Eric Church Says Resurgence of Albums ‘Does My Heart Good’
As the music business trends more and more toward digital and single releases, Eric Church remains adamant that the process of creating full-length albums is still important for artists.
“I’m so focused on making an album. I don’t care that technology tells us that albums are a thing of the past. That is B.S.,” Church says. “They are more valuable now than they’ve ever been to the future of music, to the health of music. Because, going forward, there’s no way we end up having artists unless we go back to the album format, the entire body of work.”
Church feels that his latest album, ‘The Outsiders,’ is the perfect example of an album that is meant to be heard as a whole rather than one song at a time.
“I liken it to when you sit down to read a book. You don’t read one chapter. You read the whole book. It’s about every chapter. That’s how you understand what the book’s about, that’s how you become a fan of the book,” he says. “Same thing with music. You can’t hear one song, you can’t get a 99-second sound bite, and understand the artist, or be a fan of the artist, other than for just for that moment. That frenetic way of what we’ve turned music into, with digital technology, I’m so against that.
“For me, ‘The Outsiders’ is almost a concept album. It doesn’t really work when you start pulling songs out of it,” Church adds. “It’s not the same listening experience. At the end, to get recognition for the album is cooler than anything else, because that’s what we were really going for.”
The resurgence of vinyl is particularly important to Church since, with records, there’s no way to skip songs or start playing at a specific spot.
“Music used to be escapism — you’d sit down, and you’d spend 45 minutes with a vinyl record. There was no way to make the damn thing skip. There was no track button. You had to let the thing play through, and you committed to it. You took that time, and you invested,” he says. “We’ve gotten away from that. And sonically, it’s become so one-note. MP3s and all that took away sonically what I think the spirit of the music was. Now it all sounds the same; it’s just got different words. When you go into a studio, with the drum sounds and the bottom versus the top — you get that on vinyl.”
Church himself has helped promote the format, releasing both ‘The Outsiders’ and his ‘Caught in the Act’ live album on vinyl for Record Store Day.
“People are starting to get back into that. They’re starting to realize that is how music is meant to be consumed,” he continues. “I’m a vinyl collector, so it does my heart good.”
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