Author Topic: Why Is The Lead Single Often Not Close To The Albums' Best Effort?  (Read 1728 times)

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Offline wrldchamps04

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While these are solid (to U fans at least), their lead singles are often just middle of the road, or off beat selections.....The Fly,Numb, Discotheque, Get On Your Boots...it at times seems intentional,although I can't imagine why.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 03:09:57 PM by wrldchamps04 »



Offline JuniorEmblem

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Re: Why Is The Lead Single Often Not Close To The Albums' Best Effort?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2009, 03:20:15 PM »
Then there's Pride, New Year's Day, WOWY..........


Offline dragmio

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Re: Why Is The Lead Single Often Not Close To The Albums' Best Effort?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 03:25:29 PM »
Well noticed. I'd say the trend started with "Desire". It seems as if they believe in starting a bit slower, and releasing the "strongest" track as the second single. ("Angel of Harlem", "Mysterious Ways", "Lemon" - you didn't mention "Numb", maybe the best example of an offbeat lead single).
By "strongest" track I of course mean the track that's deemed to have the most potential to become a hit, and that would usually be chosen for the lead single. Like "Beautiful day" for example.  :-\

Interestingly, "With or without you" is ther only "slow" lead single.

Offline wrldchamps04

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Re: Why Is The Lead Single Often Not Close To The Albums' Best Effort?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2009, 03:26:36 PM »
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Then there's Pride, New Year's Day, WOWY..........


Without question,you can reply with just as many quality lead singles.....but my examples are more obscure sounding ( than the "normal" U2 Sound),curiously.

Offline wrldchamps04

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Re: Why Is The Lead Single Often Not Close To The Albums' Best Effort?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2009, 03:30:23 PM »
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Well noticed. I'd say the trend started with "Desire". It seems as if they believe in starting a bit slower, and releasing the "strongest" track as the second single. ("Angel of Harlem", "Mysterious Ways", "Lemon" - you didn't mention "Numb", maybe the best example of an offbeat lead single).
By "strongest" track I of course mean the track that's deemed to have the most potential to become a hit, and that would usually be chosen for the lead single. Like "Beautiful day" for example.  :-\

Interestingly, "With or without you" is their only "slow" lead single.
I added numb actually but that's okay....good points you make...I feel POP got the bad rap right off the bat by the critics (and some fans, as we all have different tastes) and NEVER recovered.

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Re: Why Is The Lead Single Often Not Close To The Albums' Best Effort?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2009, 03:26:08 AM »
I agree with much of what has been said. It must be so hard to hold your nerve and not go with the strongest or 'most likely to succeed' track as your first single. We all know Magnificent has the potential to be huge, but why not open with Breathe or Unknown Caller? I think they would have enticed more fringe fans to give the album a listen instead of Boots.

Offline dragmio

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Re: Why Is The Lead Single Often Not Close To The Albums' Best Effort?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2009, 03:38:09 AM »
They're probably thinking that the die hard fans will buy the album anyway. So with an offbeat single they're trying to tingle (it rhymes! :)) the imagination of those that are in two minds.
And then, when the album is already in the stores, they charge in with a sure hit. So everyone who hears it and likes it can go and buy the album right away, regardless of whether (s)he is a fan or not.
Now I exposed them! :)

Also, notice that with both ATYCLB and HTDAAB they deviated from that practice. Another form of playing safe, it seems.

Offline Zaphod

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Re: Why Is The Lead Single Often Not Close To The Albums' Best Effort?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2009, 09:21:41 AM »
I think the first single doesn't have to be the best effort.

With Beautiful Day and Discotheque it was clear that that would be the first single.

With or Without you was a bit different as i think Streets would have been a better first single.

Vertigo was a kickass rocker but not at all representative for the album.

I think Boots is a very good first single, though a remix would do better probably.

Offline DGordon1

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Re: Why Is The Lead Single Often Not Close To The Albums' Best Effort?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2009, 09:24:55 AM »
They need something to attract peoples' attention, which is why we see the likes of GOYB and Vertigo as lead singles. All about creating a buzz for the album.

Offline wrldchamps04

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Re: Why Is The Lead Single Often Not Close To The Albums' Best Effort?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2009, 10:22:41 AM »
I agree that the lead doesn't have to be the best song on the album...just something that produces a positive buzz, not a potential negative or "iffy" buzz......

Offline DrDoom171

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Re: Why Is The Lead Single Often Not Close To The Albums' Best Effort?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2009, 11:57:59 AM »
Most of all, these days a lead single must have a hook, a riff, or something that sticks in your mind.  It must be commercially viable.  Once the Vertigo "Hello, hello" and guitar riff got into your head, you remembered that song and sang it in your head wheterh you wanted to or not.  They tried to get the same thing with boots but it just wasn't as powerful.

The only other songs from NLOTH that could have done that were Breathe and perhaps Stand Up or Crazy  Ultimately, in this post hip-hop musical era in which we live, Boots was probably the best choice for a lead single from this album.

Offline dragmio

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Re: Why Is The Lead Single Often Not Close To The Albums' Best Effort?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2009, 01:03:16 PM »
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these days

There was a time when U2 couldn't care less for "these days", "lately" etc.
"War" came out surrounded by new romantics, "The Joshua Tree" came out at the height of sweet metal era. And it's those two albums that made them.

Offline keirdubois

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Re: Why Is The Lead Single Often Not Close To The Albums' Best Effort?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2009, 05:46:00 PM »
I'll take the Fly, Discotheque, and Numb over Beautiful Day, Vertigo, and Boots any day. But that's just me.