When I was a wee young lad, the local FM station in town did something called an “Album Side” every Wednesday night at 8 pm. It was a great way to hear half of an album before plunking down five hard earned dollars at the record store. It was also a way to sometimes get a recording of half of the songs on the album using the trusty stereo cassette deck.
By way of these unauthorized recordings, I accumulated a bunch of cassette tapes that had bands like Aerosmith on one side and Foreigner on the other. Often, the last 8-10 minutes of a cassette tape side would be silent. This, coupled with the auto reverse mechanism on the cassette deck often lead to confusion with my high school sweet heart… the music ends, then while we were otherwise distracted and several minutes later, the music begins again at high volume.
I grew up in much simpler times than these.
In any case, the advent of the CD pretty much ruined the concept of album sides. It means much less to somebody to have a show where one would play “half the songs on a CD, one after another, without commercials or liners.” When CD’s became the norm for music playback somewhere in the late 1980’s early 1990’s so went the album side. These days, with computers, MP3’s and all the other music storage mediums, most people wouldn’t even know what an album side was. The shame of it is, it was a great selling tool for the record industry. Even though I owned those bootleg cassette tapes, later on, I went out and bought almost all of the albums that I had illegally recorded off of the radio. To get the other side.