The album era was a period in English-language popular music from the mid s to the mid s, in which the album was the dominant form of recorded music expression and consumption. Rock musicians from the US and the UK were often at the forefront of the era, which is sometimes called the album-rock era in reference to their sphere of influence and activity. The term "album era" is also used to refer to the marketing and aesthetic period surrounding a recording artist's album release. LP albums developed in the early 20th century and were originally marketed for classical music and wealthier adult consumers. However, singles still dominated the music industry, eventually through the success of rock and roll performers in the s, when the LP format was utilized more for soundtrack , jazz , and some pop recordings, including the thematic albums of Frank Sinatra. It was not until the mid s, when the Beatles began to release artistically ambitious and top-selling LPs, that more rock and pop acts followed suit and the industry embraced albums to immense success while burgeoning rock critics validated their cultural value. By the next decade, the LP had emerged as a fundamental artistic unit and a widely popular item with young people, often marketed using the idea of a concept album , which was employed especially by progressive musicians in both rock and soul.
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