There’s a new podcast in town, and it’s (predictably) great.
The Album Years, hosted by Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness, takes it as a given that the album, as an art form, is worth taking seriously—something I’ve been arguing for years—and that its heyday began in the mid-1960s and ended some thirty-five years later with the new millennium.
The intent is for each episode to focus on a single year. The first takes a look at 1980, with discussion around not only the obvious (Peter Gabriel’s third solo release, David Bowie’s Scary Monsters, The Talking Heads’ Remain in Light) but also some lesser-known stuff like Peter Hamill’s A Black Box and Common One from Van Morrison. Episode 2, which I haven’t listened to yet, dives into 1973.
Something worth mentioning: While it’s true that albums no longer seem to capture the zeitgeist (but then, what does these days?), there are musicians who still take the format seriously—like, say, Steven Wilson. So all is not lost.