Klinger: Well, Mendelsohn, this marks the third double album in a row here at Counterbalance. Once again, the rockist love for the grandiose statement carries the day. Are you feeling fatigued? Aggravated? A little too eager to drop the word “sprawling” into the mix?
Mendelsohn: There are so many different ways I could go with this but for right now, I’m going to stay on topic: I’m sick of the double disc. Also, “sprawl” is a great vocab choice. I’m going to use it in a sentence. The Clash’s London Calling is an epic, sprawling disc that will leave you sprawled out on the floor as your mind tries to wrap itself around the sprawl of genres this British band touches on in the course of an hour plus. That last use of “sprawl” might be a bit questionable, but I challenge you to use it in one sentence three times.
My problem with double albums is that they go on too long. While my writing may not always reflect the following statement, I’m a firm believer that if you can say something in three words, there is no reason to write an entire paragraph. I think the same thing applies to music. If you had sent London Calling to the chopping block and came back with a solid 40-minute record, would it be any less great?
Klinger: Sure, you could make a brilliant 40-minute album out of the tracks on London Calling. But then it wouldn’t be London Calling. I’d be hard pressed to find a wasted moment on the album.
Would The Godfather have been better without that whole bit where Michael goes to Sicily? I reckon it depends on what you’re trying to do. If you’re looking to get from Point A to Point B, then you need to keep the plot moving. But at their best, double albums can be as much about the journey as the destination.