Why Don't We Listen To Albums All The Way Through Anymore?

Why Don't We Listen To Albums All The Way Through Anymore?

Why don’t people listen to albums anymore? Like, all the way through?

Most listeners are about the single, and usually, don’t listen to the rest of the songs.

While reading this article in Pitchfork a hundred light bulbs went off in my head.


In 2018, we have way more options than we had in 1998. Obviously.

I think our situation has drastically changed, and that’s the biggest reason we don’t listen to albums all the way through.


In the situation above, the person can only travel with 3 CDs in their bag. That’s a “set of circumstances one finds oneself in.”

Why does this crazy person only take 3 CDs you ask? Are they poor? Boring? Let me explain.

First of all, traveling with CDs was hard. Yes, they made carrying cases for CDs, but they were bulky and heavy. Secondly, there was also a good chance that your CDs might get wrecked, lost, or stolen, and they were expensive! So, you only took a few because of circumstance.

Now you can understand the situation this person is in, and why they only have 3 CDs. So, if you only have three CDs on a road trip, you will definitely be playing them ALL THE WAY THROUGH.

See: What Are Your 10 Desert Island Albums?


In 2018, stores don’t even sell CDs. Why would they, when everyone is streaming music from their phones? Talk about a completely new situation (see definition above). We have a million albums at our fingertips and now we don’t know what to play? We don’t listen to albums all the way through anymore because we have too many choices.


Playing one album all the way through would be boring.

Our “location and surroundings” have changed, i.e. our circumstance. Streaming offers us endless options. It’s overwhelming. I miss the days where I only had a handful of CDs.


Maybe that’s why I love Louder Than Bombs so much. For a while, it was the¬†only CD I owned.


To go a step further, streaming has changed the way we listen to music in a group setting. I used to put on an album at a party and let it play. But now if I played The Smiths Louder Than Bombs all the way through people would think I’m NUTS!

With the option to make incredible playlists, most people don’t have the patience for a whole album, they want variety, and there’s an app for that. And there’s that circumstance thing looking us right in the face again.

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