Monday, 22 February 2016

The Flipside

A leftover thought from my previous post… One aspect of vinyl that I miss is the LP’s organization of music into different sides. It matters little for a standard 10-track album but for more progressively minded music the division of sides was ideal for demarcating a side-long composition like Kraftwerk’s Autobahn from the four shorter cuts on the flipside. Listening to Kraftwerk’s album on CD, the implicit ritual of flipping the record over and taking a momentary stop in the hard shoulder before embarking in a new direction is entirely lost to the CD’s continuous play. This aspect of the long-player wasn’t just the reserve of prog rock bands like Genesis or Yes, it served well for albums with two distinct halves like Neu! 75, Hounds of Love and perhaps most famously, Low which separated the short conventional songs from the longer, more abstract instrumentals. Old habits die hard, and I still refer to “Side Two” when talking about Low, and if asked what my favorite track off Metal Machine Music is, my instant answer is Side 4…

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