One Song at a Time?

It seems to me that every Duran Duran album since the reunion has been rolled out to the public differently.  For example, I remember how the first 9 tracks of All You Need Is Now could be purchased via iTunes in December of 2010, months before the physical and complete copy of the album was available.  I also remember that the song, All You Need Is Now, was available for free for a little while then, too.  This time, 4 different songs have been made available before the album has been dropped.  The songs have typically appeared on some media site first with availability coming later in digital stores.  I’m sure that for many people, this means purchasing each song, one at a time.  For others, who have pre-ordered through digital stores like iTunes, the new songs have downloaded automatically.

Now, I admit that I have no background or no knowledge in how best to release an album in order to make the most sales.  This blog isn’t about that.  Since this blog is from a fan’s perspective, I have to wonder if this method of one song at a time is beneficial to fans.  A pattern within the fan community can be easily seen with each released song.  First, the link to hear the song is shared and shared widely.  Then, fans react with excitement and immediately seem to express their love for the new track.  It seems like a definite win for the band and the album, right?  It would appear to be the case.  Yet, as the dust clears, I’m starting to see a slight shift in the fans.

It seems to me that there are some fans who are loving getting one song at a time.  Initially, I would have been in that camp, for sure.  I liked that I was able to hear the track, digest it both individually and with Rhonda, and react to it on its own merits.  We had the time to listen and review, for example.  This format allows for the fans to focus on one track at a time.  Yet, other fans are starting to express some dislike with this method.  I have seen more than one fan, for example, openly state that they hope that the band does not release any more tracks this way.  When questioned, these fans state they are ready to hear the album as a whole.  They want the complete package–not just one small part to it.  For them, these released songs are like spoilers.  In my experience, spoilers for TV shows and movies do two things.  They fulfill the desire to know what is going to happen, at first.  They are like having an itch and finally being able to scratch it.  The sense of relief is so nice.  Yet, as in the case of many “itches”, scratching even for a little bit makes you want and need to scratch more.  Soon enough, then, you might wish that you had never scratched in the first place as scratching just made the situation worse.  Perhaps, this is what hearing those 4 songs have done for some Duranies.  Maybe, they have made it HARDER to wait for the entire package.

On top of that, I have to admit to being a bit old school when it comes to albums.  I like to listen to the entire thing, at least for the bands and artists that I’m already a fan of.  Does that mean that I don’t download single tracks.  No, it just means that I don’t download single tracks for bands like Duran or The Killers or Depeche Mode or other favorites.  I download single tracks for artists in which I ONLY like one or two songs.  To me, having the entire album allows for me to get the full picture, a complete sense of what the album is.  As I mentioned yesterday, I feel like I’m getting a sense for what the album, Paper Gods, is like.  Yet, as I also said, I won’t know that for sure until I hear the entire thing.  Another point that was made by a friend of mine (no pun intended) is how the track listing may also make a difference.  I agree.

I guess what I’m saying is this.  I appreciate that we got 4 songs in advance like we did.  Now, though, I’m ready to hear the entire thing.  I know that September 11th isn’t that far away.  That’s true.  I can wait.  I will wait.  Of course, if someone wants to put me out of my misery and send me a copy in advance, I wouldn’t turn it down (Ha!  Dreams are free!) and I wouldn’t change my pre-orders either as I do believe in buying music!  I certainly wouldn’t add to the spoilers out there, either.  There is more than enough painful scratching going on in Duranland right now!

-A

6 thoughts on “One Song at a Time?”

  1. I’m one of those who doesn’t want to hear any more before the whole album is out. I’m also rationing my listens to the 4. You are right when you say ‘spoilers’! I’d be happy to listen to a snippet of something, like how they release a few bits of AYNIN early, but don’t want full tracks out of context.

    Interestingly, I listened to AYNIN in its entirety yesterday, and (apart from TBYSB which instantly went into my top 3 all time DD songs so I played it to death), I’m still surprised to hear the ‘extra’ tracks, eg Networker Nation, Other People’s Lives etc. This is because the original release got absolutely tons of airplay as a whole album when I first got it, and hearing the full version with more tracks was a slightly weird experience, as they are less ingrained in my mind, and none of them (except the aforementioned!) are good enough for me to play them on repeat to get them up to the same quantity of listens to have them fit comfortably.

    Albums in the right order are a really powerful experience, and I come to expect one song to give way to the next. The most peculiar time this went wrong was when I was given a taped copy of So Red the Rose by a French friend during an 80s French exchange, and didn’t realise until a few years ago when I got round to buying the vinyl that he’d taped me side 2 before side 1. Very odd to hear that album the other way round on the cd release too!

    1. Out of context is a beautiful way to put it! I also agree with you that we do expect one song to give way to the next. I’m definitely interested in hearing the whole album in the proper order! -A

  2. Hi
    I think after Pressure Off came out, it would be better Duran ´Duran had mad a Video to this song. And than a few weeks ago the next song came out. But at WarnerBrother it many things diffrent and DD would go with the time.
    Those fans who want to wait to the whole Album DD14 can do it. No Body must by the songs or preordering it.
    So anyone can do what he/she wants.
    MonaB.

  3. At first I didn’t like Pressure Off when it came out, I didn’t even pre-order the album until they released Paper Gods so they got an earlier sale out of me. I personally LOVE all the song releases….it is making waiting until Sept. 11th not so unbearable. I keep checking social media and my iTunes account to see if any more songs have been released during the night 🙂

  4. Very interesting comment by bryonye. I had a bit of trouble warming up to AYNIN at first, BUT after putting Too Bad You’re So Beautiful as the 1st it all seemed to come together so much better. To my ears it WAS the opening track and deserved to be treated as such, imho. 🙂

    Regarding the songs we’ve heard so far for PAPER GODS, overall I like them all but it is a new path for them, in many ways. Seriously heavy dance tracks, quiet musings and epic introspections. I’m pretty sure I’m going to like it, but comments I’ve read range from very happy to very displeased it seems.

    Hey, we don’t get to tell the band what music to make, nor should we. Like it or not like it, at least the band did what it wanted and I know it’s going to be memorable one way or another…

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