What Does EP Mean in Music Industry?

A very interesting educational radio marbella publication about the EP.

You are browsing through iTunes music and you wonder what does EP mean in music? What exactly does EP, SP, LP, single, and album stand for and what is the difference?

The meaning of EP is extended play. An EP includes a maximum of four songs and is recognizable with “- EP” after the title. An EP contains the original track and maximum of three remixes, in total 30 minutes or less.

Now the meaning of EP has been explained, we go deeper into the origin of EP. Before we do that, we come up with some examples of EP releases of producers we work with to make sure you know what EP is.

Five EP/Extended Play Examples:

We have listed five EPs from Radio Marbella’s music archive to make sure you know what an extended play is.

As you notice the EP release is made up of one original song and three remixes. The usual length for an EP is around 15 to 30 minutes. But not always, like Sahara – EP that contains five different songs while the original song is excluded. Sahara is an EP because it’s 56 seconds too short to be labeled as an album.

In the past, EPs were not mentioned with singles in some charts, but with albums because of playing time. Wrongly of course because an EP does not meet the minimal album criteria.

What Is The Historical Origin of EP

EP originates from the gramophone record era. A technique was applied so that four songs fit on one side. The EP makes 45 revolutions per minute while the SP and LP vinyl makes 78 revolutions per minute. It is abundantly clear that this tradition continued in modern digital music distribution.

The LPs had never been a great success because it contained only a few hits and the rest was bogus. The EP became hugely popular in the late 50’s among rock musicians. The biggest example is Elvis Presley who has released a lousy 29 EPs such as Jailhouse Rock – EP.

The double EPs were then introduced in a 12-inch format. EPs were also printed especially for jukeboxes that yielded extra money for the artist and of course the pressing company until the 70’s. Not long after the EP became popular among artists of other genres. In the modern-day like today, the extended play is vital for every artist regardless of genre.

Can you remember the time when you were snooping through your collection of records? Music had more charisma in the good old days.

EPs were released in different formats in different eras. The earliest multi-track records, issued around 1919 by Gray Gull Records, were vertically cut 78 rpm discs known as “2-in-1” records. These had finer than usual grooves, such as Edison Disc Records. In 1949, when the 45-rpm single and 33 1/3-rpm LP were competing formats, seven-inch 45-rpm singles had a maximum playing time of just about four minutes per side.

The first EPs were seven-inch records that contained more songs than an ordinary single, usually up to 9 songs. While the seven-inch EPs had the same format and speed, they were different from the seven-inch vinyl single, which was very recognizable by the title that differed from the lead track such as The Beatles’ Hits – EP or Michael Jackson’s 2006 Visionary Remixes – EP.

Who Invented The EP?

Research has shown us that the Gray Gull Records have dropped the first multi-track vinyl record dating back to 1919.

The Sony-owned RCA Records or RCA Victor —derived from the American phonograph manufacturer from New Jersey Victor Talking Machine Company— introduced the extended play (EP) in 1952.

The inventor RCA Victor is also the first to press an EP.

What is the first EP ever released?

The First EP (Extended Play) Ever
You look at one of the first EP ever.

The very first EP known was released by RCA Records in 1953.

  1. Side A: Tchaikovsky – Marche Slave
  2. Side B: Albert Ketelbey – In a Persian Market

Orchestra: Boston Pops Orchestra

What is the Difference Between Albums and EPs?

Search results on iTunes merge EPs with Album releases which can be confusing. What is an album and what is the difference with EP?

An album is a collection of different songs in a certain theme. The concept of a record album predates from vinyl LPs (Long Play). While an EP is a tool to promote a single song with up to three versions known as remixes. An EP never classifies as an album because the EP is limited to 30 minutes of maximum length and no more than four tracks in total while an album generally contains 8 songs or more.

Keep continuing reading this article because you will learn why artists are more likely to drop EPs than albums.

Is an LP the same as an Album?

Times have changed and nowadays you only listen to your music digitally. Is an LP the same as an album?

As the technique for producing gramophone records allowed longer playback times, such recordings increasingly appeared on one record. The album name was still used for such full-length albums —although people generally talked about an LP (Long Play)— LPs had to be played at 33⅓ revolutions per minute which is no longer applicable and for this reason an LP is not the same as an album.

Why Do Artists Release EPs?

You are now most likely aware that music releases are published in different ways. Why does an artist release an EP and not just a single or an album?

An artist releases an EP for promotional reasons. A song gets extra attention when other producers produce a remix. The original song receives extra attention from the fans of other producers who have contributed to the EP. Usually, the artist first releases the single, can increase the livelihood of the original mix by re-releasing the song on an extended play. The artist gets the most from one song by re-releasing the original song in an EP.

We can conclude from this that the artist simply wants to create more awareness by releasing an original mix under an EP with three to four remix versions. We believe that an EP is more interesting than an album with various artists because the album gives less fraction than an EP.

Miley Cyrus delivered three EPs namely “She Is Coming”, “She Is Here”, and “She Is Everything” each with six songs to keep her fans busy. Forbes reports when an artist drops an album, chances are that the artist will be forgotten in no time.

Forbes writes: “By delivering a trio of EPs throughout several months, Miley is giving her fans more of what they want, only in smaller doses. When an artist drops an album, they run the risk of it being forgotten in a few weeks, at which point they need to start work on the follow-up, while still promoting and touring their recent effort.”

To complete this article we have added a nice video especially for you in which you can see how RCA Victor made their vinyl records.

We hope the question “What Does EP Mean in Music Industry?” among other questions is answered in this article provided by Radio Marbella. You have learned the meaning of EP, the history of EP, you have been introduced with the very first EP ever, and the benefits for the artist dropping an EP. Carl Barks ever said: “Work smarter, not harder”

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