Of course my music collection follows the technology of recorded music through the later half of the 20th Century. It started with vinyl singles or 45s, then record albums or LPs, then tapes - first 8tracks then cassettes, after that we entered the digital age with CDs and now of course we download in various file formats. Thankfully I wasn't around for cylinders and 78s.
|An album full of records, thus a record album.|
So when CDs came out there was peer pressure (I'm not sure from whom) to start talking about them as CDs and NOT the term we had been using to describe vinyl discs - records or albums.
For examples -- people would say George Jones or Oliver Jones or Grace Jones has a new CD out, even though it would released on three formats at the time: LP, cassette and CD.
I didn't agree with it at the time but I just went along with it. When I was at CBC as a producer, one of my hosts insisted on mentioning we were playing CDs as opposed to records even though we were still playing both. Maybe she thought it sounded more high-tech back in the 90s. I also noticed she would say "Here's a track from a new CD" when CDs don't have tracks. Vinyl records have tracks.
As a confirmed music geek, I did a little research to find out how some of this terminology evolved and I found one one thing that was a real eye opener. Did you know that the term "album" refers literally to when records came in "albums?" They couldn't fit an opera on a 78 rpm disc so they would release them as a collection of discs in an album similar to a picture album. You can see them in vintage record stores and in your mom and dad's attic. In other words, we eventually started calling 33 1/3 LPs albums when they are no such thing. Yet people sometimes correct me when I call a new recording a "record" and tell me that's the wrong terminology.
Indeed most of the names we have given recorded music were tied to the particular format or medium in fashion at the time, but there are so many formats these days that we buy (or steal). I think we need to revive the perfectly good catch-all word RECORD.
I suggest we start using the word RECORD more to refer to a collections of songs as a unit.
The origin of the word is Latin re+cord = more at heart. In Middle English in the 14th century, it meant literally to recall. There really is no strict connection between the word "record" and vinyl but it's perfectly good at describing a group of songs collected as a unit. In other words, to recall a group of songs the creators intended to be acquired as a unit.
Will I launch a huge campaign to make this happen? No, life's too short. Am I up nights thinking about this stuff? Yeah but that's me.And I will stubbornly call all my CDs, downloads and LPs "Records."