David Byrne and Thom Yorke explain why albums are still important

by Jason Gross

19 December 2007


In this Wire interview, these two icons discuss the latest Radiohead album of course but what was more interesting to me was their conversation about why albums are still important in a download age.
Byrne: I’ve been asking myself: Why put together these things — CDs, albums? The answer I came up with is, well, sometimes it’s artistically viable. It’s not just a random collection of songs. Sometimes the songs have a common thread, even if it’s not obvious or even conscious on the artists’ part. Maybe it’s just because everybody’s thinking musically in the same way for those couple of months.

Yorke: Or years.

Byrne: However long it takes. And other times, there’s an obvious…

Yorke: ... Purpose.

Byrne: Right. Probably the reason it’s a little hard to break away from the album format completely is, if you’re getting a band together in the studio, it makes financial sense to do more than one song at a time. And it makes more sense, if you’re going to all the effort of performing and doing whatever else, if there’s a kind of bundle.

Yorke: Yeah, but the other thing is what that bundle can make. The songs can amplify each other if you put them in the right order.

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