Tons of people get this confused on what are Singles, EPs, LPs, Albums, and Mixtapes because there are differences between them. So in this brief article I will describe each of these dictionary style.
Singles– These are typically records with 2 songs max. They can contain multiple versions from clean, dirty, acapella to instrumental. These were once sold but now a days they are given to DJ’s for spins mostly.
EP- Extended Play, This is a collection of music with more than just the single but not long enough to qualify as a studio album. Estimated length that the industry gives is 25 minutes or 4 tracks. And there have been numerous double EPs released over time.
LP- Long Play, This is a collection of music that qualifies as a full album release. Usually 40 minutes or 10 tracks at the minimum. There have been multiple disc albums up to 4x released in history.
Album– What an album is today is a LP that is promoted and sold where Neilsen Soundscan can keep track; also count towards a record contract to being completed. Albums are made by artists but controlled by record labels on every level; even the creation process.
Mixtapes– These have become underground albums today that are given away for free containing both original and unoriginal works. The soul purpose is to build a fan base not profit. Typically the artist is in complete control of this project so they decide the length, content, etc.