Flashback Friday Refresher Course: When Albums Ruled The Earth (2007 BBC Documentary)!


Come on, anyone who doesn't feel a palpable excitement when they pull a record from its sleeve and drop the needle is pulling out the wrong records.  There are people walking around with entire musical libraries in their phones, yet the guy or gal with 40 great albums to their name is the one who feels richest.

Rubber Soul, Pet Sounds, Dark Side Of The Moon...

And so began our love affair with "the album".  Sure, bands continued to make great singles, but, for perhaps the first time ever, modern artists were using the album an a singular art form instead of a collection of singles.  

Imagine a band today deciding they were going to make an album full of sounds nobody had ever heard before.  Well, the Beatles actually did it with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which, to our ears, still sounds like a children's record, but that doesn't erase the sheer buzz of listening to this confused mess of a record.

There is a perverse joy in the concept of tuning into a radio station in a parallel universe, hearing things that are oddly familiar yet not quite as you remember.  Whether this was the Beatles' intent, or whether they were simply flying by the seat of their pants, is probably documented somewhere, but, when its just you and the music, you're free to create your own truth.

Like all good things, our fling with "the album" didn't so much end as fade away.  Before long, we were re-buying our albums all over again on shiny plastic discs, but it wasn't the same.  Being able to "take our music with us" changed the relationship.  Music no longer had our full attention.

I mean, what other important part of your life responds positively to you doing something else while spending time with it?  Oh, you can try it with your spouse, your kids, your pets, but, at some point, they're going to take offense.

Many of us realized this and rekindled our relationship with "the album".  We gleefully re-bought all our favorite titles on vinyl again and recaptured that joy of younger days.  Those who haven't will find themselves rethinking that decision with this insanely entertaining 2007 BBC documentary "When Albums Ruled The World".  If it doesn't rekindle your love affair with the album, nothing will.

We're now eagerly awaiting the sequel, "When Cassingles Ruled The Camry".

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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