The Mystical Art of Track Listing
Getting the running order of your songs right on an album is an arcane process.
There are so many factors to pay attention to.
Is the balance of ballads to up beat numbers right?
Do you start with a party and mellow it out during the record? Or vice Versa?
What about the keys of the songs? Can you have more than three songs in a row in the key of E if it’s not a Chicago blues record?
What about the general theme of the record, does it tell a story or is it just a collection of tunes?
How long is too long, and how short is too short?
Do people even care anymore with ipods and iphones and shuffling and single downloads from itunes?
Should the falsetto song be straight out there or hidden on the back stretch?
Is it true what Robert Forster says that the second last song on an album is always the worst?
If so am i jinxing whatever song i put there?
Should i put a Go Betweens cover there?
Does the record company/agent/manager have better instincts for a single than the man on the street. or worse?
Or exactly the same?
Will the record reviewers say you’re treading water if the early songs on the list are most like the old ones?
Or will they be reassured?
Should you put the ones Mum likes all together, or force her to work through the record like she’s trapped in IKEA for 48 minutes when she’s just trying to buy a lightbulb?
Should i have segues?
Should the skits mention the year and trap the record forever in the tweens?
Should i fade the songs?
Or perhaps a cunning fade in, or try the old fade out fade in again
How long should the silence be between the tracks?
Is it the right kind of silence?
Legend has it that Johnny Marr had so much coke that he went around sampling different silences until he had the perfect silence between the tracks. The right kind of silence, if you will…
I have 48 hours to find these answers
Wish me luck!