Is More More or Less?

I appeal to my experienced readers to settle a dispute. I have been told by a couple of artists that the only way to break through the wall of public indifference and get attention in the press is to have a lot of work come out at once. A CD will pass unnoticed; release three CDs in quick proximity and people will suddenly think you’re on a roll, and treat you as important.

Now, it just so happens that I may have the opportunity to put out three CDs in 2005. And one of the record producers just told me exactly the opposite: that if you put out two CDs in quick succession, one of them will compete with the other, and each will only get half the attention it might otherwise have. Both of these opinions have been given to me in the strongest possible terms, with the presumed weight of vast experience behind them. Personally, as a critic I am more likely to pay attention if I suddenly receive three CDs by one artist, because I can write a more in-depth piece – but at the Village Voice I set my own agenda, and I am told that I am so atypical in that regard that I don’t count.

So, for my own sake and to settle a disputed point for us all, which is better? If you have three CDs to make, do you space them one a year for maximum exposure? or do you try to time them to come out all at once?