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Encyclopedia > Single (music)
A collection of various CD singles

In music, a single is a short recording of one or more separate tracks. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. Image File history File links Cdsingles. ... Image File history File links Cdsingles. ... A CD single is a music single in the form of a compact disc. ... For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... Methods and media for sound recording are varied and have undergone significant changes between the first time sound was actually recorded for later playback until now. ... In the music industry, a release is the event at which an album or single is first released for sale. ...

  • Vinyl singles consist of two (or more) tracks on a traditional gramophone record. The record is typically a 7-inch or 12-inch black vinyl disc playing at 45 RPM, though other formats exist. The disc is reversible, usually with the main track (the "A-side") on one side, and the second track (the "B-side") on the reverse or "flip" side. Some singles, such as The Beatles' "We Can Work It Out"/"Day Tripper" or Queen's "We Are the Champions"/"We Will Rock You", were released as double A-sides (or "AA"), where the two tracks were given an equal importance. Many vinyl singles contain more than one track per side; this is particularly true of 12 inch singles. Vinyl singles were originally sold in standard paper sleeves, but now often have their own printed card covers with special artwork and text.
  • Cassette singles - popular in the 1990s, these are becoming obsolete and are now rarely released as commercial singles. As they are reversible they usually consist of one main track on the A-side, and one or more additional tracks on the B-side. The case or sleeve of a cassette single also usually includes printed artwork and tracklistings.
  • CD singles usually consist of the A-side accompanied by one or more separate tracks. Extended single CDs or Maxi singles often also include several remixes of the main song, another completely different song, (the B-side) and sometimes a short music video. CD singles do have a defined ordering of tracks, so that even on a double A-side single, one track has to come first. Occasionally, a single will not be identical in name to the featured track—such as the Nine Inch Nails single "Closer to God". The case or sleeve of a CD single also usually includes printed artwork and tracklistings.
  • Limited edition CD singles are sometimes released as a marketing ploy. These are usually on sale for a specified period of time only, or are produced in limited numbers and may include bonus tracks or specialist artwork designed to appeal to the specialist or the collectors market.
  • DVD singles are musical singles in the form of DVDs. The format was introduced in the late 1990s/early 2000s. Björk was the first ever artist to release a single on the DVD format with the track "All Is Full of Love" in July 1999, as an opportunity to maximize the exposure of the groundbraking promo video by Chris Cunningham featuring Björk as a pair of robots. Although many record companies refused to issue CD singles, they readily issued DVD Singles, and some popular DVD singles include Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This," Jessica Simpson's "With You," and Beyoncé's "Crazy In Love". The DVD single never really caught on in the USA, and many are out of print nowadays causing some to view them as collector items. The DVD single replaced the video single.
  • Download singles consist of one track or song that can be obtained as a digital download from an online supplier. Several different versions or remixes of the same single release may be available, but each one has to be downloaded separately.

Single releases are often made simultaneously in more than one format, as a single track download, and on CD or vinyl. Variations can include two different CDs, one with each track first (such as Muse's non-album single Dead Star/In Your World or In Your World/Dead Star), as two separate CDs with different B-sides and artwork, or as two CDs with one track each (such as Kent's single FF/VinterNoll2). Records with more than two A-sides are usually not considered singles, but EPs. It has been suggested that Childrens gramophone records be merged into this article or section. ... Chemical structure of the vinyl functional group. ... The overwhelming majority of records manufactured have been of certain sizes (7, 10, or 12 inches), playback speeds (33⅓, 45, or 78 RPM), and appearance (round black discs). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... In recorded music, the terms A-side and B-side refer to the two sides of 7 inch vinyl records on which singles have been released since the 1950s. ... The Beatles were an English rock band from Liverpool whose members were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. ... We Can Work It Out is a song written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon and released by The Beatles as a double A-sided single with Day Tripper. The song is a classic instance of true Lennon-McCartney collaboration, its authors meeting more closely in a single song only... A day-tripper is a person who visits a tourist destination, tourist attraction, or visitor attraction from home and returns there on the same day - in other words this excursion does not involve a night away from home. ... This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. ... We Are the Champions is a power ballad written by Freddie Mercury, recorded and performed by Queen for their 1977 album News of the World. ... We Will Rock You is a song written by Brian May, and recorded and performed by Queen. ... In recorded music, the terms A-side and B-side refer to the two sides of 7 inch vinyl records on which singles have been released since the 1950s. ... (Redirected from 12 inch singles) The 12-inch single gramophone record gained popularity with the advent of disco music in the 1970s. ... Insert from the Winter cassette single by Tori Amos The cassette single was a music recording format that debuted in the 80s. ... A CD single is a music single in the form of a compact disc. ... In recorded music, the terms A-side and B-side refer to the two sides of 7 inch vinyl records on which singles have been released since the 1950s. ... A Compact Disc or CD is an optical disc used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio. ... A maxi single or maxi-single is a music single release with more than the usual two tracks (generally an a-side song and a b-side song). ... A remix is an alternative version of a song, different from the original version. ... In recorded music, the terms A-side and B-side refer to the two sides of 7 inch vinyl records on which singles have been released since the 1950s. ... “NIN” redirects here. ... Closer to God (also known as Halo 9) is a single by Nine Inch Nails for the song Closer released in 1994. ... Reefer Madness was issued in a Special Addiction as a reference to the cult films ironic appeal. ... U2s 1993 video single Numb A VHS single or videotape single is a music single in the form of a videotape. ... Bottom view of VHS videotape cassette with magnetic tape exposed Videotape is a means of recording images and sound onto magnetic tape as opposed to movie film. ... The 1980s refers to the period where corey sucks peters and has a not little to look at his little penis of and between 1980 and 1989. ... Madonna Louise Ciccone Ritchie (born August 16, 1958), better known as simply Madonna, is a six-time Grammy[1] and one-time Golden Globe award winning American pop singer, songwriter, record and film producer, dancer, actress, author and fashion icon. ... Justify My Love is a single released by Madonna in 1990. ... See also: 1989 in music, 1990 in British music, other events of 1990, 1991 in music, 1990s in music and the list of years in music // January 21 - MTVs Unplugged premieres on cable television with musical guest, Squeeze February 6 - Billy Idol is involved in a serious motorcycle accident... MTV (Music Television) is an American cable television network headquartered in New York City. ... This article is about the Irish rock band. ... Numb is the third track from U2s 1993 album, Zooropa and was released as the albums first single. ... A lead single is the first single released by a musician or a band from a given album. ... See also: 1993 in music (UK) Musical groups established in 1993 Record labels established in 1993 other events of 1993 list of years in music 1990s in music // January 8 - The U.S. Postal service issues an Elvis Presley stamp. ... Zooropa is the eighth studio album by the Irish rock band U2. ... A DVD single is a music single in the form of a DVD. The format was introduced in the late 1990s/early 2000s. ... Björk Guðmundsdóttir ( ) (born November 21, 1965 in Reykjavík, Iceland) is an Icelandic singer/songwriter and composer (formerly the lead singer of alternative rock band The Sugarcubes), as well as an occasional actress. ... All is Full of Love was the fifth and final single by Icelandic singer, Björk to be taken from Homogenic. ... Cary Cunningham is an acclaimed English music video film director. ... Björk Guðmundsdóttir ( ) (born November 21, 1965 in Reykjavík, Iceland) is an Icelandic singer/songwriter and composer (formerly the lead singer of alternative rock band The Sugarcubes), as well as an occasional actress. ... Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is a Grammy Award-winning American singer and actress who has enjoyed success in the pop and rock music genres. ... This article is for the Kelly Clarkson version of this song. ... Jessica Ann Simpson (born July 10, 1980) is an American pop singer and actress who rose to fame in the late 1990s. ... With You is the second single from Jessica Simpsons 3rd album In This Skin. ... Beyoncé Chantelle Knowles (born September 4, 1981) is an R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, actress, fashion designer and model. ... Crazy in Love is an R&B song written by singer-songwriter Beyoncé Knowles, producer Rich Harrison, rapper Jay-Z, and Eugene Record. ... // A digital download (also known as a digital single or a paid digital download) is an official and legal music single available for purchase through an online store. ... A remix is an alternative version of a song, different from the original version. ... Dead Star and In Your World are songs released by the English rock band Muse from their compilation album, Hullabaloo. ... Extended play (EP) is the name typically given to vinyl records or CDs which contain more than one single, but are too short to qualify as albums. ...


Although non-album singles are sometimes released, the lead tracks (and sometimes B-sides) of singles usually come from an album (either one already released or one about to be) and the release of the single is partly to promote sales of the album, and to ensure radio playlisting. CD singles often feature "radio edit" or "single edit" versions of the main song, which differ from the original recording in being edited to an attractive length for radio play, having expletives censored (often by re-recording with different lyrics), or both. An album is a collection of related audio tracks distributed to the public. ...


A typical number of singles to be released from an album is two to four—more is considered exceptional. However, since an artist's most popular songs are often singles later albums including their earlier works may have many, such as S Club 7's Best - The Greatest Hits album. S Club 7 (later re-named S Club after the departure of Paul Cattermole from the band) were an English pop group created by former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller, who rose to fame via their own BBC television programme. ... Best is a greatest hits album release from S Club 7, released on 2nd June, 2003, and includes 15 tracks. ...

Contents

Situations in UK and US

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom before the early 1990s, singles were released to radio and shops on the same day. As radio airplay increased, the single would climb in the chart, reach a peak position, often about a month later, and then slowly drop out of the chart. Since the early 1990s, record companies have released singles to radio months in advance of their commercial release. This familiarises the audience with the song, ensuring that it enters the chart with maximum sales. Unlike in the US, the most popular UK charts are based only on sales data, not airplay. As well as pre-releasing singles to radio stations, most UK releases from major labels since the 1990s are launched at a very low price in their first week with a much higher price afterwards, to encourage as many people as possible to buy it simultaneously and thus achieve as high a chart position as possible. In the 1990s and early 2000s singles typically debuted at their peak position, completely the opposite behaviour to the chart-climbing of the past. The trend towards entering at peak position led to the common sight of not one single in the UK Top 75 gaining in the chart. Singles also spent less time at #1 and fall down the chart more rapidly, spending less time overall since they never climbed to their peak. In addition, while before the 1990s, the first single from an album was released several weeks in advance of the album, singles were typically released one or two weeks before the album's release. For the band, see 1990s (band). ... The UK Singles Chart is currently compiled by The Official UK Charts Company (OCC) on behalf of the British record industry. ...


Some other strategies are employed in the release of lead singles from an album. Occasionally, lead singles are released months in advance of the album they appear on. Two examples are Oasis' "Some Might Say" and Pulp's "Help the Aged". Less commonly, two separate singles are released at the same time to promote an album. An example is the simultaneous release of the Manic Street Preachers' "Found That Soul" and "So Why So Sad". Oasis (not to be confused with the one in the 1980s which include the evil and nasty Mary Hopkin) is a popular English rock band, formed in Manchester in 1991. ... Pulp are a rock band, formed in Sheffield, England in 1978, by then 15-year-old school-boy Jarvis Cocker (vocals, guitar). ... It has been suggested that Jenny Watkins-Isnardi be merged into this article or section. ... Found That Soul was released by Manic Street Preachers on February 26, 2001, and was the first single to be released from the Know Your Enemy album. ... So Why So Sad was released by Manic Street Preachers in 2001 (see 2001 in music) and was jointly the first single to be released from the Know Your Enemy album. ...


In the UK, the trend of single sales declining and no singles rising in the chart has been checked somewhat by the introduction of digital sales. The American duo Gnarls Barkley made history by releasing "Crazy", which became the first UK number-one single based solely on downloads (this was allowed by the UK singles chart only because a physical version of the same single was due for release shortly afterwards, downloads with no physical release have only been allowed to chart since January 2007). By mid-2006 legal song downloads accounted for 78% of all UK single sales.[1] Gnarls Barkley is a Grammy-award winning musical collaboration between DJ, multi-instrumentalist and producer Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) and rapper/vocalist Cee-Lo Green (Thomas Callaway), from Atlanta. ... Crazy is the first single from Gnarls Barkley, a musical collaboration between Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo, and is taken from their 2006 debut album St. ... This article is about the computer terms. ...


These new rules have meant that, unlike in the 1990s and early 2000s, singles enter lower down the chart and climb to their peak, most commonly when the physical copy is released. This change in trend can be seen when you compare 2006 with 2005. In 2005 only two songs climbed to number one, whereas in 2006 sixteen climbed. Such is the impact of downloads on the chart that they are reminiscent of the singles chart before the 1990s. Songs tend to hang around the charts for longer and songs which were previously ineligible to chart are now able to, such as the aforementioned Gnarls Barkley song, "Crazy", which reentered having been deleted physically in 2006 and older songs, such as Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now" which charted in the lower reaches of the top 75 following the release of "Rocky Balboa" in 2007. Gnarls Barkley is a Grammy-award winning musical collaboration between DJ, multi-instrumentalist and producer Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) and rapper/vocalist Cee-Lo Green (Thomas Callaway), from Atlanta. ... Crazy is the first single from Gnarls Barkley, a musical collaboration between Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo, and is taken from their 2006 debut album St. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky) is the theme song from the movie Rocky, composed by Bill Conti with lyrics by Carol Connors and Ayn Robbins, and performed by DeEtta Little & Nelson Pigford. ... Rocky VI redirects here. ...


While the CD single has declined in popularity, sales of 7" vinyl singles are on the increase as of 2006,[2] [3] with some prominent artists, such as Arctic Monkeys, reportedly selling more singles on 7" than on CD. As a result of this, many singles are now released in two 7" versions and one CD version, rather than one 7" and two CDs as was common in the 1990s. A CD single is a music single in the form of a compact disc. ... Arctic Monkeys are an English four-piece indie rock/post-punk revival band originating from High Green, a suburb of Sheffield. ...


United States

In the United States, since the early 1990s, singles have increasingly not been issued commercially at all. While this had precluded them from charting on the Hot 100, Billboard magazine recognised the trend and in December 1998 modified the rules to allow airplay-only tracks, which they call album cuts, to chart. Since then, airplay-only singles have frequently topped the chart. Recently, Billboard has also accounted for digital sales in its calculation of single chart positions. The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. ... Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry. ... // A digital download (also known as a digital single or a paid digital download) is an official and legal music single available for purchase through an online store. ...


History

Singles have been issued on various formats, including 7-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch vinyl discs (usually playing at 45 rpm); 10-inch shellac discs (playing at 78 rpm); cassette, 3 and 5-inch CD singles and 7-inch plastic flexi discs. Other, less common, formats include singles on digital compact cassette, DVD, and LD, as well as many non-standard sizes of vinyl disc (5", 8", etc.). 12 single for U2s Beautiful Day The 12-inch [30 cm] single gramophone record came into existence with the advent of disco music in the 1970s. ... It has been suggested that Childrens gramophone records be merged into this article or section. ... Look up shellac in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Flexi disc in a magazine The flexi disc is a phonograph record made of a thin vinyl sheet with a molded-in spiral stylus groove, and is designed to be playable on a normal phonograph turntable. ... The DCC logo was inspired by that of the original Compact Cassette Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) was a short-lived sound recording format introduced by Philips and Matsushita late 1992. ... DVD (commonly known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is an optical disc storage media format that can be used for data storage, including movies with high video and sound quality. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

The most common form of the vinyl single is the 45. Its name is derived from the speed at which it is played, 45 RPM (revolutions per minute). The standard size of a 45 is 7" in diameter. 45 rpm record The image itself is copyright ©2004 by Daniel P. B. Smith and released under the terms of the Wikipedia license. ... 45 rpm record The image itself is copyright ©2004 by Daniel P. B. Smith and released under the terms of the Wikipedia license. ... Revolutions per minute (abbreviated rpm, RPM, r/min, or min-1) is a unit of frequency, commonly used to measure rotational speed, in particular in the case of rotation around a fixed axis. ... It has been suggested that Childrens gramophone records be merged into this article or section. ... Revolutions per minute (abbreviated rpm, RPM, r/min, or min-1) is a unit of frequency, commonly used to measure rotational speed, in particular in the case of rotation around a fixed axis. ...


The 7" 45 RPM record was introduced in 1949 by RCA as a smaller, higher fidelity replacement for the 78 RPM shellac discs. The first 45 RPM records were monaural, with recordings on both sides of the disc. As stereo recordings became popular in the 1960s, almost all 45 RPM records were produced in stereo by the early 1970s. RCAs logo as seen today on many products. ... 78 (seventy-eight) is the natural number following 77 and followed by 79. ... Monaural (often shortened to mono) sound reproduction is single-channel. ... Label for 2. ...


Although 7" remained the standard size for vinyl singles, 12" singles were introduced for use by DJs in discos in the 1970s. The longer playing time of these singles allowed the inclusion of extended dance mixes of tracks. The 12" single is still considered a standard format for dance music, though its popularity has declined in recent years. The 12-inch [30 cm] single gramophone record gained popularity with the advent of disco music in the 1970s. ... A disc jockey scratching a record. ... Discothèque redirects here. ... Dance music is music composed or played specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. ...


The sales of singles are recorded in charts in most countries in a Top 40 format. These charts are often published in magazines and numerous television shows and radio programs count down the list. In order to be eligible for inclusion in the charts the single must meet the requirements set by the charting company, usually governing the number of songs and the total playing time of the single. Top 40 is a radio format based on frequent repetition of songs from a constantly-updated list of the forty best-selling singles. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


In popular music, the relative commercial and artistic importance of the single (as compared to the EP or album) has varied over time, technological development, and according to the audience of particular artists and genres. Singles have generally been more important to artists who sell to the youngest purchasers of music (younger teenagers and pre-teens), who tend to have more limited financial resources and shorter attention spans. Perhaps the golden age of the single was on "45's" in the 1950s and early 1960s in the early years of rock music; albums became a greater focus as artists like The Beatles and others created albums of uniformly high quality and coherent themes (one of many examples being the concluding medley on Abbey Road), a trend which reached its apex in the development of the concept album. Over the 1980s and 1990s, the single has generally received less and less attention as albums, which on compact disc had virtually identical production and distribution costs but could be sold at a higher price, became most retailers' primary method of selling music. The single became almost exclusively a promotional tool for radio play and to appear on television via the video clip. Popular music is music belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are accessible to the general public and are disseminated by one or more of the mass media. ... A gramophone record, (also phonograph record - often simply record) is an analog sound recording medium: a flat disc rotating at a constant angular velocity, with inscribed spiral grooves in which a stylus or needle rides. ... For other uses, see Rock music (disambiguation). ... The Beatles were an English rock band from Liverpool whose members were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. ... Abbey Road is the eleventh official album recorded by The Beatles. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... A Compact Disc or CD is an optical disc used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio. ... Video clips are short clips in video format and predominantly found on the internet where the massive influx of new video clips during 2006 was dubbed as a new phenomenon having a profound impact on both the internet and other forms of media. ...


Dance music, however, has followed a different commercial pattern, and the single, especially the 12-inch vinyl single, remains a major method by which dance music is distributed. Dance music is music composed or played specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. ...


As of 2006, the single seems to be undergoing something of a revival. Commercial music download sites reportedly sell mostly single tracks rather than whole albums, and the increase in popularity seems to have rubbed off on physical formats [4]. Portable MP3 players, which make it extremely easy to load and play songs from many different artists, are claimed to be a major factor behind this trend. For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... Apple iPod, the most popular hard drive-based digital audio player An embedded hard drive-based player (Creative Zen Vision:M), one of the many alternatives for the iPod An MP3 CD player (Philips Expanium) Some mobile phones can be used as digital audio players, such as the Nokia 6233. ...


A related development has been the popularity of mobile phone ringtones based on pop singles (on some modern phones, the actual single can be used as a ringtone). These are reportedly a very lucrative new business for the music industry[citation needed]. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with ring (telephone), ringing signal and polyphonic ringtone (Discuss) A ring tone is the sound made by a telephone to indicate an incoming call. ...


In a reversal of this trend, recently a single has been released based on a ringtone itself. The Crazy Frog ringtone, which had become a cult hit in Europe in 2004, was released as a mashup with Axel F in June 2005 amid a massive publicity campaign and subsequently hit #1 on the UK charts. Crazy Frog is a character used in the marketing of a ring tone based on The Annoying Thing, a computer animation created by Erik Wernquist. ...


Video singles

In relation to music singles, the industry has released music videos as singles as well. Originally released on very short VHS cassettes (T-15), these eventually were released on LaserDisc as LD-singles (18 cm or 8" format, instead of the full 1'/12"/30 cm LD), and on cDVD as DVD-singles (8 cm or 3" format, instead of the full 12 cm/5.25" DVD). Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed Top view of VHS cassette with front casing removed The Video Home System, better known by its abbreviation VHS is a recording and playing standard for analog video cassette recorders (VCRs), developed by Victor Company of Japan, Limited (JVC) and launched... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... There are two types of MiniDVD cDVD, which are 80-mm versions of the 120-mm DVD mini-DVD, which are standard CDs filled with the DVD-video format // cDVD A Mini-DVD-RAM with DVD Round Holder. ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Single (music) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1622 words)
Most CD singles have only one main track and are usually named after this song, but some may have a double A-side, where two tracks are given equal billing in the title of the single.
Although non-album singles are sometimes released, the lead tracks (and sometimes B-sides) of singles usually come from an album (either one already released or one about to be) and the release of the single is partly to promote sales of the album, and to ensure radio playlisting.
Dance music, however, has followed a different commercial pattern, and the single, especially the 12-inch vinyl single, remains a major method by which dance music is distributed.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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