SG101 on the Web

Follow SurfGuitar101 on Twitter

Photo of the Day
Shoutbox

TheAmpFibian: People are always shocked to find out how bad of an electrician I am.
146 days ago

dragonfly: Pic of the day HBSM Jam 2012 was during my tenure. OMG do I miss those days but nowadays I couldn't handle it. No
129 days ago

dragonfly: Pic of the day OMG how I loved The Torquays and miss them very much. Yes
113 days ago

simoncoil: FWIW my guess for the ending of GoT was a surprising "Invasion fo the Dragonmen" (Hey-ho, hey-ho ...)
95 days ago

Surf_Skater: Congratulations JonPaul and Marie!
62 days ago

tubeswell: Anyone in Cali affected by the quakes?
49 days ago

Scrane255: Marty smith was my Uncle! Would like to see pictures of the nobles band
42 days ago

josheboy: Convention in 1 week!!
28 days ago

bigtikidude: 4 days and counting. Who's coming?
25 days ago

dragonfly: Has anyone heard the new Ford commercial with Dick Dale's Misirlou in the background? I have and it's awesome but too bad they waited till DD passed away. Long live the King!.
13 days ago

Please login or register to shout.

Current Polls

No polls at this time. Check out our past polls.

Current Contests

No contests at this time. Check out our past contests.

Donations

Help us meet our monthly goal:

48%

48%

Donate Now

SG101 Banner

SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Music General Discussion »

Permalink Credibility of EP Releases vs Full Length in Surf, Opinions Please!

New Topic
Goto Page: Previous 1 2 3 Next

Ariel wrote:

stratdancer wrote:

It's amazing what you accept as filler when you had spent your hard earned on a record as a teenager.

Silly and naive teenager me, I bought Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music" CD, full price. Haven't known about his record company scuffle, thought I discovered something rare and exciting... A whole album that's one big black hole of a filler.

Anyways, as far as this discussion is almost redundant nowadays, I still like long playing albums, especially when they tell a developing story, have a theme, there's an added 'whole is more than the sum of its parts' value to it.

In my mind, there was magic in the two sided album format. Each side had an opening and closing and deciding how to do it was part of the the creativity!

The Kahuna Kings

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Kahuna-Kings/459752090818447

https://thekahunakings.bandcamp.com/releases

stratdancer wrote:

It's amazing what you accept as filler when you had spent your hard earned on a record as a teenager.

I'd just like to add, as somebody that's been fortunate enough (in fact, VERY fortunate!) to have been able to record six albums of original music, I can honestly say that I've NEVER approached any song on any of those albums as 'filler'. I'm sure that happens with some bands at some occasions, but my personal experience is that it's really hard to tell in advance how a song will turn out once it's fully completed and recorded - and it's usually still at some stage of development, even if quite far along, when you go into studio to record it. There have been many cases where a song turned out much better than I expected once it was recorded - and some cases where it didn't, where it didn't fully hit the mark and ended up in some way disappointing the original hopes we as the band may have had for it. But none - NONE - of those tracks were ever approached in advance as 'filler', despite the listener possibly deciding upon listening that this or that song is indeed 'filler' (especially since all six of those albums were 43-45 minutes in length, quite a lot of music on each). But only recording 'killers' and avoiding 'fillers', while sounding good in theory, in practice probably means that you'll still have the same mix of 'killer'-to-'filler', but among fewer songs in total.

One more thing: I've seen various songs on some of my favorite-ever albums dismissed as filler by other people, sometimes even important critics or the artists themselves, while I'm there thinking, "That's possibly my favorite song on the whole album!" One person's filler is another person's beloved classic. For all these reasons I've always hated - really, hated is the right word - this notion of albums necessarily featuring 'fillers'. I would say that much more likely you'll miss out on some potential 'killers' by setting out to avoid 'fillers'. (And anyway, we as musicians are usually really bad judges of what is killer and what is filler, anyway!)

Ariel wrote:

Anyways, as far as this discussion is almost redundant nowadays, I still like long playing albums, especially when they tell a developing story, have a theme, there's an added 'whole is more than the sum of its parts' value to it.

As Ariel already well knows, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with this. This has always been my goal. Albums have an incredible power to take you on a journey of imagination, much more than a single or even an EP, and even what some may perceive as 'weaker' tracks may still play an important role in that. I'm absolutely NOT saying that every band, or even every surf band, should aim for this - clearly not, it's not for everybody. But this concern about albums being outdated does seem somewhat misplaced to me, since most of us are definitely not attempting to reach people 15-30 years old, that is not really our audience, if we're honest with ourselves. Our audience is most likely other people in their 40s and 50s, and most of those people still like albums and are willing to buy albums, even if only through download. (BTW, I'm not saying you SHOULDN'T try to reach young people as a surf musician - if that's what you think you should be doing, I say GO FOR IT and best of luck! But I am skeptical you'll have much success. I'd genuinely love to be proven wrong, though.)

I'm not sure anybody knows very much about anything in today's world when it comes to marketing music, especially marketing a genre that in any commercial sense is as dead as a door nail. I certainly don't think I know very much at all, even after doing this surf thing for 23 years. Obviously the music world has changed a great deal in that time, but we still mostly do the same thing, and it's OK, it's been working out enough to keep us fairly happy. If anybody is more ambitious, more power to you!

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Thanks for the chime Ivan. It's pretty ironic that you would chime in on album "filler" as I have spent an enormous amount of time listening to a couple of The Madeira albums in the last year. I'm extremely lazy and once I put a cd in the car player, it tends to stay there for a long time. I will concur that every song has a purpose and is crafted well. The listener can pick up on that.

Filler may be a generalization for songs that might not hit the mark with an individual listener. One of my favorite albums of my youth, A Farewell to Kings by Rush has a song called Madrigal on it. I know they put effort in the recording of it but for me it was filler. It has no bearing on the albums impact for me. Sometimes when the record company says the album needs one more song for the album the band strikes gold and writes the album hit with little effort.

Once again, the long play format of music lets the listener subconciously aquire a taste for songs that may not be that strong initially. Especially when you are lazy like me and just play the record over and over again. Back in the day it was easier to pull the record out and place it on the turntable for a few weeks rather than placing it carefully back in the sleeve! Smile

The Kahuna Kings

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Kahuna-Kings/459752090818447

https://thekahunakings.bandcamp.com/releases

IvanP wrote:

stratdancer wrote:

It's amazing what you accept as filler when you had spent your hard earned on a record as a teenager.

I'd just like to add, as somebody that's been fortunate enough (in fact, VERY fortunate!) to have been able to record six albums of original music, I can honestly say that I've NEVER approached any song on any of those albums as 'filler'. I'm sure that happens with some bands at some occasions, but my personal experience is that it's really hard to tell in advance how a song will turn out once it's fully completed and recorded - and it's usually still at some stage of development, even if quite far along, when you go into studio to record it. There have been many cases where a song turned out much better than I expected once it was recorded - and some cases where it didn't, where it didn't fully hit the mark and ended up in some way disappointing the original hopes we as the band may have had for it. But none - NONE - of those tracks were ever approached in advance as 'filler', despite the listener possibly deciding upon listening that this or that song is indeed 'filler' (especially since all six of those albums were 43-45 minutes in length, quite a lot of music on each). But only recording 'killers' and avoiding 'fillers', while sounding good in theory, in practice probably means that you'll still have the same mix of 'killer'-to-'filler', but among fewer songs in total.

One more thing: I've seen various songs on some of my favorite-ever albums dismissed as filler by other people, sometimes even important critics or the artists themselves, while I'm there thinking, "That's possibly my favorite song on the whole album!" One person's filler is another person's beloved classic. For all these reasons I've always hated - really, hated is the right word - this notion of albums necessarily featuring 'fillers'. I would say that much more likely you'll miss out on some potential 'killers' by setting out to avoid 'fillers'. (And anyway, we as musicians are usually really bad judges of what is killer and what is filler, anyway!)

Ariel wrote:

Anyways, as far as this discussion is almost redundant nowadays, I still like long playing albums, especially when they tell a developing story, have a theme, there's an added 'whole is more than the sum of its parts' value to it.

As Ariel already well knows, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with this. This has always been my goal. Albums have an incredible power to take you on a journey of imagination, much more than a single or even an EP, and even what some may perceive as 'weaker' tracks may still play an important role in that. I'm absolutely NOT saying that every band, or even every surf band, should aim for this - clearly not, it's not for everybody. But this concern about albums being outdated does seem somewhat misplaced to me, since most of us are definitely not attempting to reach people 15-30 years old, that is not really our audience, if we're honest with ourselves. Our audience is most likely other people in their 40s and 50s, and most of those people still like albums and are willing to buy albums, even if only through download. (BTW, I'm not saying you SHOULDN'T try to reach young people as a surf musician - if that's what you think you should be doing, I say GO FOR IT and best of luck! But I am skeptical you'll have much success. I'd genuinely love to be proven wrong, though.)

I'm not sure anybody knows very much about anything in today's world when it comes to marketing music, especially marketing a genre that in any commercial sense is as dead as a door nail. I certainly don't think I know very much at all, even after doing this surf thing for 23 years. Obviously the music world has changed a great deal in that time, but we still mostly do the same thing, and it's OK, it's been working out enough to keep us fairly happy. If anybody is more ambitious, more power to you!

I’ve never thought of anything you’ve produced as having filler, but I have some Classic Rock albums that are brimming with it.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

We can probably all agree that Tales From Topographic Oceans is four sides of filler while London Calling is four sides of killer.

stratdancer wrote:

Filler may be a generalization for songs that might not hit the mark with an individual listener. One of my favorite albums of my youth, A Farewell to Kings by Rush has a song called Madrigal on it. I know they put effort in the recording of it but for me it was filler. It has no bearing on the albums impact for me. Sometimes when the record company says the album needs one more song for the album the band strikes gold and writes the album hit with little effort.

Stratdancer, we must be cut from similar material. When I thought about the whole idea of "filler" songs on favorite albums, I thought of Rush and I thought of that exact same song ("Different Strings" a similar type of song on Permanent Waves is much better). It's the perfect example for illustrating the difference between "filler" - last minute throw away songs to pad out the length of an album - and songs that you just don't enjoy as much despite the attention paid them by the creators of the music. Rush, love them or hate them, and bands like them whose music is not necessarily timeless but lives way beyond the period during which it was birthed, had something truly unique that radiated and effected certain people in a profound way. They recorded pure albums that never had filler. That integrity is what gave them so much longevity. I always thought it was interesting that Rush doesn't have unreleased songs. They either followed through with a song and recorded it for an album or it was left in the ether. There are of course plenty of far less well known bands who did the same thing. Rush continues to fascinate me asa phenomenon. I thought people were going to completely forget about them twenty years ago. But they're just too darn weird.

When a band, any band one really likes, is at their creative peak and synching with the psychic rhythm of a committed fan, any execution of their art can be enjoyed by that fan. There are albums that feature deep dive odd experiments that I accept right along side a particular groups' "best" songs. This is what makes a deliberately arranged program of recorded music compelling. Circling back to the original question posited on this thread, I don't think it matters if that program is an EP, LP, maxi single, double LP, box set, expanded re issue LP with bonus DVD and 5.1 mix or just a free track for download, one should put out their music in the way that pays the greatest respect to economy and artistic intentions.

Everything doesn't have to be "album length" to be a strong statement. Some ideas are miniatures. Five songs that work perfectly together can be just as effective as an epic 72 minute musical odyssey. A surf odyssey in this case.

I was just going to comment on the Rush thing. But seeing as how this is not the RushNerds101 forum figured I'd ruminate on the EP question some more.

That's it...gonna record a tribute album to Rush playing instro surf...La Villa Strangiato, YYZ, Xanadu...

Mai Tai Surf on Facebook
Hang-Ten Hangmen https://www.facebook.com/HangTenHangmen/
http://www.dionysusrecords.com/shop/the-hang-ten-hangmen-its-boss-lp.html

"I was just going to comment on the Rush thing. But seeing as how this is not the RushNerds101 forum figured I'd ruminate on the EP question some more".

"That's it...gonna record a tribute album to Rush playing instro surf...La Villa Strangiato, YYZ, Xanadu..."

I may be a little spent out with typing out another Rush discussion. Ivan started a thread on FB last week and I think I wrote at least a chapter on there. lol! One of the themes for me in that discussion was that in the heart of their growth and all of the material I was absorbing, it was for the music and not the lyrics or the vocal work. To me they were basically an instrumental band. Maybe that's a big reason why I exclusively listen to and play surf today.

The Kahuna Kings

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Kahuna-Kings/459752090818447

https://thekahunakings.bandcamp.com/releases

Permanent Waves rule Smile

Not sure if your talking about vinyl EP's here. But they use to be used for free Promo's back in the day. Being CD is in decline as bad as 8 track tapes in the early 80's. Walmart has cut out bins full of classic rock albums on CD etc. Its sad really to see that.

Everybody seems to have a opinion about the state of pre-recorded formats in the music industry right now. It doesn't look good from my view on it. A good example is there are over 2000 new songs up-loaded everyday (most of which is not very good or just home grown type music etc) on to many download sites (Even these sites are now in decline because of Streaming services taking over).

The average CD album only sells about 125 copies (and that was before the fall) So have no idea if that still applies today. Only 2 percent of all the signed bands that ever so called "made it" had most of the sales anyway. The reason is there are over 300,000 new albums in a all category's every year across the world and only 1 percent are even recognized on a large scale - so yes some sell millions each but the rest only hundreds or less.

If you give them away its a good promotional device. Even the Foo Fighters as big as they are flopped with 14,000 CD's and Vinyl albums in storage now from a side Metal type band project they created - so don't go crazy pumping out a lot all at once. Most bands out there on Facebook have a average of say 325 people and that translates to about 30 people at a gig - so where will you sell it anyway.

I forgot to add that CD sales or even vinyl is only one small part of a bands income anyway - Tee shirts use to sell more by comparison or make more money - but lately I don't see that doing great either. Most bands starting out made more money teaching music on the side anyway. Or online lessons and even now that's got to be hard being so much free stuff up for grabs on YouTube (Ok yeah some not the great)

If you want to just put out a EP to do it that's great - but success looks hard as a product line, lets put it that way. Mad Good Luck with it you never know really. Hits happen everyday.

Last edited: Feb 13, 2019 13:00:41

I'm a physical media guy, and prefer CD's over vinyl. I'm thrilled when EP's come out, whether they are standalone projects, or teases of albums yet to come. Fascinating Creatures of the Deep, and the Mystery Men have done them as previews to upcoming complete albums. I think I heard that the Reverbivores EP is also a preview of a full length album, yet to come. Tikiyaki 5-O has put out a couple of tremendous EP's. I'm not sure whether they will ever appear on a complete album or not. All these EP's are great stuff, that I was happy to purchase, whether or not the content will later be duplicated on full length releases. Admittedly, I'm not the average fan. I want to support the efforts of the bands that I like, as much as possible. As far as I'm concerned, keep them coming.

Bob

Thanks Rob. That's great feedback and well noted!

The Kahuna Kings

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Kahuna-Kings/459752090818447

https://thekahunakings.bandcamp.com/releases

(Just to clarify, I wasn't meaning to imply that somebody was accusing my bands of putting filler on our albums - I just thought our experience regarding this issue of fillers may be a more universal one. Maybe not, I don't know, but I think it probably is.)

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

As with anything in the universe, even with the best of intentions, some things will evolve to be stronger or weaker than their counterparts.
Whether that’s plants or animals, songs, novels, paintings, or whole records even.
That’s the nature of almost all things.

On a record, it’s really easy for any listener to assume what they might perceive as a weaker piece to be filler, be it the case or not.

All of that said, one man’s filler could surely (Shirley) be another’s favorite.

Using some bad metaphor here:

Albums are like books. EPs are more like magazines. Songs are like stories. Or chapters.

A book can be a novel or it can be an anthology if short stories.

In a novel, sometimes there's a chapter that doesn't make sense on its own but only makes sense as part of the larger story. On an album, that can seem like filler. But it isn't.

An anthology can just be a bunch of stories, or stories with a theme, or stories that tell a story all their own.

Imagine how hard it is to write a book where every chapter stands on its own and still contributes to the overall story.

If the artist has the intention of making a 44min album and they have material they feel belongs on that to make up that 44mins then that's how they can roll. I think the credibility of EPs vs LPs is up to the3 listener/fan. I have heard EPs that sound like they are just a filler stopgap from overflow of the previous LP and there have been EPs that I desperately wished were full length because they were so awesome. From my own experiences, a 74min CD inevitably contained so filler that a nice, concise 44min album would have been more impactful. The Ramones and their 28min albums comes to mind. But I also love Double LP prog rock.

Mai Tai Surf on Facebook
Hang-Ten Hangmen https://www.facebook.com/HangTenHangmen/
http://www.dionysusrecords.com/shop/the-hang-ten-hangmen-its-boss-lp.html

Last edited: Feb 14, 2019 14:14:20

Actually the advent of the Compact Disc started the filler trend in 1987 being it had 74 minutes verse like 45 minutes on LP's. Not long after that many new re-masters and alternate takes emerged abs bonus material and new albums would contain sup-par material as well normally left off albums before that time.

I like the Book and Magazine metaphor as well in regard to music being its a form of packaging or classification similar to music formats etc. Both apply here in terms of expected content for consumers etc..

Being EP's normally were used for free promotion being they cost less to produce than LP's and allowed more than two songs for the same cost as a 45. They were used to send to radio stations and free giveaways at record shops when you bought more than say seven 45's some record stores gave you a EP free. The sound wasn't as good as a 45 but it was more of a sample to get the music out there.

That being said if anyone is going to put out a EP (Whether a 45 or a CD) They should put out your best songs on there regardless of the album its from. It is a promotional device and should have the best material. And if the other songs don't sound a s good as the best you have just re-work the songs or re-record whatever ...to get the absolute best on there.

Even with that there are so many factors in promotion - from location to who you know etc etc - what works for one band won't for another….The music biz is a lottery in reality - so at least buy a ticket and get your best songs out there on a EP Yes

All earlier Journey albums directly contradict your 1987 theory.

https://www.facebook.com/bloodreefsurf/
https://bloodreefsurf.bandcamp.com/releases (nothing official yet, just some badly mixed snippets from practice)

I would personally say go for whatever format (EP, LP) that you want to do and just hype it up from a marketing standpoint.

Nowadays, the whole idea of what used to mean something (track order, which side of the record to put songs on, how many songs a CD can hold) is pretty much out the window. I'm not against digital releases and pretty much buy those exclusively now (I prefer CDs, but I don't have a lot of space for them), but I will buy a CD of something if it really means something to me.

Touring bands make their money from tours and merchandise these days vs how many albums they sell. Why sell a CD for $9.99 when you can sell a T-shirt for $50 that calls out that special tour, for example. You could also offer a meet and greet for extra money as well - big bucks in that, trust me.

Last edited: Feb 14, 2019 17:51:09

DeathTide wrote:

All earlier Journey albums directly contradict your 1987 theory.

I was talking about bonus material and how albums just grew bigger content wise because of CD. Most albums that big were double LP's like the White Album or many others after 1968 on vinyl. 1968 was also the year albums out sold singles being FM radio took over playing album sides like college radio in that time.

It use to be that artists only had albums after enough singles to fill a compilation album of hits etc before 1964 or it was a Broadway show LP or movie soundtrack LP. Now everybody puts out albums.

As a trend I say the we are in a singles market now in regard to music on Streaming services and downloads etc. I'm sure more singles are sold than full Cd's now. So just make Cd's of your best singles then or a EP - we are back to pre 1964 as far as formats go. People don't have time to listen to full albums anymore in this fast paced media age.

IvanP wrote:

(Just to clarify, I wasn't meaning to imply that somebody was accusing my bands of putting filler on our albums - I just thought our experience regarding this issue of fillers may be a more universal one. Maybe not, I don't know, but I think it probably is.)

I am certain that there are many, many artists whom put their very best efforts into every tune. But there are albums I've heard where is seemed there were, perhaps 2-3 really good songs and the rest were mediocre, at best. IMO, the pressure would be greater on bands with good chart performance. If a band had a great album which sold well, the label would want a follow up, just to take advantage of the momentum. In some cases, quality suffered.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

1138 wrote:

I would personally say go for whatever format (EP, LP) that you want to do and just hype it up from a marketing standpoint.

Nowadays, the whole idea of what used to mean something (track order, which side of the record to put songs on, how many songs a CD can hold) is pretty much out the window. I'm not against digital releases and pretty much buy those exclusively now (I prefer CDs, but I don't have a lot of space for them), but I will buy a CD of something if it really means something to me.

Touring bands make their money from tours and merchandise these days vs how many albums they sell. Why sell a CD for $9.99 when you can sell a T-shirt for $50 that calls out that special tour, for example. You could also offer a meet and greet for extra money as well - big bucks in that, trust me.

Yeah you just hit it . . .Tee shirts - bands make the music now to sell all the side products and concert incomes now - that's the new way since about 2000. CD use to do good before that- but now is a marginal product line at present. The cheap Tee shirt thing doesn't work either - it has to be a good quality shirt - One band I saw had some cheap shirts didn't sell one that I remember.

My personal view is music is free today or will be soon, so its just a free promotional device now that's all. You have to have the songs to sell your band to promoters and fans etc...that hasn't changed - but making money selling songs will be hard I think. More money is made from songs used in commercials now (Look how many bands sold rights to classic rock used on TV show and commercials)

Anyway a EP is a excellent promotional device I think if it is free or will be soon. Just have your best material on there that's the key.

Last edited: Feb 14, 2019 18:22:50

Goto Page: Previous 1 2 3 Next
Top