When music was confined to pieces of plastic like vinyl LPs and CDs, there was limit to the number of songs each could hold.
In the case of vinyl, I have a bunch of K-Tel albums that managed to jam 11 songs per side by adjusting the space between the grooves to the absolute minimum. There was more room to work with the 75 minute (later 80 minute) capacity of a CD, especially if you were burning the disc with MP3s. In that case, you could squeeze in 100 songs or more.
But when it comes to the digital realm, the notion of capacity is irrelevant. Your album can be as long as you want it to be.
UK band The Pocket Gods have taken this notion to the extreme with the release of their new album 300×30. It features 298(!!!) songs that run over about 3 hours.
This is part performance art and part protest against how streaming affects artists. The Pocket Gods know that streaming music services pay out in full after any given song runs 30 seconds. If that’s the case, why bother writing songs longer than 31 seconds?
They’ve got a point. If they can convince people to cycle through the songs on this record, they’ll make way more money than they would from releasing a more conventional record.
And then there’s the matter of something called “track-equivalent albums” or TEAs. If songs from any given album are streamed 1,500 times, that’s considered to be the equivalent to the sale of one album. Lots of short songs increases the chances of lots of streams hence lots of TEAs. With the way success metrics work in the music industry, they could end up with a gold album.
This isn’t the first time The Pocket Gods have done this. The 300×30 album follows in the footsteps of 100×30, which, yes, features 100 really short songs.
The Guinness Book of World Records has weighed in on the matter, too. They have declared 300×30 to be the record for the most tracks on a digital album.
Please enjoy. And note the fun the band has with song titles.