. Album_sentence_22

In the early nineteenth century "album" was occasionally used in the titles of some classical music sets, such as Schumann's Album for the Young Opus 68, a set of 43 short pieces. Album_sentence_23

With the advent of 78rpm records in the early 1900s, the typical 10-inch disc could only hold about three minutes of sound per side, so almost all popular recordings were limited to around three minutes in length. Album_sentence_24

Classical-music and spoken-word items generally were released on the longer 12-inch 78s, playing around 4–5 minutes per side. Album_sentence_25

For example, in 1924, George Gershwin recorded a drastically shortened version of his new seventeen-minute composition Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. Album_sentence_26

The recording was issued on both sides of a single record, Victor 55225 and ran for 8m 59s. Album_sentence_27

By 1910, though some European record companies had issued albums of complete operas and other works, the practice of issuing albums was not widely taken up by American record companies until the 1920s. Album_sentence_28

By about 1910, bound collections of empty sleeves with a paperboard or leather cover, similar to a photograph album, were sold as record albums that customers could use to store their records (the term "record album" was printed on some covers). Album_sentence_29

These albums came in both 10-inch and 12-inch sizes. Album_sentence_30

The covers of these bound books were wider and taller than the records inside, allowing the record album to be placed on a shelf upright, like a book, suspending the fragile records above the shelf and protecting them. Album_sentence_31

In the 1930s, record companies began issuing collections of 78 rpm records by one performer or of one type of music in specially assembled albums, typically with artwork on the front cover and liner notes on the back or inside cover. Album_sentence_32

Most albums included three or four records, with two sides each, making six or eight compositions per album. Album_sentence_33

The 10-inch and 12-inch LP record (long play), or ​33 ⁄3 rpm microgroove vinyl record, is a gramophone record format introduced by Columbia Records in 1948. Album_sentence_34

A single LP record often had the same or similar number of tunes as a typical album of 78s, and it was adopted by the record industry as a standard format for the "album". Album_sentence_35

Apart from relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums. Album_sentence_36

The term "album" was extended to other recording media such as 8-track tape, Compact audio cassette, compact disc, MiniDisc, and digital albums, as they were introduced. Album_sentence_37

As part of a trend of shifting sales in the music industry, some observers feel that the early 21st century experienced the death of the album. Album_sentence_38

Length Album_section_1

An album may contain as many or as few tracks as required. Album_sentence_39

In the United States, The Recording Academy's rules for Grammy Awards state that an album must comprise a minimum total playing time of 15 minutes with at least five distinct tracks or a minimum total playing time of 30 minutes with no minimum track requirement. Album_sentence_40

In the United Kingdom, the criteria for the UK Albums Chart is that a recording counts as an "album" if it either has more than four tracks or lasts more than 25 minutes. Album_sentence_41

Sometimes shorter albums are referred to as "mini-albums" or EPs. Album_sentence_42

Albums such as Tubular Bells, Amarok, Hergest Ridge by Mike Oldfield, and Yes's Close to the Edge, include fewer than four tracks, but still surpass the 25-minute mark. Album_sentence_43

The album Dopesmoker by Sleep contains only a single track, but the composition is over 63 minutes long. Album_sentence_44

There are no formal rules against artists such as Pinhead Gunpowder referring to their own releases under thirty minutes as "albums". Album_sentence_45

If an album becomes too long to fit onto a single vinyl record or CD, it may be released as a double album where two vinyl LPs or compact discs are packaged together in a single case, or a triple album containing three LPs or compact discs. Album_sentence_46

Recording artists who have an extensive back catalogue may re-release several CDs in one single box with a unified design, often containing one or more albums (in this scenario, these releases can sometimes be referred to as a "two (or three)-fer"), or a compilation of previously unreleased recordings. Album_sentence_47

These are known as box sets. Album_sentence_48

Some musical artists have also released more than three compact discs or LP records of new recordings at once, in the form of boxed sets, although in that case the work is still usually considered to be an album. Album_sentence_49

Tracks Album_section_2

Audio formats Album_section_3

See also: Timeline of audio formats Album_sentence_50

Non-audio printed format Album_section_4

Main article: Sheet music Album_sentence_51

Commercial sheet music are published in conjunction with the release of a new album (studio, compilation, soundtrack, etc.). Album_sentence_52

A matching folio songbook is a compilation of the music notation of all the songs included in that particular album. Album_sentence_53

It typically has the album's artwork on its cover and, in addition to sheet music, it includes photos of the artist. Album_sentence_54

Most pop and rock releases come in standard Piano/Vocal/Guitar notation format (and occasionally Easy Piano / E-Z Play Today). Album_sentence_55

Rock-oriented releases may also come in Guitar Recorded Versions edition, which are note-for-note transcriptions written directly from artist recordings. Album_sentence_56

Vinyl records Album_section_5

Main article: LP record Album_sentence_57

Vinyl LP records have two sides, each comprising one-half of the album. Album_sentence_58

If a pop or rock album contained tracks released separately as commercial singles, they were conventionally placed in particular positions on the album. Album_sentence_59

During the Sixties, particularly in the UK, singles were generally released separately from albums. Album_sentence_60

Today, many commercial albums of music tracks feature one or more singles, which are released separately to radio, TV or the Internet as a way of promoting the album. Album_sentence_61

Albums have been issued that are compilations of older tracks not originally released together, such as singles not originally found on albums, b-sides of singles, or unfinished "demo" recordings. Album_sentence_62

Double albums during the Seventies were sometimes sequenced for record changers. Album_sentence_63

In the case of a two-record set, for example, sides 1 and 4 would be stamped on one record, and sides 2 and 3 on the other. Album_sentence_64

The user would stack the two records onto the spindle of an automatic record changer, with side 1 on the bottom and side 2 (on the other record) on top. Album_sentence_65

Side 1 would automatically drop onto the turntable and be played. Album_sentence_66

When finished, the tone arm's position would trigger a mechanism which moved the arm out of the way, dropped the record with side 2, and played it. Album_sentence_67

When both records had been played, the user would pick up the stack, turn it over, and put them back on the spindle—sides 3 and 4 would then play in sequence. Album_sentence_68

Record changers were used for many years of the LP era, but eventually fell out of use. Album_sentence_69

8-track tape Album_section_6

Main article: 8-track tape Album_sentence_70

8-track tape (formally Stereo 8: commonly known as the eight-track cartridge, eight-track tape, or simply eight-track) is a magnetic tape sound recording technology popular in the United States from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s when the Compact Cassette format took over. Album_sentence_71

The format is regarded as an obsolete technology, and was relatively unknown outside the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Album_sentence_72

Stereo 8 was created in 1964 by a consortium led by Bill Lear of Lear Jet Corporation, along with Ampex, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Motorola, and RCA Victor Records (RCA). Album_sentence_73

It was a further development of the similar Stereo-Pak four-track cartridge created by Earl "Madman" Muntz. Album_sentence_74

A later quadraphonic version of the format was announced by RCA in April 1970 and first known as Quad-8, then later changed to just Q8. Album_sentence_75

Compact cassette Album_section_7

Main article: Compact Cassette Album_sentence_76

The Compact Cassette was a popular medium for distributing pre-recorded music from the early 1970s to the early 2000s. Album_sentence_77

The first "Compact Cassette" was introduced by Philips in August 1963 in the form of a prototype. Album_sentence_78

Compact Cassettes became especially popular during the 1980s after the advent of the Sony Walkman, which allowed the person to control what they listened to. Album_sentence_79

The Walkman was convenient because of its size, the device could fit in most pockets and often came equipped with a clip for belts or pants. Album_sentence_80

Compact cassettes also saw the creation of mixtapes, which are tapes containing a compilation of songs created by any average listener of music. Album_sentence_81

The songs on a mixtape generally relate to one another in some way, whether it be a conceptual theme or an overall sound. Album_sentence_82

The compact cassette used double-sided magnetic tape to distribute music for commercial sale. Album_sentence_83

The music is recorded on both the "A" and "B" side of the tape, with cassette being "turned" to play the other side of the album. Album_sentence_84

Compact Cassettes were also a popular way for musicians to record "Demos" or "Demo Tapes" of their music to distribute to various record labels, in the hopes of acquiring a recording contract. Album_sentence_85

The sales of Compact Cassettes eventually began to decline in the 1990s, after the release and distribution Compact Discs. Album_sentence_86

After the introduction of Compact discs, the term "Mixtape" began to apply to any personal compilation of songs on any given format. Album_sentence_87

Recently there has been a revival of Compact Cassettes by independent record labels and DIY musicians who prefer the format because of its difficulty to share over the internet. Album_sentence_88

Compact disc Album_section_8

Main article: Compact disc Album_sentence_89

The compact disc format replaced both the vinyl record and the cassette as the standard for the commercial mass-market distribution of physical music albums. Album_sentence_90

After the introduction of music downloading and MP3 players such as the iPod, US album sales dropped 54.6% from 2001 to 2009. Album_sentence_91

The CD is a digital data storage device which permits digital recording technology to be used to record and play-back the recorded music. Album_sentence_92

MP3 albums, and similar Album_section_9

Main article: Music download Album_sentence_93

Most recently, the MP3 audio format has matured, revolutionizing the concept of digital storage. Album_sentence_94

Early MP3 albums were essentially CD-rips created by early CD-ripping software, and sometimes real-time rips from cassettes and vinyl. Album_sentence_95

The so-called "MP3 album" is not necessarily just in MP3 file format, in which higher quality formats such as FLAC and WAV can be used on storage media that MP3 albums reside on, such as CD-R-ROMs, hard drives, flash memory (e.g. thumbdrives, MP3 players, SD cards), etc. Album_sentence_96

Types of album Album_section_10

See also: :Category:Album types Album_sentence_97

The contents of the album are usually recorded in a studio or live in concert, though may be recorded in other locations, such as at home (as with JJ Cale's Okie, Beck's Odelay, David Gray's White Ladder, and others), in the field - as with early Blues recordings, in prison, or with a mobile recording unit such as the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. Album_sentence_98

Studio Album_section_11

Most albums are studio albums — that is, they are recorded in a recording studio with equipment meant to give those overseeing the recording as much control as possible over the sound of the album. Album_sentence_99

They minimize external noises and reverberations and have highly sensitive microphones and sound mixing equipment. Album_sentence_100

In some studios, each member of a band records their part in separate rooms (or even at separate times, while listening to the other parts of the track with headphones to keep the timing right). Album_sentence_101

In recent years, with the advent of email, it has become possible for musicians to record their part of a song in another studio in another part of the world, and send their contribution over email to be included in the final product. Album_sentence_102

Live Album_section_12

"Live album" redirects here. Album_sentence_103

For other uses, see Live album (disambiguation). Album_sentence_104

An album may be recorded in a recording studio (fixed or mobile), in a concert venue, at home, in the field, or a mix of places. Album_sentence_105

The recording process may occur within a few hours or may take several years to complete, usually in several takes with different parts recorded separately, and then brought or "mixed" together. Album_sentence_106

Recordings that are done in one take without overdubbing are termed "live", even when done in a studio. Album_sentence_107

Studios are built to absorb sound, eliminating reverberation, to assist in mixing different takes; other locations, such as concert venues and some "live rooms", allow for reverberation, which creates a "live" sound. Album_sentence_108

Concert or stage performances are recorded using remote recording techniques. Album_sentence_109

Live albums may be recorded at a single concert, or combine recordings made at multiple concerts. Album_sentence_110

They may include applause and other noise from the audience, comments by the performers between pieces, improvisation, and so on. Album_sentence_111

They may use multitrack recording direct from the stage sound system (rather than microphones placed among the audience), and can employ additional manipulation and effects during post-production to enhance the quality of the recording. Album_sentence_112

Live double albums emerged during the 1970s. Album_sentence_113

Appraising the concept in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau said most "are profit-taking recaps marred by sound and format inappropriate to phonographic reproduction (you can't put sights, smells, or fellowship on audio tape). Album_sentence_114

But for Joe Cocker and Bette Midler and Bob-Dylan-in-the-arena, the form makes a compelling kind of sense." Album_sentence_115

The first-ever live album was Ritchie Valens' Ritchie Valens In Concert at Pacoima Jr. High. Album_sentence_116

The best-selling live album worldwide is Garth Brooks' Double Live, which shipped over 10.5 million 2-CD sets in the United States alone as of November 2006. Album_sentence_117

In Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 18 albums were live albums. Album_sentence_118

Solo Album_section_13

For albums titled "Solo", see Solo (disambiguation). Album_sentence_119

A solo album, in popular music, is an album recorded by a current or former member of a musical group which is released under that artist's name only, even though some or all other band members may be involved. Album_sentence_120

The solo album appeared as early as the late 1940s. Album_sentence_121

A 1947 Billboard magazine article heralded "Margaret Whiting huddling with Capitol execs over her first solo album on which she will be backed by Frank De Vol". Album_sentence_122

There is no formal definition setting forth the amount of participation a band member can solicit from other members of their band, and still have the album referred to as a solo album. Album_sentence_123

One reviewer wrote that Ringo Starr's third venture, Ringo, "[t]echnically... wasn't a solo album because all four Beatles appeared on it". Album_sentence_124

Three of the four members of the Beatles released solo albums while the group was officially still together. Album_sentence_125

A performer may record a solo album for several reasons. Album_sentence_126

A solo performer working with other members will typically have full creative control of the band, be able to hire and fire accompanists, and get the majority of the proceeds. Album_sentence_127

The performer may be able to produce songs that differ widely from the sound of the band with which the performer has been associated, or that the group as a whole chose not to include in its own albums. Album_sentence_128

Graham Nash of The Hollies described his experience in developing a solo album as follows: "The thing that I go through that results in a solo album is an interesting process of collecting songs that can't be done, for whatever reason, by a lot of people". Album_sentence_129

A solo album may also represent the departure of the performer from the group. Album_sentence_130

Tribute or cover Album_section_14

Further information: List of tribute albums Album_sentence_131

A tribute or cover album is a collection of cover versions of songs or instrumental compositions. Album_sentence_132

Its concept may involve various artists covering the songs of a single artist, genre or period, a single artist covering the songs of various artists or a single artist, genre or period, or any variation of an album of cover songs which is marketed as a "tribute". Album_sentence_133

See also Album_section_15

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: