Singles Bands: Skinny Puppy

I’ve got a blog post part-written in response to Wallace Wylie’s article about singles vs albums, but – due to 24lb, chubby-fingered, wide-eyed, golden-haired, tantrum-throwing circumstances beyond my control – I haven’t yet finished it.

I did leave this comment, though:  

The first and only Android app I’ve bought is one called Just Play, which just shuffles your music collection and plays it all without any fuss. (There is no in-built shuffle function in Samsung’s MP3 player.)

The advantage of this is that it forces me to listen to tracks individually, rather than part of an album, and because I have to unlock my phone to skip a track, I tend to listen to it through. In other words, I’m forced through inconvenience to hear all the tracks I’d normally skip.

Songs that sound weak in the context of the rest of the album finally shine on their own merit, giving me new appreciation and giving me extra value from the downloads I’ve bought. Then, when I next listen to the album all the way through, I like each track a little more.

So, yes, it’s easy to get caught up into downloading individual tracks (and I’m guilty of this), but I’m missing out if the album was actually any good to start with, so the “ipod shuffle” culture actually increases motivation to keep buying full albums.

It got me thinking about “singles bands” and “album bands”. Skinny Puppy are a “singles band”, but their singles have been so good that it mitigates the “they must be crap, then” rule of most acts that can’t make it through eight tracks without filling five of them with s***. (I’ll give them The Process – that was good all the way through.)

While I’m gathering up my scattered thoughts, here’s some tracks off the “greatest hits” album, The Singles Collect, which I purchased at the same time as that shuffle app.

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This is one of the finest pop songs ever. Up there with Britney’s Toxic.

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I didn’t actually know this was by Skinny Puppy – I do remember dancing to it in the clubs, though.

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