Karen Mason Blair/Corbis Images
Tom Sinclair
January 07, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Back in the day, bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones often released two, even three albums a year; now, it’s more like one every two or three years. Recently, a number of rappers — Nas, DMX, Ice Cube — have gone old school, putting out two records within 365 days.

And the trend is spreading to rock: In 1999, Ani DiFranco unleashed three separate CDs, and in 2000, Everclear will drop two new discs. ”The label [Capitol] was totally into it,” says Everclear singer-guitarist Art Alexakis. ”It’s a long shot, but if it works from a financial point of view, everyone’s happy.”

Uh, are two albums a year really twice as nice from a label perspective? ”There are artists whose fans are so dedicated, they’ll buy almost anything by them,” says Tom Corson, marketing VP at Arista. ”But I don’t think many labels would want to support it across the board.” How come? ”Because the average fan wants GOOD music.”

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