A LP, An EP, An Album And A Mixtape - Differences

All you need to know about Singles, EPs, LPs, Albums, and Mixtapes and their differences...

Singles - These are typically records with 2 songs max. They can contain multiple versions from clean, dirty, acapella to instrumental. These were once sold but now a days they are given to DJ’s for spins mostly.

EP - Extended Play, This is a collection of music with more than just the single but not long enough to qualify as a studio album. Estimated length that the industry gives is 25 minutes or 4 tracks. And there have been numerous double EPs released over time. EPs are under 40 minutes. Extended play; (Can be attributed to a mixtape or album) Extended from more than a single, usually half the size of an album. This comes from tradition where vinyls could contain EP’s on one disc as opposed to 2 discs for the modern albums. EP refers to Extended play. It is something between a single and a full CD (or LP); a little too short to be a full CD and a little too long to be a single.It usually has 3-5 tracks .

LP - Long Play, This is a collection of music that qualifies as a full album release. Usually 40 minutes or 10 tracks at the minimum. There have been multiple disc albums up to 4x released in history.Album- What an album is today is a LP that is promoted and sold where Neilsen Soundscan can keep track; also count towards a record contract to being completed. LPs are 40 or more. LP refers Long Play; it is a vinyl record. Per Wikipedia.

Album - Albums are made by artists but controlled by record labels on every level; even the creation process. Meets industry standards of album length and time. Which (in modern terms) is around 16 tracks (think of vinyls, 4 sides, 4 tracks per side = 16 songs), and most CD’s can only hold about this many songs. An album is put out for sale to the general public. 

Mixtapes - These have become underground albums today that are given away for free containing both original and unoriginal works. The soul purpose is to build a fan base not profit. Typically the artist is in complete control of this project so they decide the length, content, etc. Mixtapes are unofficial, free releases, and they’re usually just a bunch of songs thrown together whereas most albums follow a certain tone, mood, story or concept. A free promotional tape, it can also consist of remixes. A lot of rappers also use this to satisfy their fans in case they haven’t put out material in a long time. It’s also a good way to keep a rapper relevant. It’s also used by upcoming rappers that haven’t put out an album yet (Chance, Vic Mensa etc.)

B-Sides - Typically songs that didn’t make it on to the album, but are to be included with the album. These songs are given to people for free, as if it were just pasted on the backside of the album, hence the B-Side.

Deluxe Songs - Songs that may or may not fully match the concept of the album, extra songs given to fans that purchase the entire album and get all the extra songs for a reduced price.

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