Remember the days when a hit record could be no more than 3 minutes, 30 seconds?
Then we hit the “Bohemian Rhapsody”/”Stairway to Heaven” era when everything was a rock opera at 45rpm. Six minutes? Seven minutes? The longer the better.
Punk and new wave music came along to dispel all that, returning pop and rock to two or three minutes of punchy, catchy power playing. It was a welcome relief to hear Elvis Costello, the Clash, or the Pretenders tell their stories succinctly.
Well, bloat is back in the form of Adele. The singer herself has a lot of of weight but her new songs sounds like they’re going to be nappers. Five songs on the “30” album clock in at over six minutes! One o them is five minutes! Hello! It’s not like Adele is showing off her guitar solos. She isn’t Ray Manzarek playing keyboards on “Light My Fire”!
The last two songs on the album, “To Be Loved” (not the Jackie Wilson classic, by the way) and “Love is a Game” come in at 6:43. What is this? “Hey Jude”? “American Pie”? “Inagaddadavida, Baby”?
In the old days, record labels would force acts to accept radio edited singles so even if the album track was long, the single was a tidy fit. I can’t imagine Z100 or KIIS FM playing six minute tracks. Maybe Sony can send out their own versions so drivers don’t doze off and have accidents. “Your honor, I plead the Adele defense.”
This should be interesting…