An album is a book used for the collection and preservation of miscellaneous items such as photographs, postage stamps, newspaper clippings, visitors' comments, etc. The word later became widely used to describe a collection of audio recordings of pieces of music on a single gramophone record, cassette, compact disc, or via digital distribution.
In musical usage the word was used for collections of short pieces of printed music from the early nineteenth century. Later, collections of related 78rpm records were bundled in book-like albums. When long-playing records were introduced, a collection of pieces on a single record was called an album; the word was extended to other recording media such as compact disc, MiniDisc, Compact audio cassette, and digital or MP3 albums, as they were introduced.
The word derives from a Classical Latin word for a blank (albus=white) tablet, later a list.
Audio albums in physical form are often provided with decorative covers (cover art) and liner notes and inserts about the music and recording, giving background information and analysis of the recording, lyrics and librettos, images of the performers, and other images and text. When supplied with compact discs they are known as CD booklets.
Famous quotes containing the word album:
“What a long strange trip its been.”
—Robert Hunter, U.S. rock lyricist. Truckin, on the Grateful Dead album American Beauty (1971)