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An extended play record, usually referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a
single Single may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Single (music), a song release Songs * Single (Natasha Bedingfield song), "Single" (Natasha Bedingfield song), 2004 * Single (New Kids on the Block and Ne-Yo song), "Single" (New Kids on the B ...
but fewer than an
album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded sound were developed in the early 20th century as individual Phonograph rec ...

album
or
LP record The LP (from "long playing" or "long play") is an analog sound storage medium On a reel-to-reel tape recorder (Sony TC-630), the recorder is data storage equipment and the magnetic tape is a data storage medium. Data Data are un ...
. Contemporary EPs generally contain four or five tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of
records A record, recording or records may refer to: An item or collection of data Computing * Record (computer science), a data structure ** Record, or row (database), a set of fields in a database related to one entity ** Boot sector or boot record, rec ...
other than 78
rpm Revolutions per minute (abbreviated rpm, RPM, rev/min, r/min, or with the notation min−1) is the number of turns in one minute The minute is a unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the ...
standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length
CDs The compact disc (CD) is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics Digital electronics is a field of electronics Electronics compri ...

CDs
and
downloads In computer networks, download means to ''receive'' Data (computing), data from a remote system, typically a Server (computing), server such as a web server, an File Transfer Protocol, FTP server, an email server, or other similar system. This c ...
as well.
Ricardo Baca Ricardo Baca (born ) is an American journalist best known for being the first full-time marijuana rights editor for a major American newspaper. He was an editor at '' The Denver Post'', producing '' The Cannabist'' for over three years until Dece ...
of ''
The Denver Post ''The Denver Post'' is a daily newspaper and website published in Denver Denver () is a List of municipalities in Colorado#Consolidated city and county, consolidated city and county, the List of capitals in the United States#State capit ...

The Denver Post
'' said, "EPs—originally extended-play 'single' releases that are shorter than traditional albums—have long been popular with punk and indie bands." In the United Kingdom, the
Official Chart Company The Official Charts Company, also referred to as Official Charts (previously known as the Chart Information Network (CIN) and The Official UK Charts Company) is a British inter-professional organisation that compiles various "official" record cha ...
defines a boundary between EP and album classification at 25 minutes of maximum length and no more than four tracks (not counting alternative versions of featured songs, if present).


Background


History

EPs were released in various sizes in different eras. The earliest multi-track records, issued around 1919 by
Grey Gull Records Grey Gull Records was a record company and label A label (as distinct from signage) is a piece of paper Paper is a thin sheet material produced by mechanically and/or chemically processing cellulose fibres derived from wood, Textile, r ...
, were vertically cut 78
rpm Revolutions per minute (abbreviated rpm, RPM, rev/min, r/min, or with the notation min−1) is the number of turns in one minute The minute is a unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the ...
discs known as "2-in-1" records. These had finer than usual grooves, like Edison Disc Records. By 1949, when the 45 rpm single and 33 rpm LP were competing formats, seven-inch 45 rpm singles had a maximum playing time of only about four minutes per side. Partly as an attempt to compete with the LP introduced in 1948 by rival
Columbia Columbia may refer to: * Columbia (personification), the historical female national personification of the United States, and a poetic name for the Americas Places North America Natural features * Columbia Plateau, a geologic and geographic regio ...

Columbia
,
RCA Victor RCA Records is an American record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Bran ...

RCA Victor
introduced "Extended Play" 45s during
1952 Events January * January 8 Events Pre-1600 *307 – Emperor Huai of Jin, Jin Huaidi becomes emperor of China in succession to his father, Emperor Hui of Jin, Jin Huidi, despite a challenge from his uncle, Sima Ying. *871 – ...
. Their narrower grooves, achieved by lowering the cutting levels and sound compression optionally, enabled them to hold up to 7.5 minutes per side—but still be played by a standard 45 rpm
phonograph A phonograph, in its later forms also called a gramophone (as a trademark since 1887, as a generic name in the UK since 1910) or since the 1940s called a record player, is a device for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound I ...

phonograph
. In the early era record companies released the entire content of LPs as 45 rpm EPs.Richard Osborne ''Vinyl: A History of the Analogue Record'', Routledge 2016, p.106 These were usually 10-inch LPs (released until the mid-1950s) split onto two seven-inch EPs or 12-inch LPs split onto three seven-inch EPs, either sold separately or together in gatefold covers. This practice became much less common with the advent of triple-speed-available phonographs. Introduced by
RCA The RCA Corporation was a major American electronics company, which was founded as the Radio Corporation of America in 1919. It was initially a patent trust owned by General Electric General Electric Company (GE) is an American Multination ...
in the US in 1952,
EMI EMI Group Limited (originally an initialism for Electric and Musical Industries, also referred to as EMI Records Ltd. or simply EMI) was a British transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012 ...
issued the first EPs in Britain in April 1954. EPs were usually compilations of singles or album samplers and were typically played at 45 rpm on seven-inch (18 cm) discs, with two songs on each side. RCA had success in the format with their top money earner,
Elvis Presley Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Dubbed the "Honorific nicknames in popular music, King of Rock and Roll", he is regarded as Cultural impact of Elvis Presley, one of the most si ...

Elvis Presley
, issuing 28 Elvis EPs between
1956 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the . There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in s). This day is known as since the day marks the beginning of the year. __TO ...
and
1967 Events January * – Canada begins a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of , featuring the World's Fair. * – release their début album ', which contains "". * ** Spain and sign an agreement in Paris establishing full ...
, many of which topped the separate ''
Billboard A billboard (also called a hoarding in the UK and many other parts of the world) is a large outdoor advertising Out-of-home (OOH) advertising, also called outdoor advertising, outdoor media, and out-of-home media, is advertising experienced ou ...
'' EP chart during its brief existence. Other than those published by
RCA The RCA Corporation was a major American electronics company, which was founded as the Radio Corporation of America in 1919. It was initially a patent trust owned by General Electric General Electric Company (GE) is an American Multination ...
, EPs were relatively uncommon in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
and
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and northward into the Arctic Oce ...

Canada
, but they were widely sold in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, and in some other European countries, during the 1950s and 1960s. In
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
EP was for long the most popular record format, with as much as 85% of the market in the late 1950s being EPs. ''
Billboard A billboard (also called a hoarding in the UK and many other parts of the world) is a large outdoor advertising Out-of-home (OOH) advertising, also called outdoor advertising, outdoor media, and out-of-home media, is advertising experienced ou ...
'' introduced a weekly EP chart in October 1957, noting that "the teen-age market apparently dominates the EP business, with seven out of the top 10 best-selling EP's featuring artists with powerful teen-age appeal — four sets by
Elvis Presley Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Dubbed the "Honorific nicknames in popular music, King of Rock and Roll", he is regarded as Cultural impact of Elvis Presley, one of the most si ...

Elvis Presley
, two by
Pat Boone Patrick Charles Eugene Boone (born June 1, 1934) is an American singer, composer, actor, writer, television personality, motivational speaker, and spokesman. He was a successful pop singer in the United States during the 1950s and early 1960s. ...
and one by
Little Richard Richard Wayne Penniman (December 5, 1932 – May 9, 2020), better known as Little Richard, was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. He was an influential figure in popular music and culture for seven decades. Described as "Honorific ni ...

Little Richard
". ''
Record Retailer ''Record Retailer'' was the only music trade newspaper for the UK record industry. It was founded in August 1959 as a monthly newspaper covering both labels and dealers. Its founding editor was Roy Parker (who died on 27 December 1964). The title ...
'' printed an EP chart in 1960. The ''New Musical Express'' (''NME''), ''
Melody Maker ''Melody Maker'' was a British weekly music journalism, music magazine, one of the world's earliest music weeklies, and—according to its publisher Time Inc. UK, IPC Media—the earliest. It was founded in 1926, largely as a magazine for danc ...
'', '' Disc and Music Echo'' and the ''Record Mirror'' continued to list EPs on their respective singles charts. When the
BBC The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of ...

BBC
and ''Record Retailer'' commissioned the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) to compile a chart it was restricted to singles and EPs disappeared from the listings. The popularity of EPs in the US had declined in the early 1960s in favour of LPs. In the UK
Cliff Richard Sir Cliff Richard (born Harry Rodger Webb; 14 October 1940) is an English singer who holds both British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the Un ...

Cliff Richard
and
The Shadows The Shadows (originally known as the Drifters) were an English instrumental rock group. They were Cliff Richard's backing band A backup band or backing band is a musical ensemble A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical g ...

The Shadows
, both individually and collectively, and
The Beatles The Beatles were an English rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compou ...

The Beatles
were the most prolific artists issuing EPs in the 1960s, many of them highly successful releases.
The Beatles The Beatles were an English rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compou ...

The Beatles
' ''
Twist and Shout "Twist and Shout" is a 1961 song written by Phil Medley Philip Medley (April 9, 1916 – October 3, 1997) was an American songwriter, notable for his composition "Twist and Shout", which he wrote along with Bert Russell. The song was made famous ...
'' outsold most singles for some weeks in 1963. The success of the EP in Britain lasted until around 1967, but it later had a strong revival with
punk rock Punk rock (or simply punk) is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, ...
in the late 1970s and the adaptation of the format for 12" and CD singles.


Notable EP releases

Some
classical music Classical music generally refers to the formal musical tradition of the Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various s, s and , depending on the context, most often consisting of the majority of , , and ...

classical music
albums released at the beginning of the LP era were also distributed as EP albums—notably, the seven operas that
Arturo Toscanini Arturo Toscanini (; ; March 25, 1867January 16, 1957) was an Italian conductor Conductor or conduction may refer to: Music * Conductor (music), a person who leads a musical ensemble like, for example, an orchestra. * Conductor (album), '' ...
conducted on
radio Radio is the technology of signaling and communicating Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, groups through the use ...

radio
between 1944 and 1954. These opera EPs, originally broadcast on the
NBC Radio The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of fr ...

NBC Radio
network and manufactured by RCA, which owned the NBC network then, were made available both in 45 rpm and 33 rpm. In the 1990s, they began appearing on compact discs. During the
1950s File:1950s decade montage.png, 455x455px, Top, L-R: U.S. Marines engaged in street fighting during the Korean War The Korean War (South Korean: ; North Korean: , "Fatherland Liberation War"; 25 June 1950–27 July 1953) was a war between N ...
, RCA published several EP albums of
Walt Disney Walter Elias Disney (; December 5, 1901December 15, 1966) was an American entrepreneur, animator, writer, voice actor, and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of ...
movies, containing both the story and the songs. These usually featured the original casts of actors and actresses. Each album contained two seven-inch records, plus a fully illustrated booklet containing the text of the recording so that children could follow along by reading. Some of the titles included ''
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs "Snow White" is a 19th-century German fairy tale A fairy tale, fairytale, wonder tale, magic tale, fairy story or ''Märchen'' is an instance of a folklore genre that takes the form of a short story A short story is a piece of prose fictio ...
'' (1937), ''
Pinocchio Pinocchio (, ) is an Italian fictional character and the protagonist of the children's novel ''The Adventures of Pinocchio'' (1883) by Italian writer Carlo Collodi of Florence, Tuscany. Pinocchio was carved by a woodcarver named Geppetto in a Tu ...
'' (1940), and what was then a recent release, the movie version of '' 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea'' that was presented in 1954. The recording and publishing of ''20,000'' was unusual: it did not employ the movie's cast, and years later, a 12 in  rpm album, with a nearly identical script, but another different cast, was sold by
Disneyland Records Walt Disney Records is an American record label of the Disney Music Group. The label releases soundtrack albums from The Walt Disney Company, Disney's Walt Disney Studios (division), motion pictures, television series, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts ...
in conjunction with the re-release of the movie in 1963. Because of the popularity of 7" and other formats, SP (78 rpm, 10") records became less popular and the production of SPs in
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
was suspended in 1963. In the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
, seven-inch EPs marketed as "
mini-LP A mini-LP or mini-album is a short vinyl record album or LP, usually retailing at a lower price than an album that would be considered full-length. It is distinct from an EP due to containing more tracks and a slightly longer running length. A ...
s" (but distinctly different from the mini-LPs of the 1980s) were introduced in 1970, with tracks selected from an album and packaging resembling the album they were taken from. This mini-LP format also became popular in America in the early 1970s for promotional releases, and also for use in
jukebox A jukebox is a partially automated music box, music-playing device, usually a coin-operated machine, that will play a patron's selection from self-contained media. The classic jukebox has buttons, with letters and numbers on them, which are used ...

jukebox
es.
Stevie Wonder Stevland Hardaway Morris (born May 13, 1950), known professionally as Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. Wonder is credited as a pioneer and influence by musicians across a range of genres that inclu ...

Stevie Wonder
included a bonus four-song EP with his double LP ''
Songs in the Key of Life ''Songs in the Key of Life'' is the eighteenth studio album by American singer, songwriter and musician Stevie Wonder. It was released on September 28, 1976 by Tamla Records, a division of Motown. The double album has been regarded by music journal ...
'' in 1976. During the 1970s and 1980s, there was less
standardization Standardization or standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical standards based on the consensus of different parties that include firms, users, interest groups, standards organizations and governments. Standardization ...
and EPs were made on seven-inch (18 cm), 10-inch (25 cm) or 12-inch (30 cm) discs running either 33 or 45 rpm. Some
novelty Novelty (derived from Latin word novus for "new") is the quality of being new, or following from that, of being striking, original or unusual. Novelty may be the shared experience of a new cultural phenomenon or the subjective perception of an indi ...
EPs used odd shapes and colors, and a few of them were
picture disc Picture discs are gramophone record, gramophone (phonograph) records that show images on their playing surface, rather than being of plain black or colored vinyl. Collectors traditionally reserve the term picture disc for records with graphics t ...
s.
Alice in Chains Alice in Chains (often abbreviated as AIC) is an American Rock music, rock band from Seattle, Seattle, Washington, formed in 1987 by guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney, who later recruited bassist Mike Starr (musician ...

Alice in Chains
was the first band to ever have an EP reach number one on the ''
Billboard A billboard (also called a hoarding in the UK and many other parts of the world) is a large outdoor advertising Out-of-home (OOH) advertising, also called outdoor advertising, outdoor media, and out-of-home media, is advertising experienced ou ...
'' album chart. Its EP, ''
Jar of Flies ''Jar of Flies'' is the third studio EP by the American rock band Alice in Chains, released on January 25, 1994, through Columbia Records. This is Alice in Chains' second acoustic EP, preceded by 1992's '' Sap'', and it is the first EP in music h ...
'', was released on January 25, 1994. In 2004,
Linkin Park Linkin Park is an American rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compound ...
and
Jay-Z Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known professionally as Jay-Z (stylized as JAY-Z), is an American rapper, songwriter, record executive, entrepreneur, and media proprietor. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential hip-ho ...

Jay-Z
's collaboration EP, ''
Collision Course {{wiktionary A collision course, also known as a ''kamikaze run'', is the deliberate maneuver by the operator of a moving object (or often in Science fiction, Sci-Fi a spacecraft, spaceship) to collide with another object. It is a desperate maneu ...
'', was the next to reach the number one spot after Alice in Chains. In 2010, the cast of the television series ''
Glee Glee means delight, a form of happiness. Glee may also refer to: * Glee (music), a type of English choral music * Glee (TV series), ''Glee'' (TV series), an American musical comedy-drama TV series, and related media * Glee (Bran Van 3000 album), ' ...
'' became the first artist to have two EPs reach number one, with '' Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna'' on the week of May 8, 2010, and '' Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals'' on the week of June 26, 2010.. In 1992,
Erasure Erasure () are an English synth-pop duo formed in London in 1985, consisting of singer and songwriter Andy Bell (singer), Andy Bell with songwriter, producer and keyboardist Vince Clarke, previously known as co-founder of the band Depeche Mod ...
's
Abba-esque ''Abba-esque'' is an extended play (EP) by British synth-pop duo Erasure. Released on 1 June 1992, the EP was Erasure's first and only number one on the UK Singles Chart and also became a number-one hit in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ire ...
was the first ever EP to reach the top on the UK charts. In 1993,
George Michael George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou; 25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016) was an English singer, songwriter and record producer. Known as a leading creative force in music production, songwriting, vocal performance and visual presen ...
,
Queen Queen may refer to: Monarchy * Queen regnant, a female monarch of a Kingdom ** List of queens regnant * Queen consort, the wife of a reigning king * Queen dowager, the widow of a king * Queen mother, a queen dowager who is the mother of a reigni ...
and
Lisa Stansfield Lisa Jane Stansfield (born 11 April 1966) is an English singer, songwriter, and actress. Her career began in 1980 when she won the singing competition ''Search for a Star''. After appearances in various television shows and releasing her first s ...

Lisa Stansfield
's also made the same the following year. In 2010, Warner Bros. Records revived the format with their "Six-Pak" offering of six songs on a compact disc.


EPs in the digital and streaming era

Due to the increased popularity of
music download A music download (commonly referred to as a digital download) is the digital transfer of music via the Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected s that uses the (TCP/IP) to communicate between networ ...
s and
music streaming Streaming media is multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different content forms such as text, audio, images, animations, or video into a single presentation, in contrast to traditional mass media, such as printed ...
beginning the late 2000s, EPs have become a common marketing strategy for
pop Pop or POP may refer to: Places * Gregorio Luperón International Airport (IATA code POP), Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic * Pop, a tributary of the river Jijia in eastern Romania * Poppleton railway station (station code), York, England People ...
musicians wishing to remain relevant and deliver music in more consistent timeframes leading to or following full studio albums. In the late 2000s to early 2010s,
reissue In the music industry The music industry consists of the individuals and organizations that earn money by Musical composition, writing songs and musical compositions, creating and selling Sound recording and reproduction, recorded music an ...
s of studio albums with expanded track listings were common, with the new music often being released as stand-alone EPs. In October 2010, a '' Vanity Fair'' article regarding the trend noted post-album EPs as "the next step in extending albums' shelf lives, following the "deluxe" editions that populated stores during the past few holiday seasons—add a few tracks to the back end of an album and release one of them to radio, slap on a new coat of paint, and—voila!—a stocking stuffer is born." Examples of such releases include
Lady Gaga Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta ( ; born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She is known for her image reinventions and musical versatility. Gaga began performing as a teenag ...

Lady Gaga
's ''
The Fame Monster ''The Fame Monster'' is a reissue In the music industry The music industry consists of the individuals and organizations that earn money by Musical composition, writing songs and musical compositions, creating and selling Sound recordin ...
'' (2009) following her debut album ''
The Fame ''The Fame'' is the debut studio album by American singer Lady Gaga Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta ( ; born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She is known for her image ...
'' (2008), and
Kesha Kesha Rose Sebert (; born March 1, 1987), known Mononymous person, mononymously as Kesha (formerly stylized as Ke$ha), is an American singer and songwriter. In 2005, at age 18, Kesha was signed to Kemosabe Records. Her first major success came ...

Kesha
's ''
Cannibal Cannibalism is the act of consuming another individual of the same species as food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and conta ...
'' (2010) following her debut album ''
Animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ...
'' (2010). A 2019 article in ''
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family The Forbes family is one of the Boston Brahmins—a wealthy extended American family long prominent in Boston, Massachusett ...

Forbes
'' discussing
Miley Cyrus Miley Ray Cyrus ( ; born Destiny Hope Cyrus, November 23, 1992) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality. Known for her distinctive raspy voice, her music incorporates elements of varied styles and genres, includi ...

Miley Cyrus
' decision to release her then-upcoming seventh studio album ''
Plastic Hearts ''Plastic Hearts'' is the seventh studio album packaged in book form, like a photograph album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or another med ...
'' as a trilogy of three EPs stated: "By delivering a trio of EPs throughout a period of 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. Miley is doing her best to game the system by recording an album and delivering it to fans in pieces." Major-label pop musicians who had previously employed such release strategies include
Colbie Caillat Colbie Marie Caillat (; born May 28, 1985) is an American singer-songwriter. Caillat rose to fame through social networking website Myspace. At that time, she was the number one unsigned artist of her genre. After signing with Universal Republic ...
with her fifth album '' Gypsy Heart'' (2014) being released following an EP of the album's first five tracks known as ''Gypsy Heart: Side A'' three months prior to the full album; and
Jessie J Jessica Ellen Cornish (born 27 March 1988), known professionally as Jessie J, is an English singer-songwriter. Born and raised in London, she began her career on stage, aged 11, with a role in the West End West End most commonly refers to: * ...

Jessie J
's fourth studio album '' R.O.S.E.'' (2018) which was released as four EPs in as many days entitled ''R (Realizations)'', ''O (Obsessions)'', ''S (Sex)'' and ''E (Empowerment)''.


Definition

The first EPs were seven-inch vinyl records with more tracks than a normal single (typically five to nine of them). Although they shared size and speed with singles, they were a recognizably different format than the seven-inch single. Although they could be named after a lead track, they were generally given a different title. Examples include
The Beatles The Beatles were an English rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compou ...

The Beatles
' '' The Beatles' Hits'' EP from 1963, and
The Troggs The Troggs (originally called the wikt:troglodyte, Troglodytes) are an English garage rock band formed in Andover, Hampshire in May 1964. They had a number of hits in the United Kingdom and the United States. Their most famous songs include th ...

The Troggs
' ''Troggs Tops'' EP from 1966, both of which collected previously released tracks. The playing time was generally between 10 and 15 minutes. They also came in cardboard picture sleeves at a time when singles were usually issued in paper company sleeves. EPs tended to be album samplers or collections of singles. EPs of all original material began to appear in the 1950s. Examples are Elvis Presley's '' Love Me Tender'' from 1956 and "Just for You", "
Peace in the Valley "Peace in the Valley" is a 1937 song written by Thomas A. Dorsey, originally for Mahalia Jackson Mahalia Jackson ( ; born Mahala Jackson; October 26, 1911 – January 27, 1972) was an American gospel music, gospel singer, widely considered one ...
" and " Jailhouse Rock" from 1957, and The Kinks' ''Kinksize Session'' from 1964. Twelve-inch EPs were similar, but generally had between three and five tracks and a length of over 12 minutes. Like seven-inch EPs, these were given titles. EP releases were also issued in Compact Cassette, cassette and 10-inch vinyl formats. With the advent of the compact disc (CD), more music was often included on "single" releases, with four or five tracks being common, and playing times of up to 25 minutes. These extended-length singles became known as maxi singles and while commensurate in length to an EP were distinguished by being designed to feature a single song, with the remaining songs considered A-side and B-side, B-sides, whereas an EP was designed not to feature a single song, instead resembling a mini album. EPs of original material regained popularity in the
punk rock Punk rock (or simply punk) is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, ...
era, when they were commonly used for the release of new material, e.g. Buzzcocks' ''Spiral Scratch (EP), Spiral Scratch'' EP. These featured four-track seven-inch singles played at 33 rpm, the most common understanding of the term ''EP''. Beginning in the 1980s, many so-called "singles" have been sold in formats with more than two tracks. Because of this, the definition of an EP is not determined only by the number of tracks or the playing time; an EP is typically seen as four (or more) tracks of equal importance, as opposed to a four-track single with an obvious A-side and three B-sides. In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America, the organization that declares releases "gold" or "platinum" based on numbers of sales, defines an EP as containing three to five songs or under 30 minutes. On the other hand, The Recording Academy's rules for Grammy Awards state that any release with five or more different songs and a running time of over 15 minutes is considered an album, with no mention of EPs. In the United Kingdom, any record with more than four distinct tracks or with a playing time of more than 25 minutes is classified as an album for sales-chart purposes. If priced as a single, they will not qualify for the main album chart but can appear in the separate Budget Albums chart. An intermediate format between EPs and full-length LPs is the
mini-LP A mini-LP or mini-album is a short vinyl record album or LP, usually retailing at a lower price than an album that would be considered full-length. It is distinct from an EP due to containing more tracks and a slightly longer running length. A ...
, which was a common album format in the 1980s. These generally contained 20–30 minutes of music and about seven tracks. In underground dance music, vinyl EPs have been a longstanding medium for releasing new material, e.g. ''Fourteenth Century Sky'' by The Chemical Brothers, The Dust Brothers.


Double EPs

A double extended play is a name typically given to vinyl records or compact discs released as a set of two discs, each of which would normally qualify as an EP. The name is thus analogous to double album. As vinyl records, the most common format for the double EP, they consist of a pair of 7-inch discs recorded at 45 or 33
rpm Revolutions per minute (abbreviated rpm, RPM, rev/min, r/min, or with the notation min−1) is the number of turns in one minute The minute is a unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the ...
, or two 12-inch discs recorded at 45 rpm. The format is useful when an album's worth of material is being pressed by a small plant geared for the production of singles rather than albums and may have novelty value which can be turned to advantage for publicity purposes. Double EPs are rare, since the amount of material recordable on a double EP could usually be more economically and sensibly recorded on a single Gramophone record, vinyl LP. In the 1950s, Capitol Records had released a number of double EPs by its more popular artists, including Les Paul. The pair of double EPs (EBF 1–577, sides 1 to 8!) were described on the original covers as "parts ... of a four-part album". In 1960, Joe Meek released four tracks from his planned ''I Hear a New World'' LP on an EP that was marked "Part 1". A second EP was planned, but never appeared; only the sleeve was printed. The first double EP released in Britain was the Beatles' ''Magical Mystery Tour'' film soundtrack. Released in December 1967 on EMI's Parlophone label, it contained six songs spread over two 7-inch discs and was packaged with a lavish colour booklet. In the United States and some other countries, the songs were augmented by the band's single A- and B-sides from 1967 to create a full LP – a practice that was common in the US but considered exploitative in the UK. The Style Council album ''The Cost of Loving'' was originally issued as two 12-inch EPs. It is becoming more common to release two 12-inch 45s rather than a single 12-inch LP. Though there are 11 songs that total about 40 minutes, enough for one LP, the songs are spread across two 12" 45 rpm discs. Also, the vinyl pressing of ''Hail to the Thief'' by Radiohead uses this practice but is considered to be a full-length album. In 1982 Cabaret Voltaire (band), Cabaret Voltaire released their studio album "2x45" on the UK-based label Rough Trade Records, Rough Trade, featuring extended tracks over four sides of two 12-inch 45 rpm discs, with graphics by artist Neville Brody. The band subsequently released a further album in this format, 1985's "Drinking Gasoline", on the Virgin Records label. There are a limited number of double EPs which serve other purposes, however. An example of this is the ''Dunedin Double (EP), Dunedin Double'' EP, which contains tracks by four different bands. Using a double EP in this instance allowed each band to have its tracks occupying a different side. In addition, the groove on the physical record could be wider and thus allow for a louder album.


Jukebox EP

In the 1960s and 1970s, record companies released EP versions of long-play (LP) albums for use in
jukebox A jukebox is a partially automated music box, music-playing device, usually a coin-operated machine, that will play a patron's selection from self-contained media. The classic jukebox has buttons, with letters and numbers on them, which are used ...

jukebox
es. These were commonly known as "compact 33s" or "little LPs". It was played at 33 rpm, was pressed on seven-inch vinyl and frequently had as many as six songs. What made them EP-like was that some songs were omitted for time purposes, and the tracks deemed the most popular were left on. Unlike most EPs before them, and most seven-inch vinyl in general (pre-1970s), these were issued in Stereophonic sound, stereo.


Biggest selling debut EP all time

The hard rock band Ugly Kid Joe holds the record of highest selling debut EP with ''As Ugly as They Wanna Be'', which sold two million copies in 1991. In the United Kingdom ''As Ugly as They Wanna Be'' was classed as a mini-album, and therefore became their first Top 75 album chart hit, picking at number 9 in 1992. Where the UK singles charts is concerned (the chart where most EPs charted between the scrapping of the EPs charts and the advent of single track downloads), the first EP to reach number one was ''The Roussos Phenomenon, Excerpts from "The Roussos Phenomenon'' by Greek singer Demis Roussos discography, Demis Roussos, a 4-tracker known for its lead track Forever and Ever (Demis Roussos song), "Forever and Ever".


See also

*List of number-one EPs (UK)


References

{{Music industry Album types Audio storage EPs, Recorded music