Can you imagine what would happen if bands let punters build their own albums using the songs they have recorded, arrange them in the order they want and also pick a cover to go with these? Would that be beneficial for the actual music recorded by bands, or would that be taking things just too far? I ask you because a band has done exactly such a thing, and it is turning to be the talk of the Internet.
British indie band Kaiser Chiefs has just finished recording a 20-track CD, and it lets people buy any ten songs from it, in the order they see fit, and give it a cover of its very own using lots of preloaded images. What’s even more interesting is that once a person orders this customized CD, he will then be given the option to sell this customized album himself online, and earn 1 pound per sale.
This is as interesting as it is debatable. While letting fans do such a thing is the ultimate way to get them engaged, it also lessens the unity of what has been recorded. In this specific case, Kaiser Chiefs has recorded 20 songs. The fans buying the album will get to listen to only 10. A system like this one might as well come with a large sticker reading “Forget about sequencing or continuity”.
Plus, the fact that there might be as many versions of an album around as fans of the band means nobody will have the same impression of what has been released. There are thousands of ways in which songs can be combined.
This is not really the first time something like this has been done. Not so long ago, Devo crowdsourced the tracklist for its album “Something For Everybody”. And going way, way back I recall how MusicMaker.com let you customize your copy of The Who’s “The Blues To The Bush” before ordering it. Granted, it wasn’t the same thing. That was a live album. But it made for multiple permutations of the same disc to be available to the public.
Kaiser Chiefs’ “The Future Is Medieval” is a brand-new collection of songs. The only way to listen to all of them is by ordering two copies with 10 cuts each. So, how will this go down with fans? If your favorite band ever did the same thing, how supportive would you be? Leave a comment below and let us all know, please!