In the music industry, a single is a type of release a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song, released separately from an album, although it also appears on an album; these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released. Despite being referred to as a single, singles can include up to as many as three tracks; the biggest digital music distributor, iTunes Store, accepts as many as three tracks less than ten minutes each as a single, as does popular music player Spotify. Any more than three tracks on a musical release or thirty minutes in total running time is either an extended play or, if over six tracks long, an album; when mainstream music was purchased via vinyl records, singles would be released double-sided.
That is to say, they were released with an A-side and B-side, on which two singles would be released, one on each side. Moreover, only the most popular songs from a released album would be released as a single. In more contemporary forms of music consumption, artists release most, if not all, of the tracks on an album as singles; the basic specifications of the music single were set in the late 19th century, when the gramophone record began to supersede phonograph cylinders in commercially produced musical recordings. Gramophone discs were manufactured in several sizes. By about 1910, the 10-inch, 78 rpm shellac disc had become the most used format; the inherent technical limitations of the gramophone disc defined the standard format for commercial recordings in the early 20th century. The crude disc-cutting techniques of the time and the thickness of the needles used on record players limited the number of grooves per inch that could be inscribed on the disc surface, a high rotation speed was necessary to achieve acceptable recording and playback fidelity.
78 rpm was chosen as the standard because of the introduction of the electrically powered, synchronous turntable motor in 1925, which ran at 3600 rpm with a 46:1 gear ratio, resulting in a rotation speed of 78.26 rpm. With these factors applied to the 10-inch format and performers tailored their output to fit the new medium; the 3-minute single remained the standard into the 1960s, when the availability of microgroove recording and improved mastering techniques enabled recording artists to increase the duration of their recorded songs. The breakthrough came with Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". Although CBS tried to make the record more "radio friendly" by cutting the performance into halves, separating them between the two sides of the vinyl disc, both Dylan and his fans demanded that the full six-minute take be placed on one side, that radio stations play the song in its entirety; as digital downloading and audio streaming have become more prevalent, it has become possible for every track on an album to be available separately.
The concept of a single for an album has been retained as an identification of a more promoted or more popular song within an album collection. The demand for music downloads skyrocketed after the launch of Apple's iTunes Store in January 2001 and the creation of portable music and digital audio players such as the iPod. In September 1997, with the release of Duran Duran's "Electric Barbarella" for paid downloads, Capitol Records became the first major label to sell a digital single from a well-known artist. Geffen Records released Aerosmith's "Head First" digitally for free. In 2004, Recording Industry Association of America introduced digital single certification due to significant sales of digital formats, with Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" becoming RIAA's first platinum digital single. In 2013, RIAA incorporated on-demand streams into the digital single certification. Single sales in the United Kingdom reached an all-time low in January 2005, as the popularity of the compact disc was overtaken by the then-unofficial medium of the music download.
Recognizing this, On 17 April 2005, Official UK Singles Chart added the download format to the existing format of physical CD singles. Gnarls Barkley was the first act to reach No.1 on this chart through downloads alone in April 2006, for their debut single "Crazy", released physically the following week. On 1 January 2007 digital downloads became eligible from the point of release, without the need for an accompanying physical. Sales improved in the following years, reaching a record high in 2008 that still proceeded to be overtaken in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Singles have been issued in various formats, including 7-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch vinyl discs. Other, less common, formats include singles on Digital Compact Cassette, DVD, LD, as well as many non-standard sizes of vinyl disc; the most common form of the vinyl single is the 45 or 7-inch. The names are derived from its play speed, 45 rpm, the standard diameter, 7 inches; the 7-inch 45 rpm record was released 31 March 1949 by RCA Victor as a smaller, more durable and higher-fidelity replacement for the 78 rpm shellac discs.
The first 45
The Light at the End of the World (A Flock of Seagulls album)
The Light at the End of the World is a 1995 US-only studio album by the band A Flock of Seagulls. It is the first album. Left as the band's only original member, Mike Score would be working with many different musicians over the years, he and the members of his band played live shows, but got back to recording after releasing the single "Magic" in 1989. By 1994, the lineup–now consisting of Score, Ed Berner on guitar, Dean Pichette on bass guitar, A. J. Mazzetti on drums–would create The Light at the End of the World. While rehearsing the finishing touches for the album, the band came across David Brodie–the vice-president of the fledgling record company Big Shot. Located in Winter Park, the label was close to the band's home-base and seemed a more viable choice compared to a label further away; the Light at the End of the World was the second album Score. He produced the single "Magic" from 1989. In contrast to the first two albums from A Flock of Seagulls, but keeping a similar theme to the previous Dream Come True, the songs featured on this album were romantic in theme.
Some of the songs, including "Burnin' Up", "Magic" and "Setting Sun", were being performed live as far back as the late 1980s. The album produced three singles–"Magic", "Burnin' Up" and "Rainfall"–which all had no chart success; the album features two New Age instrumentals: "The Light at the End of the World" and "Seven Seas". The album's artwork was done by Rifka, who did the artwork for the single "Burnin' Up". All tracks written by A Flock of Seagulls; the critics who reviewed the album gave it unfavorable reviews. Allmusic.com called it "dull and embarrassing to listen to". They gave it a 1 and a half out of 5
Spin Alternative Record Guide
Spin Alternative Record Guide is a music reference book compiled by the American music magazine Spin and published in 1995 by Vintage Books. It was edited by rock critic Eric Weisbard and Craig Marks, the magazine's editor-in-chief at the time; the book features essays and reviews from a number of prominent critics on albums and genres considered relevant to the alternative music movement. Contributors who were consulted for the guide include Ann Powers, Rob Sheffield, Simon Reynolds, Michael Azerrad, Robert Christgau; the book did not sell well and received a mixed reaction from reviewers in 1995. The quality and relevance of the contributors' writing were praised, while the editors' concept and comprehensiveness of alternative music were seen as ill-defined. Nonetheless, it inspired a number of future music critics and helped revive the career of folk artist John Fahey, whose music was covered in the guide. Spanning 468 pages, Spin Alternative Record Guide compiles essays by 64 music critics on recording artists and bands who either predated, were involved in, or developed from the alternative music movement.
In the book, each artist's entry is accompanied by their discography, with albums rated a score between one and ten. The book's editors, critic Eric Weisbard and Spin editor-in-chief Craig Marks, consulted journalists such as Simon Reynolds, Alex Ross, Charles Aaron, Michael Azerrad, Ann Powers, Rob Sheffield, who wrote most of the complete discography reviews; the artist entries are accompanied by song lyrics and album artwork. Although "alternative" had been used as a catchall term for rock bands outside the mainstream, Spin Alternative Record Guide covers 500 artists from a variety of genres considered relevant to alternative music's development; these include 1970s punk rock, 1980s college rock, 1990s indie rock, noise music, electronic, new wave, heavy metal, synthpop, alternative country, hip hop, grunge and avant-garde jazz. Most artists associated with classic rock are not covered, while some mainstream pop artists are given entries, including Madonna and ABBA. Other non-rock artists reviewed in the book include jazz composer Sun Ra, country singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett, Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Weisbard and Marks have said the book was meant to be "suggestive", rather than "comprehensive", of alternative music. An introductory essay on alternative rock and "alternative sensibilities" was written by Weisbard. In it, he explains alternative music as a category whose principles are "antigenerationally dystopian, subculturally presuming fragmentation", "built on an neurotic discomfort over massified and commodified culture", he and Marks consulted a number of artists for their top-ten record lists, which were interspersed throughout the book. They curated a "Top 100 Alternative Albums" list for the appendix, ranking the Ramones' 1976 self-titled debut album at number one. Spin Alternative Record Guide was published by Vintage Books on October 10, 1995, was the first book compiled by Spin magazine. According to Matthew Perpetua, the guide was "not a huge seller". Reviewing the book in 1995, Adam Mazmanian from Library Journal recommended Spin Alternative Record Guide to "both public and academic libraries".
He found its reviews superior in "length and scope" to The Rolling Stone Album Guide, which offered complete discographies of artists ranging from Jonathan Richman to Throbbing Gristle. Mazmanian further argued that "this guide fills a gap in the literature of modern music" at a time when "alternative" has developed a ubiquitous presence in the marketing of popular music. In New York magazine, Kim France called it "a well-edited and comprehensive look at all the crazy stuff the kids are listening to these days". Booklist critic Gordon Flagg was more qualified in his praise, he applauded the accuracy of the artist entries and the quality of the contributors' reviews, but found Weisbard's conception of "alternative" ill-defined and recommended The Trouser Press Record Guide as a more comprehensive option. More critical was Billboard magazine's Beth Renaud, who called much of the writing biased and the organization unencyclopedic, she said Weisbard's "obligatory" essay is outdated and vague in defining alternative rock and that the contributors "gush" over artists covered by Spin's magazine publication, with many relevant artists omitted in place of more perplexing additions.
Having edited the book, Weisbard put his pursuit of a PhD at UC Berkeley on hold and accepted a job offer from Spin, which marked the beginning of his career as a rock critic. Meanwhile, the guide's entry on folk guitarist John Fahey, written by Byron Coley, helped renew interest in Fahey's music. According to Ben Ratliff from The New York Times, this led to substantial interest in the guitarist from record labels and the alternative music scene, helping revive his career. American pop culture critic Chuck Klosterman cited Spin Alternative Record Guide as one of his five favorite books, saying in 2011, "I fear this might be out of print, but it's my favorite music book of all time. Since its 1995 publication, I doubt a year has passed when I didn't reread at least part of it." Robert Christgau, who contributed to the book, wrote that while most music guides and encyclopedia books he has consulted were unremarkable, Spin Alternative Record Guide was one of the few "useful exceptions" because of what he felt was the "sharpest writing" from contributors such as Weisbard and Sheffield.
Maura Johnston, on the other hand, said in retrospect that the book's list of the 100 best albums catered to "hipper, Gen-Xier tastes". In 2011, Spin Alternative Record Guide was included in Pitchfork's list of their staff's favorite music
Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)
"Wishing" is a 1982 song by A Flock of Seagulls, the opening song and only hit single from their second album Listen. The song exemplifies "synth-pop's spaced-out loneliness" and yearning for imagined, absent lovers, is noted for its Wall of Sound-styled layer of synthesizer padding – a "multi-layered, hypnotic song", according to AllMusic. Unlike the band's 1982 hit "I Ran" a United States and Australian hit, "Wishing" performed in the United Kingdom and reached the Top 10. In South Africa, it was enormously popular, reaching no. 8. "Wishing" – 4:00 "Committed" – 2:50 "Wishing " – 9:08 "Committed" – 5:34 "Wishing " – 4:57 "Wishing" – 6:03 "The Flight Of Yuri Gagarin" – 7:03 "Rosenmontag" – 8:01 "Committed" – 5:34Note: Track 1 was an edit newly created for the U. S. market and seems to be exclusive to this U. S. 12". Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
Konrad "Conny" Plank was a West German record producer and musician. He was born in Hütschenhausen, his creativity as a sound engineer and producer helped to shape many innovative recordings of postwar European popular music, covering a wide range of genres including progressive, avant-garde, electronic music and krautrock. As a musician, Plank is credited on albums by Guru Guru, Cluster, Liliental and Os Mundi, he collaborated with Dieter Moebius on five Moebius & Plank studio albums recorded between 1979 and 1986. The Moebius & Plank sound foreshadowed techno and electronica and influenced many musicians. Plank and the bands he worked with in West Germany had a strong influence on mainstream rock artists, some of whom were able to popularize aspects of his production technique and his distinctive approach. In the 1980s, electronic pop bands were able to realize his ideas in performance as computerized electronic instruments became available. Plank was an ardent believer in the possibilities of electronic music and electronic soundscapes.
He was known for blending them with conventional sounds, or natural sounds given unconventional treatments, such as using large metal containers and other industrial objects as percussion instruments. Plank used multi-track recording facilities, he favored contrasting audio for each element in the mix. Plank used combinations of echo and other electronic, mixing and tape-based effects to create mixes. Plank favored a very'live' production sound on drums. On a recording session in Hamburg in 1970 with Hartmut Kulka from the German Blue Flames & Philip Cantlay of Casey Jones & the Governors/Gaslight Union, together known as Kulka & Cantlay, he set up and recorded conga drums with specially inserted microphones to provide an unusual percussion sound. Plank began producing albums and working as a sound engineer in the late 1960s and became involved in the underground music scene, spreading outwards through Germany from Berlin. In 1969 he served as engineer for the first Kluster album, released the following year.
His long association with Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius of Kluster and Cluster endured until his death. He served as engineer for Alexander von Schlippenbach's album The Living Music, released in 1969, the first of a long list of engineering and production credits. During the 1970s Conny Plank produced and/or engineered many recordings by significant German progressive/experimental music acts referred to as krautrock internationally, including Kraftwerk, Neu!, Harmonia, Night Sun, Holger Czukay and Guru Guru. In 1977, through Brian Eno, Plank recruited Dave Hutchins as house engineer. Hutchins undertook recording & mixing roles on many of the productions originating from the studios in the following ten years; as a musician, Plank played guitar and keyboards on three Guru Guru albums: Kang Guru, Guru Guru, Mani und Seine Freunde, the Os Mundi album 43 Minuten, Cluster's self-titled debut album. In 1978 and 1979 he added guitar and percussion to two Roedelius solo albums, Durch Die Wüste and Selbstportrait.
He was a member of the short lived band Liliental, contributing guitar and vocals. In 1979 he went into the studio with Dieter Moebius to record the first Moebius & Plank album, Rastakraut Pasta, released the following year. Plank continued recording four additional albums, their second album, was released in 1981. Their third album, the African-influenced Zero Set, with Guru Guru drummer Mani Neumeier, was released in 1983; these two albums are early examples of the predecessors of electronica. In 1983, Moebius & Plank recorded the album Ludwig's Law using an Emulator, an early form of sampling keyboard that enabled them to duplicate other instruments without having musicians to play them. Mayo Thompson of Red Krayola contributed vocals spoken monologues; the project was rejected by Sky Records and was not released until 1998. The final Moebius & Plank collaboration, En Route was recorded in Conny's Studio in 1986 but left incomplete as Plank's health deteriorated, it was completed and mixed in 1995 by Dieter Moebius, released that year.
During the eighties, Plank remained in high demand with the new generation of electronic pop and new wave artists, including Devo, The Meteors from the Netherlands, The Fred Banana Combo, Ultravox and The Tourists, Eurythmics. He worked on pop and rock productions with artists such as Scorpions, Killing Joke, Play Dead, Gianna Nannini. Plank's other production credits include Liaisons Dangereuses, Einstürzende Neubauten, Ástor Piazzolla, Psychotic Tanks, DAF Gianna Nannini, Echo & the Bunnymen, Les Rita Mitsouko, Nina Hagen. According to René Tinner and Stephan Plank in a radio documentary about the life of Conny Plank, it was Brian Eno's idea that Plank should produce the U2-album The Joshua Tree instead of him. After being introduced to the band by Eno and after a short meeting, Plank turned down the job. According to the companion website of the documentary film Conny Plank – The Potential of Noise, after the meeting, Plank firstly asked for time for a second thought. In the meantime he attended a U2 concert at Freilichtbühne Loreley, whe
Smash Hits was a British pop music magazine aimed at teenagers and young adults, published by EMAP. It ran from 1978 to 2006 and, after appearing monthly, was issued fortnightly during most of that time; the name survived as a brand for a spin-off digital television channel -now named Box Hits - and website. A digital radio station was available but shut on 5 August 2013. Smash Hits featured songwords of interviews with all the big names in music, it was published monthly went fortnightly. The style of the magazine was one of irreverence, its interviewing technique was novel at the time and, rather than looking up to the big names, it made fun of them, asking strange questions rather than talking about their music. Created by journalist Nick Logan, the title was launched in 1978 and appeared monthly for its first few months, he based the idea on a songwords magazine that his sister used to buy, but, of poor quality. His idea being to launch a glossy-looking magazine which contained songwords as its mainstay.
The publisher was Emap, a small-time publisher based in Peterborough and the magazine was titled Disco Fever, before they settled on Smash Hits. Smash Hits launched the career of many journalists including Radio Times editor Mark Frith. Other well-known writers have included Dave Rimmer, Ian Birch, Mark Ellen, Steve Beebee, Peter Martin, Chris Heath, Sylvia Patterson, Alex Kadis, Sian Pattenden, Tom Hibbert, Miranda Sawyer. Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys worked as a writer and assistant editor, once claimed that had he not become a pop star, he would have pursued his ambition to become editor; the magazine was available in Continental Europe in Germany where the issues could be bought at train stations or airports, whilst the title was licensed for a French version in the 1990s. There were other licensed versions in the magazine's history. In 1984, an Australian version was created and proved just as successful for that new market as the original had back in Britain, whilst in the United States, a version was published during the 1980s under the title Star Hits, drawing articles from the British version.
It was published by Emap, who use the name for one of their digital television services, for a digital radio station. The brand covered the annual Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, an awards ceremony voted for by readers of the magazine; the magazine's sales peaked during the late 1980s. In the early part of the decade it was selling 500,000 copies per issue, which had risen to over one million by 1989. Sales began to drop during the 1990s and by 1996 it was reported that sales were dropping 100,000 per year standing at 245,000. By the time of its demise, it was down to 120,000. In the 1990s, the magazine's circulation slumped and it was overtaken by the BBC's spin off magazine Top of the Pops. Emap's other biweekly teen magazine of the period Big! was closed and this celeb focus was shifted over to Smash Hits, which became less focused on teen pop and more of an entertainment magazine. The magazine shifted size a number of times in subsequent relaunches including one format, as big as an album with songwords to be clipped out on the card cover.
Television presenter and journalist Kate Thornton was editor for a short time. In February 2006, it was announced that the magazine would cease publication after the February 13 edition due to declining sales; the digital music video channel, digital radio, website services still continue. In July 2009, a one-off commemorative issue of the magazine was published as a tribute to singer Michael Jackson. Further one-off specials were released in November 2009 and December 2010. "Chris Hall" Ian Cranna David Hepworth Mark Ellen Steve Bush Barry McIlheney Richard Lowe Mike Soutar Mark Frith Kate Thornton Gavin Reeve Bob Monkhouse John McKie Emma Jones Lisa Smosarski Lara PalamoudianThe publication's Art Editor in the early 1990s was Phil Hawksworth, who guided the transition between traditional artwork to electronic artwork on the Mac, introducing many of the design/content features used until publication ceased in 2007. EMAP licensed the brand for a number of compilation albums, including a tie in with the Now That's What I Call Music brand for Now Smash Hits, a retrospective of the early 1980s.
The Australian edition of Smash Hits magazine began in November 1984 as a fortnightly edited by James Manning. The magazine blended some content from the parent publication with locally generated material. Eddy Sarafian, to edit the successful competitor TV Hits for Attic Futura Publications, was on staff at the time the magazine was founded. Robyn Doreian editor of Attic Futura's Hot Metal was graphic designer for Smash Hits and in the early 1990s Lisa Anthony editor of Attic Futura's Hit Songwords, would become Smash Hits' editor for a brief period. Australian Smash Hits was published by Fairfax Magazines and was purchased by Mason Stewart Publications. Over the years it became a monthly and a bi-monthly. In 2007 the magazine retailed for A$5.95 Inc. GST and NZ$6.50. On 30 March 2007 it was announced that the Australian edition would cease publication due to low readership; the editor at that time was Emma Bradshaw. The issue, scheduled to be released on 9 May 2007 was cancelled. Smash Hits