Track Two


The second track of any given album tends to be a bit special. Why? Imagine for a moment that you have just completed an album. All that remains before its release is to work out your track listing. Track one will of course be the obvious track you’d have to put at the start of the album. The big single, the title track, or in some way the most immediate and ear-catching song on the list. Track two is where the real magic starts to happen though. You’ve got their attention, now what do you do with it? You line up the grower, the gem of the album. Track two is the real star; too subtle to introduce the album, yet its closing notes will mark the point at which point the listener has been hooked forever.



Track Two



8 replies on “Track Two”

  1. Wow! This is really interesting to read as we had a lunchtime conversation about this a few years ago. I think it was pre-roo days. My theory was that track 9 was always the highlight. I didn’t have an idea as to why.

    * Cranberries – Still Can’t
    * Faithless – Insomnia
    * Radiohead – Bullet Proof… I Wish I Was
    * James – Destiny Calling
    * Ben Folds – Brick

    And the one that really clinches it. Wham! Rap

  2. I completely agree. Here’s some more evidence:

    * Radiohead – Creep (Pablo Honey)
    * Beatles – Eleanor Rigby (Revolver)
    * Evanescence – Bring Me To Life (Fallen)
    * Kate Walsh – Talk Of The Town (Tim’s House)
    * Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name (Rage Against The Machine)

  3. @Darren: Some good counter examples. I shall have to try a ‘track nine’ playlist too. (Now you mention it, I seem to remember my brother having the same theory about track five too. I’ll have to ask him.)

    @Arthur: Ooh. Was this ‘track two’ theory actually something we concocted together while sharing lifts to work once?

  4. You got me tinkering with the iTunes Smart playlist thing now. Did you know it has a season attribute? I don’t have a single song with the season attribute set though. I’m going to have to fix that.

  5. You’ll also end up with winners where Track One serves as a preface, warm-up or introduction, and then Track Two is the really punchy opener to the album proper, which you can then squint at with your ears to reperceive as A Grower :-)

  6. I’m away from my MacBook for a few days, or I’d try track 3. When I was in high school I had a similar conversation with some friends (yes, the same group that I played Dungeons & Dragons with – wanna’ make something of it?) and we agreed that track 3 was the highlight track.

    I checked it out on Google (as superficially as possible, of course) and this guy agrees with track 3:

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