Album

An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music 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 13 rpm. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have mostly focused on CD and MP3 formats. The audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s.

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. The time frame for completely recording an album varies between a few hours to several years. This process usually requires several takes with different parts recorded separately, and then brought or "mixed" together. Recordings that are done in one take without overdubbing are termed "live", even when done in a studio. Studios are built to absorb sound, eliminating reverberation, so as to assist in mixing different takes; other locations, such as concert venues and some "live rooms", have reverberation, which creates a "live" sound.[1] Recordings, including live, may contain editing, sound effects, voice adjustments, etc. With modern recording technology, musicians 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 covers and liner notes are used, and sometimes additional information is provided, such as analysis of the recording, and lyrics or librettos.[2][3] Historically, the term "album" was applied to a collection of various items housed in a book format. In musical usage the word was used for collections of short pieces of printed music from the early nineteenth century.[4] Later, collections of related 78rpm records were bundled in book-like albums[5] (one side of a 78 rpm record could hold only about 3.5 minutes of sound). When long-playing records were introduced, a collection of pieces on a single record was called an album; the word was extended to other recording media such as compact disc, MiniDisc, Compact audio cassette, and digital albums as they were introduced.[6]

Earlyalbum1
Early record albums were multiple 78rpm discs packaged in book form, like a photograph album

History

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. 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.[7] Which in turn led to the modern meaning of an album as a collection of audio recordings issued as a single item.

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.[4]

When 78rpm records came out, the popular 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.[8] Classical-music and spoken-word items generally were released on the longer 12-inch 78s, about 4–5 minutes per side. For example, in 1924, George Gershwin recorded a drastically shortened version of the seventeen-minute Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. It was released on two sides of Victor 55225 and ran for 8m 59s.[9] Deutsche Grammophon had produced an album for its complete recording of the opera Carmen in 1908. German record company Odeon released the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky in 1909 on 4 double-sided discs in a specially designed package.[10] This practice of issuing albums does not seem to have been widely taken up by other record companies for many years; however, HMV provided an album, with a pictorial cover, for the 1917 recording of The Mikado (Gilbert & Sullivan).

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). These albums came in both 10-inch and 12-inch sizes. 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. 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. Most albums included three or four records, with two sides each, making six or eight compositions per album.[5]

The 12-inch LP record (long play), or ​33 13 rpm microgroove vinyl record, is a gramophone record format introduced by Columbia Records in 1948.[11] 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".[5] Apart from relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums.

The term "album" was extended to other recording media such as Compact audio cassette, compact disc, MiniDisc, and digital albums, as they were introduced.[6] 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.[12]

Length

While an album may contain as many or as few tracks as required, 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.[13] 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.[14] Sometimes shorter albums are referred to as "mini-albums" or EPs.[15] Albums such as Tubular Bells, Amarok, Hergest Ridge by Mike Oldfield, and Yes's Close to the Edge, include fewer than four tracks. There are no formal rules against artists such as Pinhead Gunpowder referring to their own releases under thirty minutes as "albums".

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. 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. These are known as box sets. 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.

Tracks

Material (music or sounds) is stored on an album in sections termed tracks, normally 11 or 12 tracks. A music track (often simply referred to as a track) is an individual song or instrumental recording. The term is particularly associated with popular music where separate tracks are known as album tracks; the term is also used for other formats such as EPs and singles. When vinyl records were the primary medium for audio recordings a track could be identified visually from the grooves and many album covers or sleeves included numbers for the tracks on each side. On a compact disc the track number is indexed so that a player can jump straight to the start of any track. On digital music stores such as iTunes the term song is often used interchangeably with track regardless of whether there is any vocal content.

Bonus tracks

A bonus track (also known as a bonus cut or bonus) is a piece of music which has been included as an extra. This may be done as a marketing promotion, or for other reasons. It is not uncommon to include singles as bonus tracks on re-issues of old albums, where those tracks weren't originally included. Online music stores allow buyers to create their own albums by selecting songs themselves; bonus tracks may be included if a customer buys a whole album rather than just one or two songs from the artist. The song is not necessarily free nor is it available as a stand-alone download, adding also to the incentive to buy the complete album. In contrast to hidden tracks, bonus tracks are included on track listings and usually do not have a gap of silence between other album tracks. Bonus tracks on CD or vinyl albums are common in Japan for releases by European and North American artists; since importing international copies of the album can be cheaper than buying a domestically-released version, Japanese releases often feature bonus tracks to incentivize domestic purchase.[16]

Audio formats

Adele 21 PVG
Adele's album 21 in songbook format

Non-audio printed format

Commercial sheet music are published in conjunction with the release of a new album (studio, compilation, soundtrack, etc.). A matching folio songbook is a compilation of the music notation of all the songs included in that particular album. It typically has the album's artwork on its cover and, in addition to sheet music, it includes photos of the artist.[17] Most pop and rock releases come in standard Piano/Vocal/Guitar notation format (and occasionally Easy Piano / E-Z Play Today).[18] Rock-oriented releases may also come in Guitar Recorded Versions edition, which are note-for-note transcriptions written directly from artist recordings.[19]

Vinyl records

Record-Album-02
A vinyl LP on a turntable

Vinyl LP records have two sides, each comprising one-half of the album. If a pop or rock album contained tracks released separately as commercial singles, they were conventionally placed in particular positions on the album.[6] During the Sixties, particularly in the UK, singles were generally released separately from albums. 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.[20] 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.[6]

Double albums during the Seventies were sometimes sequenced for record changers. 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. 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. Side 1 would automatically drop onto the turntable and be played. 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. 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.[6] Record changers were used for many years of the LP era, but eventually fell out of use.

8-track tape

Leitor de cartuchos JVC
A typical 8-track tape player

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[21] from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s when the Compact Cassette format took over.[22][23] The format is regarded as an obsolete technology, and was relatively unknown outside the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.[24][25]

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

Compact cassette

Compact audio cassette 2
A blank compact cassette tape and case

The Compact Cassette was a popular medium for distributing pre-recorded music in the late 1970s through to the 1990s. The very first "Compact Cassette" was introduced by Philips in August 1963 in the form of a prototype.[26] 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.[26][27] 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.[26] Compact cassettes also saw the creation of mixtapes, which are tapes containing a compilation of songs created by any average listener of music.[28] The songs on a mixtape generally relate to one another in some way, whether it be a conceptual theme or an overall sound.[28] The compact cassette used double-sided magnetic tape to distribute music for commercial sale.[26][29] 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.[26] 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.[30] The sales of Compact Cassettes eventually began to decline in the 1990s, after the release and distribution Compact Discs. After the introduction of Compact discs, the term "Mixtape" began to apply to any personal compilation of songs on any given format.[28] 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.[31]

Compact disc

CDV2
A compact disc within an open jewel case

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.[32] After the introduction of music downloading and MP3 players such as the iPod, US album sales dropped 54.6% from 2001 to 2009.[33] The CD is a digital data storage device which permits digital recording technology to be used to record and play-back the recorded music.[29][32]

MP3 albums, and similar

Most recently, the MP3 audio format has matured, revolutionizing the concept of digital storage. Early MP3 albums were essentially CD-rips created by early CD-ripping software, and sometimes real-time rips from cassettes and vinyl.

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.

Types of album

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,[34][35] Beck's Odelay,[36] David Gray's White Ladder,[37] and others),[38][39][40] in the field - as with early Blues recordings,[41] in prison,[42] or with a mobile recording unit such as the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio.[43][44]

Studio

Thriller platinum record, Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood
The platinum record for Michael Jackson's Thriller, approximated to have sold 66 million copies worldwide, as the world's best-selling album

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

Live

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. 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. Recordings that are done in one take without overdubbing are termed "live", even when done in a studio. Studios are built to absorb sound, eliminating reverberation, so as to assist in mixing different takes; other locations, such as concert venues and some "live rooms", allow for reverberation, which creates a "live" sound.[1]

Concert or stage performances are recorded using remote recording techniques. Live albums may be recorded at a single concert, or combine recordings made at multiple concerts. They may include applause and other noise from the audience, comments by the performers between pieces, improvisation, and so on. 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. Comedy albums, in particular, are most often recorded live because the audience reaction is part of the cue that the comedian is succeeding.

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

Solo

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. The solo album appeared as early as the late 1940s. 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".[46] There is no formal definition setting forth the amount of participation a band member can solicit from other members of his band, and still have the album referred to as a solo album. One reviewer wrote that Ringo Starr's third venture, Ringo, "[t]echnically... wasn't a solo album because all four Beatles appeared on it".[47] Three of the four members of the Beatles released solo albums while the group was officially still together.

A performer may record a solo album for a number of reasons. 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. 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. 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".[48] A solo album may also represent the departure of the performer from the group.

Tribute or cover

A tribute or cover album is a collection of cover versions of songs or instrumental compositions. 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".[49]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Philip Newell (18 Jul 2013). Recording Studio Design. Taylor & Francis. pp. 169–170.
  2. ^ "Album Cover Art Series". Rock Art Picture Show. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  3. ^ "The history of the CD – The 'Jewel Case'". Philips Research. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Mendelssohn And Schumann". Old and Sold. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Cross, Alan (15 July 2012) Life After the Album Is Going to Get Weird. alancross.ca
  6. ^ a b c d e "About Vinyl Records". Record Collector's Guild. Archived from the original on 30 April 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  7. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Album" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 513.
  8. ^ Allain, Rhett (July 11, 2014). "Why Are Songs on the Radio About the Same Length?". Wired. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  9. ^ "Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra". Redhotjazz.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 29, 2007. Retrieved September 27, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "First LP released". wired.com.
  12. ^ Scott Baneriee (6 November 2004). New Ideas, New Outlets. Billboard. p. 48.
  13. ^ "RECORDING ACADEMY™ TO TRANSITION TO ONLINE VOTING FOR THE 60". grammy.com. 14 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Rules For Chart Eligibility – Albums" (PDF). The Official UK Charts Company. January 2007. Archived from the original (pdf) on 27 June 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2007.
  15. ^ "As albums fade away, music industry looks to shorter records". Associated Press. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  16. ^ 14 Truly Amazing Japanese Bonus Tracks. Gigwise, February 26, 2015.
  17. ^ Blume, Jason. The Business of Songwriting (2006)
  18. ^ "Hal Leonard Online". www.halleonard.com.
  19. ^ "Guitar Recorded Versions - Hal Leonard Online". www.halleonard.com.
  20. ^ "Chronology: Technology and the Music Industry". Callie Tainter. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  21. ^ "What Are 8-Track Tapes?". wisegeek.com. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  22. ^ Moore, Dan. "Collector's Corner: The History Of The Eight-Track Tape". Goldmine magazine. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  23. ^ "What Are 8-Track Tapes?". Retrieved 2014-01-22.
  24. ^ Moore, Dan. "Collector's Corner: The History Of The Eight-Track Tape". Goldmine magazine. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  25. ^ "What Are 8-Track Tapes?". wisegeek.com. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  26. ^ a b c d e "History of Compact Cassette". Vintage Cassettes. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  27. ^ Haire, Meaghan (1 July 2009). "A Brief History of The Walkman". Time. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  28. ^ a b c "Mixtape History". MTV. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  29. ^ a b "The History of Recorded Music". Music Cd Industry. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  30. ^ "Demo Tapes". Dave Mandl. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  31. ^ "Cassette Revival". Mediageek. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  32. ^ a b "The history of the CD – The beginning". Philips Research. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  33. ^ "Scary Stat: Album Sales Down 54.6 Percent Since 2000..." Digital Music Newss. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  34. ^ "JJ-Cale-Okie". discogs.com.
  35. ^ "JJ Cale Obituary". telegraph.co.uk. 28 July 2013.
  36. ^ "100 Greatest Albums: 16 Beck Odelay". Spin: 75. July 2008.
  37. ^ "UK Fave Tom McRae Bows In States Via Arista". Billboard: 11. 18 Aug 2001.
  38. ^ Matt Fowler (14 January 2014). "15 Legendary Albums That Were Recorded in Bedrooms, Kitchens, and Garages". mic.com.
  39. ^ Michael Duncan (12 February 2015). "10 Classic Albums Made Outside the Recording Studio". sonicscoop.com.
  40. ^ Tyler Kane (17 January 2012). "10 Great Albums Recorded at Home". pastemagazine.com.
  41. ^ Bruce Bastin (1 Jan 1995). Red River Blues: The Blues Tradition in the Southeast. University of Illinois Press. p. 64.
  42. ^ "Rare 1979 soul album recorded in a prison gets reissue". thevinylfactory.com.
  43. ^ Bob Buontempo (16 May 2013). "Can Award-Winning Recordings Be Made In A Home Studio?". prosoundweb.com.
  44. ^ Frank Mastropolo (23 October 2014). "A Look Back at the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio: 'A Watershed Moment in Recording Technology'". ultimateclassicrock.com.
  45. ^ RIAA - Gold & Platinum - May 30, 2008 Archived 2 September 2008 at WebCite
  46. ^ Billboard Magazine (April 5, 1947), p. 21.
  47. ^ Jay Warner, On this day in music history (2004), p. 323.
  48. ^ Dave Zimmer, 4 way street: the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reader (2004), p. 218.
  49. ^ Shane Homan (1 Sep 2006). Access All Eras: Tribute Bands and Global Pop Culture. McGraw-Hill Education. p. 4.
Compilation album

A compilation album comprises tracks, which may be previously released or unreleased, usually from several separate recordings by either one or several performers. If by one artist, then generally the tracks were not originally intended for release together as a single work, but may be collected together as a greatest hits album or box set. If from several performers, there may be a theme, topic, time period, or genre which links the tracks, or they may have been intended for release as a single work—such as a tribute album. When the tracks are by the same recording artist, the album may be referred to as a retrospective album or an anthology.

Concept album

A concept album is an album in which its tracks hold a larger purpose or meaning collectively than they do individually. This is typically achieved through a single central narrative or theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, or lyrical. Sometimes the term is applied to albums considered to be of "uniform excellence" rather than an LP with an explicit musical or lyrical motif. The exact criterion for a "concept album" varies among critics, with no discernible consensus.The format originates with folk singer Woody Guthrie's Dust Bowl Ballads (1940) and was subsequently popularized by traditional pop singer Frank Sinatra's 1940s–50s string of albums, although the term is more often associated with rock music. In the 1960s, several well-regarded concept albums were released by various rock bands, which eventually led to the invention of progressive rock and rock opera. Since then, many concept albums have been released across numerous musical genres.

Damn (Kendrick Lamar album)

Damn (stylized as DAMN.) is the fourth studio album by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was released on April 14, 2017, by Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records and Top Dawg Entertainment.The album features production from a variety of record producers, including executive producer and Top Dawg Entertainment label-head Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, Sounwave, DJ Dahi, Mike Will Made It and Ricci Riera; as well as further production contributions from James Blake, Steve Lacy, BadBadNotGood, Greg Kurstin, The Alchemist and 9th Wonder, among others. Damn features appearances from singers Rihanna and Top Dawg signee Zacari, along with Irish rock band U2.

Damn received widespread critical acclaim and topped the charts in the United States and Canada while reaching number two in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The album was supported by three official singles: "Humble", "Loyalty" and "Love", the first of which became Lamar's first number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 as a lead artist. Damn was certified triple Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in May 2018 and was also the Billboard Year-End number one album of 2017. It was nominated for Album of the Year and won Best Rap Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. The album also won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music, making it the first non-jazz or classical work to earn the accolade.

Golden Hour (album)

Golden Hour is the fourth studio album by American country music singer and songwriter Kacey Musgraves, released on March 30, 2018, through MCA Nashville. Musgraves co-wrote all 13 tracks and co-produced the album with Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk. The album debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200.Golden Hour received widespread acclaim from critics, winning in all four of its nominated categories at the 61st Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Best Country Album. The album's first two singles, "Butterflies" and "Space Cowboy", also won awards for Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song, respectively. Golden Hour also won Album of the Year at the 52nd Annual Country Music Association Awards.

Grammy Award for Album of the Year

The Grammy Award for Album of the Year is presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales, chart position, or critical reception." Album of the Year is the most prestigious award category at the Grammys having been presented since 1959.

Although it was originally presented to the artist alone, the award is now presented to the main artist, the featured artist(s), the producer, the engineer and/or mixer and the mastering engineer. In 1962, the award name was extended to Album of the Year (other than classical) but, in 1965, the shorter name returned. It was not until 1968, 1969, 1999, 2011, and 2014 that the award was won by a rock, country, hip hop, indie and electronic album respectively. As of 2012, classical albums are eligible for this award, with the award for Best Classical Album being discontinued (although no classical album has been nominated in this category since). The category expanded to include eight nominees in 2019.

Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album

The Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album is an honor presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards, to recording artists for quality pop music albums. Awards in several categories are distributed annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position."The honor was first presented in 1968 at the 10th Grammy Awards as Best Contemporary Album to The Beatles for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The category was then discontinued until 1995 where it emerged with the new name Best Pop Album. In 2001, the category became known as Best Pop Vocal Album. According to the category description guide for the 52nd Grammy Awards, the award is presented to artists that perform "albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded pop vocal tracks."Kelly Clarkson and Adele are the only two-time winners of this award, Clarkson was the first to win twice. Clarkson and Justin Timberlake have both been nominated five times, more than any other artist, though Clarkson is the only artist to have the most solo albums nominated. Three of Timberlake's are solo, two are from NSYNC.

Greatest hits album

A greatest hits album, sometimes called a "best of" album or a catalog album, is a compilation of songs by a particular artist or band. Most often the track list contains previously released recordings with a high degree of notability. However, to increase the appeal, especially to people who already own the original release, it is common to include remixes or alternate takes of popular songs; sometimes even new material (previously unreleased) will function as bonus tracks. At times, a greatest hits compilation is the original album release for songs that have themselves been released as a single and charted successfully.

Many of these albums surface despite the unwillingness of original artists to support them, the songwriters being embroiled in fighting record company decisions. Despite The Rolling Stones' conflicts over the control of their tracks, the band-opposed Hot Rocks 1964–1971 surfaced in December 1971, and the contentious legal issues failed to clip the wings of the record's commercial success. Nonetheless, many other of these albums actually receive detailed co-operation from the musicians involved, which can mean trying to present a specific 'goal' or 'sound' in the work (roughly akin to that in concept albums).

Hariharan (singer)

Hariharan (born 3 April 1955) is an Indian playback and ghazal singer, whose songs have been featured mainly in Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Bhojpuri and Telugu films. He is an established ghazal singer and one of the pioneers of Indian fusion music. In 2004, he was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India and is a two-time National Award winner.

Hariharan, associating with Lesle Lewis, formed Colonial Cousins, a two-member band. They have cut many private music albums and also scored music for few feature films in Tamil cinema and Bollywood cinema.

Led Zeppelin IV

The untitled fourth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV, was released on 8 November 1971 by Atlantic Records. It was produced by guitarist Jimmy Page and recorded between December 1970 and February 1971, mostly in the country house Headley Grange. The album contains one of the band's best known songs, "Stairway to Heaven".

The informal setting at Headley Grange inspired the band, and allowed them to try different arrangements of material and create songs in a variety of styles. After the band's previous album Led Zeppelin III received lukewarm reviews from critics, they decided their fourth album would officially be untitled, and would be represented instead by four symbols chosen by each band member, without featuring the name or any other details on the cover.

The album was a commercial and critical success and is Led Zeppelin's best-selling, shipping over 37 million copies worldwide. It is one of the best-selling albums in the US, while critics have regularly placed it on lists of the greatest albums of all time.

List of Grammy Award categories

The Grammy Awards are awarded in a series of categories, each of which isolate a specific contribution to the recording industry. The standard awards list nominees in each category from which a winner is selected. Twenty-eight Grammys were awarded in the first award ceremony, but the number of awards has grown and fluctuated over time as new categories are added and some older ones removed; at one time, over one hundred awards were given.

Metallica (album)

Metallica (commonly known as The Black Album) is the self-titled fifth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica. Released on August 12, 1991 by Elektra Records, it received widespread critical acclaim and became the band's best-selling album. Metallica produced five singles that are considered to be among the band's best-known songs, which include "Enter Sandman", "The Unforgiven", "Nothing Else Matters", "Wherever I May Roam", and "Sad but True". A sixth song, "Don't Tread on Me", was also issued to rock radio shortly after the album's release, but the song did not receive a commercial single release. The album marked a change in the band's sound from the thrash metal style of the previous four albums to a slower and heavier one rooted in heavy metal. Metallica promoted the album with a series of tours. In 2003, the album was ranked number 255 on Rolling Stone's 500 greatest albums of all time.

The recording of Metallica was troubled, and during production the band frequently came into conflict with their new producer Bob Rock. The album debuted at number one in ten countries and spent four consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard 200, making it Metallica's first album to top album charts. By September 2018, the album spent 500 weeks on the Billboard album chart, making it one of the four longest-running albums of all time. Metallica is one of the best-selling albums worldwide, and also one of the best-selling albums in the United States since Nielsen SoundScan tracking began. The album was certified 16× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2012, and has sold over sixteen million copies in the United States, being the first album in the SoundScan era to do so. Metallica played the album in its entirety during the 2012 European Black Album Tour.

Mindless Self Indulgence

Mindless Self Indulgence (often shortened to MSI) is an American electropunk band formed in New York City in 1997. Their music has a mixed style which includes punk rock, alternative rock, electronica, techno, industrial, hip hop and breakbeat hardcore.

Music recording certification

Music recording certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped, sold, or streamed a certain number of units. The threshold quantity varies by type (such as album, single, music video) and by nation or territory (see List of music recording certifications).

Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories, which are named after precious materials (gold, platinum and diamond).

The threshold required for these awards depends upon the population of the territory where the recording is released. Typically, they are awarded only to international releases and are awarded individually for each country where the album is sold. Different sales levels, some perhaps 10 times lower than others, may exist for different music media (for example: videos versus albums, singles, or downloads).

RIAA certification

In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) awards certification based on the number of albums and singles sold through retail and other ancillary markets. Other countries have similar awards (see music recording sales certification). Certification is not automatic; for an award to be made, the record label must request certification. The audit is conducted against net shipments after returns (most often an artist's royalty statement is used), which includes albums sold directly to retailers and one-stops, direct-to-consumer sales (music clubs and mail order) and other outlets.

The Beatles (album)

The Beatles, also known as "The White Album", is the ninth studio album by the English rock band the Beatles, released on 22 November 1968. A double album, its plain white sleeve has no graphics or text other than the band's name embossed, which was intended as a direct contrast to the vivid cover artwork of the band's previous LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Although no singles were issued from The Beatles in Britain and the United States, the songs "Hey Jude" and "Revolution" originated from the same recording sessions and were issued on a single in August 1968. The album's songs range in style from British blues and ska to pastiches of Chuck Berry and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Most of the songs on the album were written during March and April 1968 at a Transcendental Meditation course in Rishikesh, India. The group returned to EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London at the end of May to commence recording sessions that lasted through to mid-October. During these sessions, arguments broke out among the foursome over creative differences. Another divisive element was the constant presence of John Lennon's new partner, Yoko Ono, whose attendance in the studio broke with the Beatles' policy regarding wives and girlfriends not attending recording sessions. After a series of problems, including producer George Martin taking a sudden leave of absence and engineer Geoff Emerick suddenly quitting, Ringo Starr left the band briefly in August. The same tensions continued throughout the following year, leading to the break-up of the band by 1970.

On release, The Beatles received favourable reviews from the majority of music critics, but other commentators found its satirical songs unimportant and apolitical amid the turbulent political and social climate of 1968. The band and Martin later debated whether the group should have released a single album instead. Nonetheless, The Beatles reached No. 1 on the charts in both the United Kingdom and the United States, and has since been viewed by some critics as one of the greatest albums of all time.

The Rolling Stone Album Guide

The Rolling Stone Album Guide, previously known as The Rolling Stone Record Guide, is a book that contains professional music reviews written and edited by staff members from Rolling Stone magazine. Its first edition was published in 1979 and its last in 2004. The guide can be seen at Rate Your Music, while a list of albums given a five star rating by the guide can be seen at Rocklist.net.

UK Albums Chart

The Official Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales and (from March 2015) audio streaming in the United Kingdom. It was published for the first time on 22 July 1956 and is compiled every week by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on Fridays (previously Sundays). It is broadcast on BBC Radio 1 (top 5) and published in Music Week magazine (top 75), and on the OCC website (top 100).

To qualify for the Official Albums Chart, the album must be the correct length and price. It must be more than three tracks or 20 minutes long and not be classed as a budget album. A budget album costs between £0.50 and £3.75. Additionally, various-artist compilation albums – which until January 1989 were included in the main album listing – are now listed separately in the "Official Compilation Chart". Full details of the rules can be found on the OCC website.According to the canon of the OCC, the official British albums chart was the Melody Maker chart from 8 November 1958 to March 1960 (although the Record Mirror published charts from 22 July 1956); the Record Retailer chart from 1960 to 1969; and the Official Albums Chart from 1969 on. In the 1970s the new album chart was revealed at 12:45 pm on Thursdays on BBC Radio 1, and then moved to 6:05 pm (later 6:30 pm) on Wednesday evenings during the Peter Powell and Bruno Brookes shows. In October 1987 it moved to Monday lunchtimes, during the Gary Davies show, and from April to October 1993 it briefly had its show from 7:00–8:00 pm on Sunday evenings, introduced by Lynn Parsons. Since October 1993 it has been included in The Official Chart show from 4:00 – 5:45 pm on Fridays (previously from 4:00 – 7:00 pm on Sundays). A weekly 'Album Chart' show was licensed out to BBC Radio 2 and presented by Simon Mayo, until it ended on 2 April 2007.

Though album sales tend to produce more revenue and, over time, act as a greater measure of an artist's success, this chart receives less media attention than the UK Singles Chart, because overall sales of an album are more important than its peak position. 2005 saw a record number of artist album sales with 126.2 million sold in the UK. In February 2015, it was announced that due to the falling sales of albums and rise in popularity of audio streaming, the Official Albums Chart would begin including streaming data from March 2015. Under the revised methodology, the Official Charts Company takes the 12 most streamed tracks from one album, with the top-two songs being down-weighted in line with the average of the rest. The total of these streams is divided by 1000 and added to the pure sales of the album. This calculation was designed to ensure that the chart rundown continues to reflect the popularity of the albums themselves, rather than just the performance of one or two smash hit singles. The final number one album on the UK Albums Chart to be based purely on sales alone was Smoke + Mirrors by Imagine Dragons. On 1 March 2015, In the Lonely Hour by Sam Smith became the first album to top the new streaming-incorporated Official Albums Chart.The first number one album of the UK Albums Chart was Songs for Swingin' Lovers! by Frank Sinatra on 22 July 1956. As of the week ending date 21 February 2019, the UK Albums Chart has had 1153 different number-one albums. The current number-one album is Thank U, Next by Ariana Grande.

Yngwie Malmsteen

Yngwie Johan Malmsteen (; born Lars Johan Yngve Lannerbäck; 30 June 1963) is a Swedish guitarist, songwriter and bandleader. Malmsteen first became known in the 1980s for his neoclassical metal playing style in heavy metal, and has released 20 studio albums in a career spanning almost 40 years. In 2009, Time magazine rated Malmsteen as among the 10 greatest electric guitar players of all time.

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