Album Sides

Indulge me this silly topic. Sonics aside, there are two things I lament about the decline of the LP as a source of music in my life. One is the loss of the physical album cover, which we could read (without magnification) and study and relate to, if you know what I mean. I rarely know the names of songs anymore on CDs, because I don't "hang" with the cover.

The other loss is the album side. With an LP, there are two "first songs," and two sequences of songs to suck you in. Song sequencing is a whole different challenge with a CD. Do you remember records where you would listen to one side all the time and even ignore the other side or sides? The CD experience is different.

There have been some remarkable album sides. Which do you love most? A few of mine: Abbey Road side 2, Blonde on Blonde side 2, Moondance side 1, Wheels of Fire side 3, American Beauty side 1 (side 2 also).

Joni Mitchell "Blue" side 1 "Court and Spark" side 1 Jethro Tull "Benefit" side 2 This is crazy! Many LP's have only 1 decent side.MUCH harder to find a LP where every song is great.I can think of 2 quickly.Tom Petty "Full Moon Fever" and "Damn The Torpedoes" His albums are like "Best ofs"
Rolling Stones, the one with the pizza/cake thing on the front cover (haven't owned it for 15 years), side one. I used to listen to it every morning, while having a bowl for breakfast, in my youth.
I was just discussing this with my brother. He is only 25 while i'm 36, so i grew up with vinyl and he with digital. I too rarely know the songs on an album since i don't have the covers and liner notes to study anymore. Besides this, i don't know who's in what band, what they look like, how "creative" their artwork is, etc... All of this stuff added up to part of the bands' "feel" and image. With CD's, i just don't have the interest in "microscoping" all of the details that i did with LP's. Another point that you kind of touched upon is that with LP's, there was a "breaking point" to the music. With CD's, you either hit play and are "forced" to listen to the whole thing or "pick, choose & program" only what you like. While CD's tend to develop a certain "flow" for their length, LP's quite often had two different "flavors" from side to side. With the LP, you had a "small taste" and then could either choose to continue with that artist or move to something else. I think that this kept our "short" attention spans more readily than the 60 and 70 minute CD length. While some people might throw a tantrum about getting "cheated", i would rather have 30 - 40 minutes of an artists best cuts than 60 - 80 minutes of a bunch of filler. For someone to produce an entire CD's length of GREAT cuts nowadays, they truly must be talented. It was much easier for an artist when they only had to do it for 15 - 20 minutes at a time. Sean
I agree with everything stated above, but one thing I do like about CDs is the remote control. I can skip any song I don't like, or repeat any song I do. I use a 5 disc changer as a transport and I typically set it on random play/all disc.
I remember more vinyl in my youth that had no "b sides" like Led Zep's 1,2,3,4 Floyds Dark Side,Meddle and Wish You Were Here,ZZ Tops first 6+ Eliminator,Lynryrd Skynryds had no b sides on any releases,Robin Thrower Bridge Of Sighs,Sabbaths first,Alice Coopers Love It To Death,Killer and Bilion Dollar Babies,Aerosmith Self Titled,get Your Wings,Toy's In The Attic and Rocks,Blue Oyster Cults On Your Feet Or On Your Knees,Foreigners First,Fleetwood Mac Rumours,SRV has no b sides,Allman bros Eat A Peach,Live At The Filmore.AC/DC all the releases with Bon Scott and the first with replacement Brian Johnson.Jethro Tull Aqualung,I could name about 100 more that do not have b sides and have to admit i miss the feeling of having that new record in my hand and discovering the who ,what where and why that went along with these records as well as the art work.Sonics aside,i think the cd's them selves seem colder and lord knows i do not give them the love and attention i used to give my vinyl versions.SACD may be a worthy replacement for vinyl but nothing will ever replace alblum covers.
I've always maintained that the way the first side of R.E.M.'s second LP, Reckoning, flows together as one is just transcendent. Unfortunately, the second side falls short of the first. Yeah, I've got to agree that the second side of Blonde on Blonde is also amazing.
You nailed some great ones with Blonde on Blonde, Abbey Road (my all time favorite album side) and Moondance(I play that at least one a week). Being a stones fan, I love side one of Exile on Main Street(Rocks off, etc...) and side 4 of same album. Any side of Pink Floyd's The Wall. Robert Palmer's Sneaking Sally through the Alley, Side 1. Who's Next by the Who, Side 2.
Yes, I miss album covers. An artform lost. Also, those double album covers were a great way to seperate out your seeds. Abby Road side is also my most memorable side two. Alman Brothers, The Fillmore Concerts, is my favorite side four. Great thread Drubin.
I like the length of Album sides. I may not have a favorite side, but listening to about 20 minutes of an artist is just right for me--then move on to something different. But just out of habbit, I almost never start the CD in the middle.
Haven't thought about it in quite a while. Ramones, Rockin' Roll High School, side 1....Allman Brothers Live at The Fillmore East side 1...Springsteen Grretings from Asbury Park side 2
I find that I remember the music I grew up with by album sides (third song on side one, etc.). That said, I struggle trying to decide which is better, Led Zepplin "Physical Grafitti" side 3 or Rush "Moving Pictures" side 1. Most times I don't have an answer and just play both. Problem solved.

I also miss album covers. I am thankful to artists who include lyrics and liner notes with their CDs.

I am also a member of Sean's camp. I can only think of a handful of 70-minute CDs that have 70 minutes of worthwhile music on them. Most I wish were limited to 45 minutes.
Steven Stills and Manassas sides one and four, Who Quadrophenia side 4, Neil Young Zuma side 2, Abbey Road side 2
Selling England by the Pound
side 1 and 2
Abbey Road side 2...has there ever been a more seamless medley of great songs?
Elton John - side 1 Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

U2 - side 2 The Joshua Tree

Led Zeppelin - side 1 Led Zeppelin II

Stone Temple Pilots - side 1 Core

Pink Floyd - DSOTM both sides

The Police - side 2 Synchronicity
I'm glad to see this thread revived. It reminds of something else that I struggle with coming to CDs from LPs, which is including new material on the CD and sometimes changing the order of the songs. Stop it, your messing with the integrity of masterpieces! The only Beatles remaster I have bought is Rubber Soul. It sounds great but is hardly recognizable to me as the same Rubber Soul that carried me into puberty.
Side 2 of Abbey Road just leaps to mind here.

Todd Rundgren always had the quirky side and the straight side.
The first side of "A Wizard, A True Star" and the fourth live jam side of "Something/Anything" come to mind.

"Radio Ethiopia" from Patti Smith was another split personality record.

With regards to rock only, I can't imagine a more interesting piece of music than side 2 of Abbey Road.

It never gets old.

Pure genius.
For the longest time I would only play side-1 of Neil Young's "Rust Never Sleeps". I did not know what I was missing. I agree that the album cover art and liner notes were just as important as listening to the actual album. I clearly remember the day I realized that the Who were actually urinating on that big rock on the "Who's Next" cover. But I won't get fooled again. Now there's an album where both sides are killer. I often just played sides 1 & 2 of CSNY's "Four Way Street".
Side 2 of Abbey Road is sublime, side 1 is sublime too. I love the song arc on side 1 of Come Together, Something, Maxwell's Silver Hammer. Pretty cool, not as good as Side 2, agreed, but wow, what a set of diverse and interesting songs.

I'm adding these sides:

Radiohead - side 1 Pablo Honey

Journey - side 1 Infinity