Jump to content

Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Whats an EP?

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 8
  • Created
  • Last Reply

What's an EP?


It depends on the context... if it has to do with musical instruments, it is probably an Electric Piano.


But if it has to do with a recording to sell, an "EP" is a recording that falls between a single (generally two songs like the two sides 45 RPMs had) and an album (which generally had 10-12 songs) in length. These days most CDs are "albums" and are generally anywhere from the length of the old vinyl albums to the CD's capacity of a little over an hour. Anyway, back in the days of vinyl, an EP was the SIZE of a single (7"), but it was 33.33 RPM (thirty-three and a third) instead of 45 RPM, and tended to have four songs... two on each side. Now, an EP would usually be either in CD or cassette form, but not recording to either media's capacity (and therefore charging less). Actually, artists/record companies can have as few or as many cuts as they want to include on their EP. But, more often than not they tend to follow the time restraints of past 7" 33.33 RPM vinyl platters.


It's quite possible neither of my scenarios are covering the context in which you are wanting to know the meaning of EP. If that is the case, please include a paragraph which uses "EP" in the kind of way you find yourself wondering its meaning. There may well be other "EPs" I didn't cover.


For instance, "The architectural firm was having real trouble building realistic models of cathedrals and temples, so they hired an *EP. Now they are getting all the good cathedral contracts."


* Elephant Person - (Sorry, bad joke.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't EP at one point also refer to 45 RPM 12"s usually with 4 songs? I guess the fact that I can't remember that clearly means I was listening to them in the right state of mind...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought EP was the re-formation of 2/3 an old Progressive Rock supergroup from the 70's, minus Greg Lake http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif


Anyway, an EP (extended play) used to be a 45 rpm single that had two songs on each side. These were a bigger deal in Europe than in the US. The limit on a 45 was eight minutes per side, so it was easy back then to fit two songs on a side, since each song rarely exceeded three minutes. The Beatles, for example, released a bunch of EPs in England during their first few years, but none were released here.


These days, the notion of an EP is moot. On CD, a "single" will often have other bonus tracks, making it sort of an EP itself. A full-length CD might only be forty minutes (the new Paul Simon is @45 minutes); you could have a CD single (with bonus tracks) be longer than an album-length CD.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...