The way music is enjoyed now, individual songs heard on Spotify or downloaded from iTunes, is much different than it used to be.
I just received an email today announcing the release of Spoon’s greatest hits album: Everything Hits At Once.
I’d never even thought of it before, but I couldn’t believe someone has released a greatest hits album.
Very few people are going to the record store anymore to browse new albums, and even fewer would pick up a greatest hits album. Not when it’s so easy to just hear the songs you know and like.
Who’s even heard a full album from any band anymore?
I say this with great lament, because I love it when bands think in terms of periods. When they consider how songs go together on one record, and how they self-select the songs that fit and the ones that don’t.
I’m pleasantly surprised that someone still thought enough about their catalog to assemble a greatest hits. But I also can’t help but wonder why.
On a related note, I used to love watching the show Name That Tune, where contests would listen to a few notes of a song until they could guess which song it was.
Unfortunately, I don’t think we could have that song anymore, either. Our musical exposure and tastes are so fractured now, there aren’t many songs that have enough of a mass audience that show producers could select songs they could rely on people to know.
But man, I bet I would have been great on that show.