Talk:Single (music)

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Promo singles[edit]

For the UK at least, this section is inaccurate - promos are usually released to individuals and organisations deemed 'influential' by the labels/PR companies in order to be played on the radio, DJs to include the song in nightclub playlists, journalists to review the release, etc. To mention just rap artists and Keane is misleading.

Naming convention[edit]

Where does the naming convention for music and films come from to capitalize all words but a, the and a few other words? --Abdull 19:32, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Presumably it's an extension of the style commonly used in English for titles of books, articles, etc. According to Capitalization#Headings_and_publication_titles, it came about as an old form of emphasis for titles, "similar to the more modern practice of using a larger or boldface font for titles." If you want more info than that, you'd probably be better off asking at Talk:Capitalization--Severinus 05:58, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Ordering of Formats[edit]

I have re-ordered the text regarding the different formats. It's now in chronological order (in terms of when the general public began to embrace them). I've also re-worded it - it was vinyl that gave us the terms "A-side" and "B-side", so why explain that in the "CD" section? --ThomasBisset 00:53, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

b/w & c/w[edit]

Should there be a mention/explanation of the "b/w" (backed with) and the less common "c/w" (coupled or combined with) notation used when listing songs on a single? I get the feeling they're only ever used when referring to vinyl singles, but I'm not at all in the know and was wondering if such info should go in the general part of the article. Thoughts? --Severinus 06:10, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Cassette single: Third opinion from interested parties[edit]

Hi there, Would be grateful if anyone interested could please take a brief look at this dispute on cassette singles, and provide your opinion. Thanks. Fourohfour 17:38, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was NO CONSENSUS to move page, per discussion below. I've moved Single (disambiguation back to Single, so there's no need for a separate move request for that. -GTBacchus(talk) 05:24, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Single (music)Single — "Single" is used in this sense in more than two thirds of incoming wikilinks, so this sense should "own" the article title, and all other meanings will go through disambiguation. YechielMan 00:16, 19 March 2007 (UTC)


Add  # '''Support'''  or  # '''Oppose'''  on a new line in the appropriate section followed by a brief explanation, then sign your opinion using ~~~~. Please remember that this survey is not a vote, and please provide an explanation for your recommendation.

Survey - in support of the move[edit]

Survey - in opposition to the move[edit]

  1. Oppose It is clear that there are many other uses for Single. You alse shouldn't have moved the Single page first, that is something that should have been done IF this move request works. TJ Spyke 03:03, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
  2. Oppose - 2/3 isn't enough, IMHO. If it was 99.9%, I could see moving it, but as it stands, there are too many other things single means. Kolindigo 19:26, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
  3. Oppose - Too common a word. --Wirbelwindヴィルヴェルヴィント (talk) 07:13, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  4. Oppose, it is probably just because the link to single is in Wikiproject Music's infobox templates. This is not the primary usage of the term, if there even is one. Recury 16:23, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  5. Oppose, we're judging disambiguation pages by incoming wikilinks now? O...K... Also, Single (disambiguation? Why didn't you close the parentheses? And... ohhh, great, someone's restored the content on Single manually, so now we need to do requested move to undo this. Fantastic. --DeLarge 16:27, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  6. Oppose , Keep it as it is - Single is a word with multiple meanings, this is just one of them.Jud 12:09, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
  7. Oppose while wiki-links are a valuable indicator of primary usage, the Music template artificially inflates the number and lessen's it reliability. Also, the cumulative sum of the notability and relative importance of the other uses would make it difficult to establish any single primary usage. 02:39, 22 March 2007 (UTC)


Add any additional comments:
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


I've added a couple of pars to the beginning of the history section -- I'd appreciate any comments on this.

Dunks (talk) 00:08, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

The beginning of the history of the single claims that discs started overtaking cylinders in the late 19th century. Tim Brooks book "The Columbia Master Book Discography, Volume 1, published by Greenwood Press, has at the bottom of page 14 a list of the number of cylinders and discs produced(in millions)in the United States. In 1909 18.6 million cylinders and 8.6 million discs were produced nationwide. The next listing is from 1914 where 3.9 million cylinders are said to have been produced and 23.3 million discs. So, in manufacturing, discs didn't "take over" any earlier then 1910. Johnbasalla (talk) 03:32, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Relationship to albums[edit]

The article emphasis the single's role as usually being extracted from a current or upcoming album to promote the album. Is this true? Surely singles were invented before albums and continued to have an independent existence. In the 50s and 60s, a lot of people (certainly in the UK) bought singles, but couldn't afford albums, so they represented a different market. Bands like The Beatles released different material for the singles market than they put on albums. Radio DJs for many years only played singles. Bluewave (talk) 18:03, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

agree, this lead paragraph should be reworded. riffic (talk) 14:05, 12 September 2009 (UTC)


When I am writing an article, how do I decipher whether it is a single or just a song. ex: (infobox single or infobox song) Can any song be considered a single? Song example: Song For A Winter's Night; it wasn't included in the singles section of Gordon Lightfoot's discography, so I didn't count it as a single. However, I have see other discographies where all thir songs seem to be included in the singles section of the discography. Ex: Ernest Tubb discography. Daniel Christensen (talk) 05:44, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

singles are a type of release. if a song hasn't been released as (part of) a single it shouldn't be called one. riffic (talk) 14:06, 12 September 2009 (UTC)


In music, a single or record single is a type of release, typically a short recording of one or more separate tracks.

Does the phrase "of one or more separate tracks" contribute anything to the meaning of this sentence? —Tamfang (talk) 00:57, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Changing that to "one or two" is too explicit, as a single (see Maxi single) could theoretically contain more than 2 tracks. riffic (talk) 03:09, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Note that word typically. —Tamfang (talk) 23:14, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

I'll rephrase the question, in hope of provoking replies to the one that I'm asking: How might a recording not consist of one or more separate tracks? —Tamfang (talk) 23:13, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Additional citations[edit]

Why, what, where, and how does this article need additional citations for verification? Hyacinth (talk) 17:16, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Sentence needs work, starting point for a solution provided[edit]

"These factors, combined with the 10-inch songwriters and performers increasingly tailored their output to fit the new medium."

That sentence doesn't make much sense to me.. it doesn't seem to me to be grammatically correct and I'm not exactly sure what meaning it was trying to convey, although I have guesses. Also, I notice the next sentence launches into talking about "The 3 minute single". I think it should be mentioned somewhere before that sentence that a single was 3 minutes, rather than assuming the reader already understood that as common knowledge. Perhaps that sentence could be reworked into something like: "The rotation speed, combined with a 10-inch disc, resulted in a playback time of 3 minutes. As a result, songwriters and performers increasingly tailored their output to fit the new medium." (Note: I don't know if the playback time was exactly 3 minutes or only approximately 3 minutes, I'm just going off what the article already says.) -- (talk) 15:11, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

The current meaning of being a "single"[edit]

As best I can tell, since digital downloads have became prevalent, every track on an album has become a "single", in the sense of being available in the marketplace as a separate published item. And I assume that radio stations (whether radio wave based or "Internet radio" based) can pick any published track they want to pick when choosing what to play – they aren't forced to choose the "single", are they? Yet, I still see references to which songs are considered a "single" on newly released albums. (Probably, I should put quote marks around "album" too.) Does it really mean anything anymore for a song to be a "single"? If so, exactly what does it mean? The article does not seem to provide this information. It seems to talk mostly about vinyl records, which is not how most people get their music anymore. Is a "single" something that is always made available on vinyl? Is a "single" something that is always made available as a separate published item on a physical format (e.g., on vinyl or CD format)? What the heck is a "single"? Does the concept still really exist? —BarrelProof (talk) 19:06, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Singles are released in digital format as well. Look through the iTunes catalog of an artist. If they have released a song as an actual single, it will be listed in their album catalog.
Another variant to singles is songs that are released for streaming or free download, but are not listed as stand-alone singles by vendors such as iTunes or Amazon. I used to think that these were singles, and the are often called singles by the media, but I've learned through some of my edits being reverted that these releases are not technically singles. Would these types of releases be buzz singles?--¿3family6 contribs 23:02, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Incomplete and unsupported[edit]

This article has some problems. For example: The introduction indicates that singles are primarily related to albums as hooks etc. I don't know if this is correct or not, but in the early sixties, I was pretty much unaware of albums but was inundated with singles on 45s. Were most of the hits back then really even on albums at the time they came out? More recently, as commented by some-one else on this comment page, online singles are frequently unrelated to other songs: just singles. A second issue is that I cannot find any-thing about one-side shellac disks. Some-time in the early 20th century, these were common - maybe the first shellac singles were all one-sided. Some-one knowledgeable in the history of recording should fix up this page. Kdammers (talk) 16:46, 31 January 2016 (UTC)