As we did in the past, the listeners get comfortable, the lights are dimmed, phones are turned off, and late arrivals are encourage to wait until the end of the album before entering.
Anyone who grew up in the age of vinyl knows that listening like this was a common practice back then. You would often go to someone's house just so you could hear a new album, and most often you'd listen all the way through the record. It was just part of every day life back then. You never thought twice about it. Music meant a lot to people (as it does now), but the overall listening experience was way different.
One of the reasons that vinyl records lend themselves so much to this practice is the fact that they real do sound better from a number of standpoints. The audio was much less compressed, which gave the songs some dynamics and created very little ear fatigue (a real problem with today's CDs and especially MP3s these days). And the audio quality in the way the record was made, the playback source (the record itself), and usually the playback system were quite a bit better than we're used to today. In fact, it was difficult to find anyone that didn't have a quality sound system back then. Even the lowliest dorm room's playback was far superior to what's normally found everywhere but the studio and audiophile household today.
We can only hope that this trend extends to the United States, since today's listeners should really be exposed to the joys of excellent music played back through an excellent sound system. Once the bar is raised in what you're listening to, it's difficult to listen to MP3's ever again.
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