Ben Folds To Make New Music Available On iTMS, Moves Away From Album Format

Musician Ben Folds is moving away from the album format that has long been the staple of the recording industry. What will he be doing instead? According to an article in Billboard Magazine, heill be releasing three five-song EPs this year that will be made available at his live shows, through his Web site, and via the iTunes Music Store. The decision to do this was driven by his contempt for traditional methods of distribution. From the article:

"Iim going to do things that are really more about the music for me and less about the hype," says Folds. "Because Iim on a major label, there is no escaping the way that we have to do business when I release an album -- everybody wants the iAlbum of the Yeari Rolling Stone bullsh*t where you get two-stars in the review and your face is all over the front. The way to bypass that for me is just to not go through the normal channels. And if I put out an EP, nobody can take it seriously."


"This way, I donit have to kowtow to the big-a** record chains and then in order to get a certain number of records shipped, I donit have to kiss radio peopleis a**es," says Folds. "And in turn, I donit have to do TV in order to get the radio slots and do certain kinds of press that I donit want to do. Itis all kind of nice and the record business right now is going, iOkay, any way you want to do it is totally fine because weire just barely getting by.i So, they are not arguing about that. [Epic] is pretty well aware that Iim not going to be competing with Shakira. Itis a really nice musical way for me to do it. I just go into the studio, there is no iHow does this fit in with anything?i I just do five songs. Itis music. People who know my music and know who I am can find it, and thatis great."

Although Folds will continue to fulfill his contractual obligations by putting out albums periodically, he states that putting an album together is just "a matter of formality." As touched on recently in a TMO column, online distribution could herald many changes in the music industry. For Ben Foldsis part, he feels that the recording industry may begin moving away from the album format in general. From the article:

"But I think the institution of the album may be going away. Thatis my gut feeling. I feel that it is more about songs and the album is a formality that packages things so that you can hype them real big and Iim just not very hype-able. Weive tried that a couple of times and it is just not very effective."

For more on Ben Foldsi LPs, including release dates, read the original Billboard article. Information on Ben Folds and his music can be found on his own Web site.