When Prince presented the Grammy for best album this week, he made an impassioned case for a musical format that many seem ready to write off as dead.
“Albums, remember those?” he said. “Albums still matter. Albums, like books and black lives, still matter.”
That’s how you present an award, folks.
Albums are collections of musical pieces that work together to create an auditory gestalt larger than the individual songs themselves. With the massive growth in streaming audio these days, many people might be missing out on this incredible old-school experience.
Here’s the cure: a list of amazing albums you should listen to in their entirety, even if you don’t do vinyl. iTunes might have helped kill CDs, but it’s still a great place to buy albums rather than shortchanging yourself with a bunch of singles. There are dozens of other albums you should explore, depending on your musical tastes, but this list should remind us all how awesome albums are as a concept. You can thank us later.