Back in the groove Peter Aspden – The album is dead, long live the album! writes Peter Aspden

If you are a music-lover of a certain age, and it is the age of people who run the world, this is how a typical conversation about your abiding passion goes: you first of all lament the witless banality of reality shows, the ubiquity of Simon Cowell, and the way that singers can’t hold a note any more, preferring to circle around it for a couple of hours in a forsaken miasmic muddle. You hate the false melodrama of the battle to be Christmas Number One and wonder why no one writes their own songs any more. Music never used to be like that, you will say, talking of marathon sweaty stints in Hamburg nightclubs, guitar parts that made the fingers bleed, and note-perfect session players from Detroit.

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