Fair enough Neil. Fair enough. However, you would think that with all the time that his fellow Rush band-mate Alex Lifeson has spent hanging around Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson, he would be slightly influenced as to the importance of the album format. Sure the physical medium of the vinyl record and compact disc is hardly relevant in the digital world, but as Steve and myself constantly drone on about: the art of creating an extended progression of music creates a much more powerful listening experience then a 3-4 minute single track ever could, can and will.
"We're kind of taking this as a challenge to do something with, rather than to moan about," he explained.
"(It's) a healthier reaction than getting mad: 'Aww, things aren't how they used to be - we wanted to make a 12-inch album with two sides!' Those things ARE hard to give up, and every time now we make a side one and side two mentally and build the dynamics . . . so there is something lost.
"But, on the other hand, it's pointless to lament about it, and now we have the opportunity to take advantage of this amorphous situation going on in the music business right now."
So, while I agree that the physical media of the LP may not be necessary (although I clearly still dig it), releasing individual tracks as single downloads is hardly going to result in anything really groundbreaking from this ageing band. Not that their last few "albums" really resulted in anything terribly inovative or worthwhile in my opinion one way or the other. Snakes and Arrows? More like Flakes and Sparrows. Vapour Trails? More like Tapered Snails. Ha. Take that.
Oh, by the way. Neil's version of the Hockey Night in Canada theme song really does ROCK.