Needing advice for band's first album


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bakshandloomis
03-01-2008, 09:39 PM
Does the order of the songs on an album really matter? Like, for instance, I firgure it would be a bad thing to start off an album with a ballad. I thought it was important but the other guitarist doesn't seem to think so.

mckraf
03-01-2008, 09:43 PM
you want to start and end with your strongest songs. the first one should be up tempo to catch the listeners attention.

DiveRightIn63
03-01-2008, 09:43 PM
Yes, its important. I wouldn't start with a ballad; I'd start off with something hard and lower the intensity until a ballad would feel suitable.

For instance, Story of the Year's "Page Avenue" - they started out heavy in the start of the album, went softer in the middle, and ended heavy.

HardAttack
03-01-2008, 09:43 PM
Uh, yeah it's very important. Start the album off with something exciting that hooks them into listening the rest of the way through. The way tracks transition into each other is very important too. Don't let your buddy tell you different.

fagelamusgtr
03-01-2008, 09:45 PM
It does a little. You want to start with a good song. You also want to end with an better song. Put the ballads somwhere in the middle. Besides that, it doesnt really matter, unless you have like a part one or part two.

AwesomeDrummer
03-01-2008, 09:45 PM
yeah well what you want is pretty much the same as a live setlist. so you'd start with a song that would get the crowd going, and as you get into the middle get some slower, maybe even acoustic songs going, then end the way you started.

Jearl
03-01-2008, 09:50 PM
if you're selling the albums at your shows, figure people will buy your album based on how the show goes. if its sales that you're thinking about, just play a really good show.


if its just overall enjoyment, the classic heavy, softer, heavy outline works well.


but remember, you dont have to do it that way. if everyone did what they were told, especially in music, nothing good would get done.

.Will.
03-01-2008, 09:51 PM
You need to make it "flow". So that the songs blend together nicely, whilst not blending so much that they lose the listeners interest.

InMe - Overgrown Eden comes to mind, some may say i am biased, as in thier earlier years they were one of my favourite bands.
However that IS an amazing album. It's hard to get bored of listening to it purely because of the track listing.

Good luck! :D

SlackerBabbath
03-01-2008, 10:26 PM
I agree that the order of the songs are important, but not necessarily that you should always start with something up-tempo.
Sometimes it can be very effective to start with something atmospheric that builds up, like Black Sabbath's first album for example.
What is important though is to make sure that you don't put two similar songs together. Try and keep songs that are in the same key or that have a similar tempo seperate.

tjg92
03-02-2008, 01:47 AM
It's extremely important, in some cases, and just pretty important in others. If you goal was to be artistic/expressive/emotive/powerful or something, then it's the former. If you're more of a fun band then it's the latter.

I'm guessing your case is the latter. In that case just do what these guys said and do heavy to soft to heavy again. If I were you though, I'd experiment with different songs in different places and see what works.

Another general guideline: start with your most "fun" heavy song, and end it with your most moving heavy song.

If you are one of the experimental/artsy/whatever bands, you really can't use guidelines.

OpposingForce
03-02-2008, 04:14 PM
Put them in any order you want, however, I would personally open the album and end it with something powerful. Another good way is to think of yourself as the listener who just picked up your cd for the first time, how would you serve them your material in the best order.

Slaytanic1993
03-02-2008, 04:19 PM
Depends. On a concept album, you want to keep it in order, but I doubt it's that kind of music from what I read of other replies.
So, start off with something unconvential...if you have a song with a very strong verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus pattern, you will bore most people. Start off with a little change or, God forbid, no standard pattern, like verse-verse-solo-chorus-verse-solo-chorus or something like that.
Then while you have them with that strange song, hit it with the standard pattern, then put in a slow song, then another upbeat song, and end with another strange pattern song if possible.

kaptink
03-02-2008, 04:26 PM
I think that tracklisting is in some way an art and vital to a good album. If you feel dodgy look at albums you love to listen too and look for some kind of patterns

lolmnt
03-02-2008, 05:17 PM
It matters alot. You are trying to keep the listener's attention for the whole album, you don't want the listener to get bored. You shouldn't have to many songs of similar tempos in a row. Example: if you have about five or six fast, upbeat songs, throw a ballad in after the fourth one to break them up.

stringmagician
03-02-2008, 09:10 PM
pay attention to the structure of your favorite albums and emulate them.

SlackerBabbath
03-03-2008, 04:25 AM
pay attention to the structure of your favorite albums and emulate them.
That's probably the best advise on here, because there's no actual clear cut right way or wrong way to do this. As Slaytanic1993 says, if it's a concept album, you'll want to place the songs in an order that makes sense to the album's concept or story, not neccesarily based on what songs naturaly go together.
At the other end of the scale I've heard classic Ramones albums that start 1,2,3,4,... and carry on in that exact same vein all the way through to the end with hardly a chord change and still sound exellent.
Everyone has a different way of doing it, depending on your influences, so just listen to your own influences and see how they do it.
I would however suggest placing the songs in different orders then sitting down and listening to your album to see what works the best.

binkythefurious
03-03-2008, 06:46 AM
Just from the experience of being a music fan, I would say put what you feel are your weaker songs in the first 6 or so, nothing makes me hate an album more than all the not-so-specials being at the end. Leaving on a high note is bloody important. Chances are people will like your weaker songs anyway, so when even better ones play afterwards its quite enjoyable to listen to.

SlackerBabbath
03-03-2008, 07:13 AM
^ Good point binky! :golfclap:
No one likes an anti-climax.

C_Miller
03-03-2008, 11:28 AM
Just from the experience of being a music fan, I would say put what you feel are your weaker songs in the first 6 or so, nothing makes me hate an album more than all the not-so-specials being at the end. Leaving on a high note is bloody important. Chances are people will like your weaker songs anyway, so when even better ones play afterwards its quite enjoyable to listen to.

No. Do an even spread of weak and strong. I wouldn't want to get bored with an album and quit half way through.

af_the_fragile
03-03-2008, 12:09 PM
I like albums that flow. THey have some sorta theme/story to them. LIke NIN's Downward Spiral is the best example for this.
Each song should blend into the next one or flow into the next one.
Otherwise the album will sound like just a bunch of songs thrown in together...

Symmetry4321
03-03-2008, 02:11 PM
You need to make it "flow". So that the songs blend together nicely, whilst not blending so much that they lose the listeners interest.

InMe - Overgrown Eden comes to mind, some may say i am biased, as in thier earlier years they were one of my favourite bands.
However that IS an amazing album. It's hard to get bored of listening to it purely because of the track listing.

Good luck! :D

Agreed entirely

kaptink
03-03-2008, 04:35 PM
personally speaking I seem to see that you get a group of 2 or 3 of the best songs on an album around the 25% or 75% mark.

Plus you have to pick a great bombastic ending song, (or even put a slow or acoustic song after that) a great example of this was the last My Chemical Romance album, they had two ballads then the final song is a big rock song. On its own its nothing special but with the tension built up the opening riff really kicks you.

stringmagician
03-03-2008, 11:34 PM
I like albums that flow. THey have some sorta theme/story to them. LIke NIN's Downward Spiral is the best example for this.
Each song should blend into the next one or flow into the next one.
Otherwise the album will sound like just a bunch of songs thrown in together...



I dissagree. If you throw the songs together right it works great. There are a lot albums where the silence at the end of every song just creates suspense for the opening riff of the next.

bluesybilly
03-05-2008, 10:54 PM
Well heres some good examples.

On Tom Petty's solo album "Wildflowers" (Probably not your stlye of music, but thats not the point im trying to make) he switches off from heavy to soft, fast to slow, etc. every single song to create a push pull effect that keeps the listener attentive. And eager for more.

On Led Zeppelins first two albums they used their own formula for order (and look where it got them) they would go like this.
1- heavy, riff oriented
2- ballad
3- straight up rock
4- slower rock
5- heavy
6- poppy rock (I know its sacreligious to say "poppy" when talking about Led Zeppelin, but oh well.)
7- ballad
8- instrumental
9- ballad


I'm looking at the back cover of Led Zeppelin II while I make this, but if my memory serves correctly Zeppelin I was the same way. And I know for Zeppelin it seems like a lot of ballads, but they were all building ballads that blew up at the end of the songs.

Also all the talk about heavy, soft, and heavy I dont particularly agree with.
Because, most of the people that are going to be listening to your album are not music fans. They are probably the type of people that will listen to the first minute of a song and then skip to the next one, and so very rarely will they make it through the entire cd. I would recommend starting heavy, gradually getting slower, then surprise them with a heavy song, and maybe use the "tom petty effect" until the end and end with a ballad. To keep such people from getting bored. Just my two cents.