Wrote an over long reply to this article on The Skip to a email list:
There is no data from before streaming, so how much skipping was happening then? Presumes that people used to listen to albums all the way through, which they didn’t. Side two of AC/DC’s Highway to Hell has two of my least favourite songs – “Love Hungry Man” and “Night Prowler” (I didn’t know Mutt Lange slowed “Night Prowler” track down by 5.25%; might try speeding it back up and see if it improves) and I would skip them.
Van Halen’s “Fools” has a great opening riff, but at six minutes long it over stays it’s welcome. One I would abort on vinyl after the initial hit.
When I had friends over we would skip through a record collection, playing bits of this, bits of that. Can’t count the amount of times we reset the needle to hear Steve Vai do his guitar bits on “Eat Em And Smile”. The idea that everyone listened to an album all the way through isn’t strictly true. And how many cassette tapes were chewed up from people fast forwarding/rewinding?
…and mix tapes. I prefer the album opening to Zappa’s “Sharleena”, but the “You Can’t Do That on Stage [Sampler]” version has the incredible Dweezil and Frank solo so I cut the two togther and listened to the tape. In a digital world I was effectively skipping the album version of the song after a few minutes everytime, and skipping the beginning of the “Sampler” version.
…and mix tapes. Songs from various albums and artists, just the same as a playlist on Spotify (etc) today. More work, sure, but just because it was more work to do before digital doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening.
So the Skip is easier and more convenient now, and data is readily available on our how we skip, but I would argue against it being anything new, or the new downfall of the album.
Um… a lot of Metal examples. I did listen to other music, honest!