Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Opening Tracks Rock!: What Are The Best Track Numbers On Albums?

For a long time I've believed that a great album needs a great opening track, and probably a good closer too. To test this theory, I went through the top 50 ranked albums at Best Ever Albums (except for monster albums "The White Album" and "The Wall") and noted down all the top-ranked tracks (as voted by the site's members; note that one album can have multiple top-ranked tracks). And here are the results in graphical form:

OK, it's still a small sample, but my theory about great albums tending to have great opening tracks is looking pretty good. It also appears you need some heavy hitters around the Track 2 to Track 5 mark. After that, it drops off a bit; the results for Track 6 to Track 9 are all about the same, and it appears that you don't really need a good closer at all given the results for Track 10 onwards (although many older albums did end at Track 9). Actually, this kind of makes sense when you think about it: OK Computer? "The Tourist" was the last track - there were better ones. Dark Side Of The Moon? "Eclipse" was the last track - that was almost a coda. And so on.

Now to test my theory if great bands also tend to have great first albums...

No comments: