Return of the Single?

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mojo-photo-45s.jpgToday’s Times explores an interesting change in the record industry brought on by the digital revolution: the resurgence of the single. Long overdue, I say. Even those as youthful (ahem!) as myself will remember buying 7″ singles well into the 80s; it was a cheap, fun and easy way to grab your favorite new Eurythmics song. But with the advent of the CD, the whole point of a single seemed to go away — there’s 70 minutes of room on the dagburn things no matter what you do, so why not fill it full of fluff, call it an album, and charge $12 for it?

This is, of course, not to predict the demise of the album (like one of the music consultants the Times quotes), nor whitewash the digital world. 128-kbps mp3 files, for instance, have always seemed to me like medium-quality “trial copies,” requiring any serious audiophile to pick up the CD or vinyl after buying something on iTunes. But, again, the ability to do this at all should be welcomed by the industry (faced with ever-shrinking venues to promote its product) and by artists, since both edgy and mainstream bands could benefit from a more flexible approach from labels. Whether we’ll see more singles released without accompanying albums remains to be seen, but in the meantime, wish Apple luck at keeping the price at 99 cents.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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