Quick question time!

Question time

Very recently, I watched an episode of Everyday Struggle with 21 Savage, Savage was talking about his album and how he didn’t put out a lead single and the reason for that was that he didn’t want to release a song which suggested to the fans that they had to like it. He said that he wanted to release an album with music and let the listeners decide what songs they’d like on the project. I won’t even lie, I found this take so interesting because whenever I hear about an album, I’m always wondering what the lead single is going to be since I’m so used to it.

I’m sure there have been a lot of albums that have been released without lead singles but on the spot I can’t remember (and I’m too lazy to use Google to help me come up with an example). Since I always expect a lead single from an album, I don’t really give any thought to the significance of it. I will say this though, whenever I hear a lead single from an album, the quality of the song sets my expectations for the album.

I feel like 21 Savage was able to get away without releasing a lead single based off the buzz of songs like ‘No Heart’ and ‘X’ so people may have felt like they knew what to expect despite not knowing what to expect. If this wasn’t the case, it doesn’t stop it from being an idea that makes a lot of sense, although it is a bit of a gamble. In my opinion, one of the best ways to build hype for something is to keep people waiting, even if the project doesn’t come up (Detox).

At this point you know how it goes, I’m going to ask a question now. Do you think that albums need to have lead singles and why?

Link for the Everyday Struggle episode with 21 Savage.


7 thoughts on “Quick question time!

  1. Interesting question. To a large degree the music buying public has moved away from buying albums like they used to and instead just pick and choose the singles they like because it’s so much easier to do so now.
    It kind of depends on what the artist wants to achieve. Weird Al a few, years back, decided just to release singles forgoing an album for the reason I mentioned above. However, if you’re an artist who just wants to do what they want to do, forgoing a lead single could be appealing because you just make the music you want and operate under the assumption that people who like the album (and their music as a whole) won’t need the single, thus leaving the artist more unconstrained to a format.
    I really don’t know…Just a thought. Interesting question to ponder.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looking at the points you’ve made, it really could just be a situation of adapting to the times like Weird Al did. I always thought a lead single was a must but it seems like it’s more of a strategy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess it depends on the artist’s intent. Having a lead single is not a bad thing as it draws people to the rest of the materiel. However, look at Def Leppard’s Hysteria: the majority of the album was singles and that was the producer’s (Mutt Lange) intent.
        I guess it all depends on the artist and how they want to express, distribute, and sell their music.
        It’s kind of a new world where some of the traditional ways of putting out music are being challenged.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Keeping people waiting does indeed enhance hype. Assassin’s Creed lost a lot of its buzz by churning out new games on an annual basis. Keep them waiting too long though and you’ll generate hype that can never be lived up to (Duke Nukem Forever.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Albums have had lead singles going way back to my day, so, yes, I expect them. That said, I appreciate the thinking that maybe listeners should decide what the lead single is — and, it’s a mighty fine marketing ploy.

    Liked by 1 person

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