Listening to all the singles vs. waiting for the album

I end up treating this really differently depending on the band in question. After seeing all the new songs on The National thread I realised I had no interest in hearing them, just wanted to wait for the album and appreciate it all in context and with proper focus. Whereas with LCD Soundsystem, I’ll listen to all the songs without a thought about the album

Maybe it’s favourite bands vs. bands you just quite like, or maybe it’s singles bands vs. album bands. Just funny that for some I can’t wait for every new teaser and song I can get my hands on, and with others I’ll stay as far away as possible.

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  • I am a patient album person

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I only tend to listen to singles by bands I’ve read about but haven’t heard. I guess I’m lazy rather than patient, but it’s rare I’ll go out of my way to hear a new single by a big band if there’s an album due soon.


depends. album i’m very excited to hear or has a lot of hype around it = probably listen to the singles as they come out. album i’m looking forward to listening to at some stage but not in a particular rush = will probably just wait til it comes out.


Yeah, really depends on the band - your example of The National vs LCD is pretty spot on.

I went through a period of trying to avoid all singles, and just enjoy albums as a whole, but it’s just a bit exhausting really.


I was exactly this way too. I get excited for the lead single obviously (that’s what it’s for) but the new Arcade Fire had 4 singles released in advance? That’s just too much and will make the album feel like it’s not fresh or new.

So 1 single for sure, maybe 2, no more though.

Usually give them a cursory listen and then patiently wait for the album. If the song’s huge I often end up rinsing it though which really makes it subsequently stick out in the album. Have listened to the most recent Ariel Pink single about 50 odd times.

New Avey Tare came out without a single which was a really refreshing approach.

Same as this. Listen once or twice then w8 m8

Don’t quite get how this is a question of patience. I listen to stuff as it comes out, because … you know … it’s out.

This is actually misleading. I’ll routinely listen to stuff before it comes out. Not because I’m impatient, mind.

I mean I was mostly kidding but if any album has 4 singles released, that’s a third of the album which you’ll already know by the time it gets released. For me and at least some other people, that takes away from the appeal of the first listen through. So best to wait until it’s out and appreciate it all together (potentially).

I usually listen to the singles a couple of times but not too much so they’ll be fresh in my head when the album comes out

Four pre-album singles is excessive, but credit to AF for helping us to gradually prepare for what a disaster Everything Now is. Listening to the entire thing fresh might have driven a few more of their fans down the bathtub suicide route.

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I definitely wait for the album every time. Hearing the single ahead of time ends up ruining the song and the flow of the album (and this effect is multiplied when the single happens to be the first song on the album). Maybe the best way to explain it is that if I hear it first, I can’t ever fully hear it in the context of the album as a whole, and it ends up feeling like an interruption? Or maybe I’m just nuts - I don’t even like knowing which song has been released as the single.

I only did this with Radiohead’s last album. I didn’t like Burn the Witch at first but in context it sounds much better to me as an opening track for the rest of the album. Daydreaming I never liked, I have no idea why that was a single (or even in the album). I guess it was a good teaser for what the album was like, rather than a good song.

Generally I don’t do this. However hearing Paranoid Android for the first time just before OK Computer came out must have been bloody exciting for then-Radiohead fans.

I try not to listen to all the new singles before the album but generally fail miserably because I get excited by new stuff from bands I like.

Problem I often find is that when I listen to the album my favourite tracks are generally the ones I’ve already heard - could be because they are singles and chosen because they are the ‘strongest’ tracks, but also just familiarity…idk

While I’d liked them up to then, I remember seeing the video for that on MTV2 after school one day and rushing to HMV to buy it right away. this was swiftly followed by buying any other music by them i could find. a trait that’s never stopped.

I tend to listen to the first single out of interest, especially if it’s the first thing in a while. after that, if i like the band a lot I’ll listen to any further pre-album singles once or twice, but tend to not want to tire them out before the album.

I’ve noticed this happening a lot recently. Nothing wrong with putting out a couple of traditional “single” tracks to get interest and a few weeks apart too, but I don’t like it when a band stick out some of the filler tracks in quick succession. Sometimes you’ve heard half the album before you even play it.

whereas I get into albums a lot more if there are a few high points sprinkled throughout, be they songs I’m already familiar with, or catchier/poppier songs in amongst less “accessible” material.

I appreciate the album as an aesthetic whole (of sorts), but not as a linear one. Promotional tracks aren’t spoilers for me; they just take on a new/different significance in the context of the album.

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