Heres the place to talk about Fish in general

Is the digital age a bad thing for Fish like music ?

Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:12 pm

Hiya, long time no post. First i got ill then my 18 month old became very unwell and we are currently awaiting an operation for him; so with life being hectic time for the board just didn't happen.

Still continuing my heady love affair with the new album and all things fishy - have even managed to fall for 13th Star which I didn't 'get' for quite a while; and that in itself got me thinking.

As with many of you I suspect whenever a new album came out you sat down and listened many times - sure we each had our own rituals. Listening with lyrics and without, glass of scotch etc ;)

Most of us would have rewound ( ;) now there is an old concept in itself ) a few tracks to listen through again. But in themain you would try and listen all the way through the way the album had been intended by the artist. Knowing that much time and effort had been put into making the album a work in itself and track order had been very carefully considered to take the listener on a complete journey.

Many of the 'instant tracks' or 'singles' provided catchy and light intervals between the meatier often darker tracks that wound and looped - tracks you really had to 'listen' to over and again to absorb the meaning and pick up on the subtle interplay of the instruments and the lyrics.

Very often the tracks that ended up in that special place in your heart were not the instant 'single' ABACAB songs but the ones that you had invested a lot of time and energy in , these were the ones that stayed with you, the ones that made you tut at the stock aitkin and waterman generation. The scripts, the grendels, the perfume rivers of the albums.

Which brings me rather laboriously to the point.

Now that a generation tends to buy their music from iTunes and picks the tracks they want to download , often after just listening to a snippet clip. Will we see the end of musicians and music of this type ?
To be honest I even lamented the loss of LP sized artwork as i felt that was a big part of the whole experience. the idea of losing the whole concept of an 'album' is pretty abhorrent to be honest.
As an artist to just have a few tracks picked and then shoved into a shuffled playlist kind of defeats the whole point (imho alone probably )

great tracks may well go unlistened to or worse still unwritten due to lack of commercial viability

Or maybe I'm just getting old and jaded.

Anyone else had these passing thoughts?
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Re: Is the digital age a bad thing for Fish like music ?

Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:28 pm

I think that some people of our generation will always eschew the "new" ways of doing things.

I still buy CDs. I listen to CDs. I own a MP3 player, and I only use it to listen to my CDs when I am in the bath or away from home. I have never downloaded any music (other than the free "auto-rip" facility that Amazon offer when you buy the physical CD.

I can't see that changing any time soon for me.

I don't really miss vinyl LPs from a listening point of view, but then again I never owned a good quality turntable so maybe I don't know what I am missing? But I do miss having the large sleeve to read and look at.

Cassettes (of which I have hundreds) were always (to my mind) a poor-quality halfway house between LPs and CDs.

I think that discerning music fans will always want to listen to quality music - even if that music doesn't fit into the modern style or method of purchase.
Thanked: 1

Re: Is the digital age a bad thing for Fish like music ?

Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:07 pm

Another good thread Chris and I agree with most of your thoughts.

Somewhere I still have the cassette I listened to endlessly in '86 of the band I'd recently discovered, with Script on one side and Fugazi the other. Script ran out just before 'ring-a-ring of roses...' on Forgotten Sons while I just left Emerald Lies off Fugazi. :lol:

I agree an album should be enjoyed in full but do like to pull tracks to form a playlist of either an artist or compilation of various artists on my laptop. If I like the list I will burn a CD for the car.

I've always found Fish a difficult artist to use in a 'Fishy' playlist- maybe it's the changes in voice, co-writers and production over the years......Vigil and Exile tracks sit quite well together for instance, while some of Sunsets and 13th go well. I recently tried to pull together favourites off 13th and Feast to form a single disc but it just didn't work and the albums just have to be played alone .... I thought the 'Balladeer' disc on Bouillabaisse was successful but 'Rocketeer' didn't flow.


As regards running orders it's interesting to read Fish's thoughts on restructuring the Feast running order to fit vinyl format. Makes me wonder if down the years artists have had to compromise running order in order to fit the record, or were the songs themselves sized to ensure the intended order could be retained?


Sorry to hear your son has been ill and hope the upcoming operation goes well....

Jon
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Re: Is the digital age a bad thing for Fish like music ?

Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:37 am

oldcrow wrote:Sorry to hear your son has been ill and hope the upcoming operation goes well....


Yes. I meant to say that too! :)

Re: Is the digital age a bad thing for Fish like music ?

Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:16 am

Thanks chaps, much appreciated - happening on the 25th provided he stays free from infections.

Re: Is the digital age a bad thing for Fish like music ?

Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:58 am

oldcrow wrote:As regards running orders it's interesting to read Fish's thoughts on restructuring the Feast running order to fit vinyl format. Makes me wonder if down the years artists have had to compromise running order in order to fit the record, or were the songs themselves sized to ensure the intended order could be retained?


In the days when vinyl was king, artists would've been expected to provide around 35-45 minutes worth of music
to fit onto an LP. I'm sure the majority of artists would've had that in mind as they were writing their music.

When CD (almost completely) took over in the early 1990s it seemed to be the case that bands were being asked
to produce 55-65 minutes per album, and a lot of filler appeared on albums. Seems in recent years to have gone
back to LP-sized albums, or at least at lot of the stuff I've heard has.

Re: Is the digital age a bad thing for Fish like music ?

Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:43 am

I get exactly what you mean. And I think the sad thing now is that for me at least, the pleasure of listening to an album all the way through has been lost somewhat. I've become an "instant gratification" song-listener, if that makes any sense, and that is in some part due to the digital age. When I got my first MP3 player in 2002, I instantly loaded it up with all my CDs and marvelled at the ability to essentially have my own "radio station" playing. As time went by I thought nothing of pressing the forward button to skip a song and as soon as I bought an album on CD, I'd rip it and bang it straight onto the MP3 player and maybe listen to it as a whole once as an afterthought.

Of course, the downside (or possibly even upside!) of that is quite often I'll hear a song and think "What's that?" only to discover it's a track off an album I bought 10 years ago!

I'm just starting to listen to whole albums in their entirety again - especially as I've started a bit of a neo-prog revival in my old age, so it has to be done. I still often find I struggle to stay the course though. Whereas I can (still) reel off the lyrics to Misplaced Childhood or Appetite For Destruction because those were records I listened to all the way through again and again as a teenager, I couldn't tell you any of the words from Feast... (despite listening to it perhaps ten times since I got it) or any of the other albums I've bought and listened to recently. My brain seems to switch off to a large degree so the music just becomes essentially background noise.

I think we've re-programmed our minds with the digital era. We are part of a society that places less value on things and that includes the music we listen to. If it doesn't hit the spot immediately, we press fast forward and it gets dumped from our minds. If it's a one-off song we like straightaway, we can get just that song off iTunes. I've tried to avoid that by downloading or buying a whole album if I have to, often for the sake of one song. I've also started trawling through my huge CD collection listening to albums all the way through on my hi-fi CD player. When I listen to my iPod (in planes or in the car), I set it to shuffle albums instead of songs. This has led me to discover the beauty of a well put together album again and I've been spellbound by stuff I'd only listened to individual tracks off before. It's always worth remembering that serious artists put a lot of effort into the running order of an LP. Nowadays, sadly, only for oiks like me to rip it onto their computer and trivialise its context in some cases.

As for vinyl...I've recently started buying the occasional vinyl LP again. I must say I'm put off by the price though so for the most part still buy CDs. I bought the new Elbow record the other day for 19.99 and I remarked to the guy at the cash desk that the last time I bought a new vinyl album from that store, sometime in the early nineties, they were selling them off and I could get chart LPs for 1.99! Quite the price hike in 20 years! I hope that the re-emergence of vinyl will mark a return to listening to records all the way through, but I doubt it. We've got it too easy now and "the album" as a concept will only be listened to by those who are serious about their music.
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