Here’s something we need for Canada: National Album Day

October 12 has been set for the second annual National Album Day in the UK. Its mission is to get people back to listening to full albums instead of just cherry-picking songs for/from playlists.

This year’s theme will be “Don’ Skip.” Instead of reflexively hitting the skip button on your music app, leave it alone. Listen to that song and see if it might grow on you. (Caution: This could take a dozen listens or more.) It might end up being an all-time favourite–if you give it a chance.

The hard facts are that 24% of Spotify listeners hit the skip button after the first five seconds. Another 29% are gone by the 10 second mark. And 35% will bail before the song is 30 seconds old.

In the olden days of CDs, vinyl, and cassette (probably the most skip-UNfriendly format), music fans would sit through the non-hits and filler on the album, knowing that something good was coming up next. And given that we paid for that album, we were determined to learn to like everything lest we come to the conclusion that we wasted our precious after-tax disposable income on bad music.

Here’s another perspective: Some artists see the album as a novel. You wouldn’t skip a chapter in a novel if you didn’t like the first two sentences, would you?

Time for a National Album Day in Canada. Who can we get to organize this?

(Thanks to CMU for the idea.)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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