September 8, 2010

Organize Your Album Like a Batting Order

So you've recorded a bunch of tracks for a big new album, and it's not a concept album with link-tracks or something like that. Now you just need to know what order they should go in. Here's the answer, in extended baseball metaphor fashion.

Just think like a baseball manager making his batting order.

1. The first batter should have the highest on-base percentage, not necessarily hitting a home run, but always picking up a lead-off single or walk if possible. So your first tune should be the one that's the most universally-liked of the album. You just want to make sure your audience doesn't listen to half of this first tune then decide to tune out. Then as a secondary concern, your batter/music should also be fairly fast if possible. It just makes things seem more positive.

2. Second in a batting order is generally a high batting-average position, but still not a huge power or RBI guy. Basically like the first slot, but not held to the same high standard to get the listener onto what's next.

3. The hit song. The star player. Your best combination of everything should come third, something with wide-ranging appeal for both critics and fans.

4. The cleanup hitter in a batting order, usually the guy with the most home runs. So this song is about wow factor, blowing some people away and not worrying about everybody liking it any more. This one's for your real fans.

5-8. Well, at this point, it's really just about listing three remaining songs in descending order of quality. The order doesn't matter a whole lot, just fill 'em in.

9. Well, in the National League, the #9 hitter is the pitcher, he's not a good hitter because he's there to pitch. So why not make this tune the most art-focused of your bunch, an experiment, less poppy than the rest, because if the audience doesn't like it, they can always stop just one song early. So even go crazy if you want to: