As a musician still living in their car or parents’ basement, chances are you’ve heard these terms thrown around a lot. So what exactly is the difference between an EP and an LP in music? Knowing the difference won’t exactly send you sky-rocketing to the top of the charts and mansions and bikini-clad housekeepers, but as a musician, you should be aware of the difference. Technically, an LP refers to a long-playing vinyl record, specifically a 33 1/3 rpm (revolutions per minute) microgroove vinyl record.
Over time, it came refer to a full-length album and is now also used to refer to CDs and digital downloads. To this day, purists still prefer LPs for its sound quality as compared to the digital sound we got after the introduction of Compact Discs. With the current music culture you can’t exactly download Britney Spears onto a vinyl record, if you could do that you wouldn’t be living in your mom’s basement, but with the recent surge in demand for Vinyl Records, LPs are making a comeback.
The term EP” is used to describe musical releases that are between four and six songs long as opposed to a full-length album. The letters “EP” stand for “Extended Player” and originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play records but now can also refer to mid-length Compact Discs and digital downloads.
Artists usually release Extended Player records to market their talent, introduce themselves to the public, as giveaways, or to announce to the world that they haven’t been swallowed by a gator if they’ve turned into a one-hit wonder. Some musicians also use EPs to dabble in less commercial sounds or experiment with different music styles. Either way, EPs are a great way to get your name out there if you are a struggling musician, which you totally are if you are reading this from mom’s basement.
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