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    • I just listened to Lady Gaga's new album and while I could write up a lot about it (short version: it's awesome) this is the first time that I can remember listening to something right as it came out via streaming. I've had Apple Music for over a year now and have pre-loaded a few albums but I usually wait a day or so to really dig in and listen through the whole thing.

      This got me thinking about back in the day when an album release was a huge thing and you'd go in at midnight to get it or ASAP after school on Tuesday sometimes carpooling with whoever could get a ride to the store. I have so many memories of those big releases back then and all that effort that went into getting them. But now I just plugged in my headphones and opened the app.

      Do you have any good memories of major album releases? Do you miss it VS today where most people just get their music digitally and through streaming services?

    • While audio cassettes died twenty years ago and should stay six feet under, CDs are still the best physical medium an average consumer can get (SACD and DVD-Audio were niche even at times when CDs were huge).

      Nowadays music is not linked to medium and art is not linked to music. I liked a certain album I was able to listen free on YouTube, I found the artist on BandCamp and bought an album poster and a T-shirt. I thought about buying the CD, but then I already have the album in digital form. So I thought, why should I pollute the planet and my own home with extra plastic?

      Ultimately, did not order the CD, because BandCamp offers downloads not only as MP3 but also as FLAC. So, I get the same quality as CD without worrying where is the damn jewel box or conversely, where is the damn CD from that jewel box. As I am very disorganized, streaming services work great for me.

    • Yep. Dire Straits self-titled album.

      A hot, sunny day late in 1978. I was driving the family business' small delivery truck over the Merrylands railway bridge in Western Sydney. I had a ghetto blaster mounted on the dashboard with packing tape.

      We had (still do) a state-run alternative music station - 2JJ - and it was booming from said dash-mounted stereo.

      As soon as I got off the bridge I pulled over and stopped the truck to listen to the rest of the first airing of 'Sultans of Swing' in Aus.

      It blew my mind. Still feels like it was yesterday.

      The next morning a made a b-line to the import record store located over Wynyard railway station in the city centre and paid an exorbitant fee for a pre-release import copy direct from the UK.

      I've still got it - although now it's on my mp3 playlist. Still on regular rotation. Been a Knopfler fan ever since.

    • You're lucky to still have an alternative station. The main one here closed in 2012 and the remaining stations changed their format to focus more on 90's/00's. Which ties back to big album releases because the main way I find out about them or any new music now is word of mouth or at shows that I've worked.

      Before WFNX closed I remember one of the last big shifts in rock music was to "indie" bands and I got into a few of them in large part thanks to having that station on a few hours per day.

    • What gets lost in the nostalgia is that, back in the day, getting music was hard to get. And, living in Eastern Europe, I'm not even talking about bootlegs and rare releases. I'm talking about getting regular, well-known stuff. The agony of knowing that Neil Young has 30+ albums, and you only can get 5 or 6 of them (it was a decade-long quest to get anywhere near complete NY discography). Knowing about Blind Faith, but not knowing anyone who actually has it? Shudder. As an avid music collector, good week was one when I got a new album from somewhere. And not every week was good week.

      So, for me, learning that Jason Isbell has a new album, and then clicking over to listen to it minutes later is nothing short of a miracle (and, yeah, go get that - it's great).

    • I don't really have any memories of getting albums back in the day, but nowadays I don't even really need to make any effort. I remember just opening my Spotify app and being notified that Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift had new albums out. Now you can even pre-download albums and have them ready to go on release day.

    • You're lucky to still have an alternative station. The main one here closed in 2012 and the remaining stations changed their format to focus more on 90's/00's.

      There are quite a few stations in San Diego that play 1980s and 1990s alternative. To me it is mainstream not alternative, because this is what I was listening in 1990s. My favorite is Flashback ALT, which in San Diego is carried by KYXY 96.5 on HD2 channel. Because it is an HD channel, which few people can tune to, the station does not care to push too many ads.