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Every year I check which of the acclaimed songs that weren't released as singles. Then I blank those in the singles-only lists. This year I was surprised by the large number of songs that aren't RYM singles. Are these songs really just album tracks?
Arcade Fire - Sprawl II
LCD Soundsystem - Dance Yrself Clean & All I Want
Sleigh Bells - Rill Rill
Teengirl Fantasy - Cheaters
The-Dream - Yamaha
I'm particularly surprised by "Cheaters" and "Yamaha" as it isn't common with acclaimed album tracks from these genres.
Furthermore, the following songs have single entries at RYM, but with few ratings and they are not mentioned as singles at Wikipedia. Should I assume that they weren't released as singles (or at least not a wide release)?
Best Coast - Boyfriend
Deerhunter - Helicopter
El Guincho - Bombay
John Grant - I Wanna Go to Marz
The Morning Benders - Excuses
I don't think "Yamaha" was ever released as a single but I do remember it showing up on a few blogs before the album's release. Perhaps it was offered as a free download?
Boyfriend had a music video and all, but i guess it was not a single (sent to radio and all). Dance Yrself Clean is my favorite track from LCD's new album, so seeing it grabbing some accolades over Drunk Girls was awesome. And Joanna Newsom haven't released a single since 2004 and Good Intentions Paving Company made some lists and ranked pretty high. I guess 2010 was really the year that album tracks started to appear more and more. And how Sprawl II was not a single is still out of my reach, glad that critics recognized it, though.
I just assumed Best Coast - Girlfriend was a single, I have a radio station here in Milwaukee that plays it all the time, I just figured it was.
That's a lot of non-single tracks.
I was looking at the decade end spreadsheet and only Burial, Radiohead, and Wilco had non-single tracks (Radiohead had 2). So it is exceedingly rare for that many non-singles to make lists.
That's the problem Slick. Many indie stations picked Best Coast tracks, especially Boyfriend, but no one has any idea if the Label sent promo copies to radio and stores and all that shit that officially makes a single. I guess in some way or another it is, but the real promotion for the single back in July was release it as a free MP3 around the most important blogs and music websites around.
I guess this is as big a sign as any that the concept of "official single" is dying out, what with the ease of getting early digital copies of so many tunes (either through promos from the label or artist or through a leak). Then you have indie stations playing those digital promos, so the line is being blurred. Look at the song reviews for most music sites these days and they not only rate singles but also other songs that come out through alternative routes.
Actually this may be an impressive trend moving forward. Stations start blurring the lines between genres and start playing deeper cuts from albums and not just overplay and push singles only. We shall see, but I am excited about the future of music.
I would really like this trend to develop. I don't care for singles, but I do care for songs. Maybe it'll bring some more diversity on radio stations as well. I hate the fact that a lot of stations always play one particular song of a band's entire discography. One of the reasons I don't listen to the radio.
For what it's worth, I've heard many of those songs on Sirius XMU. That's not your typical radio station though.