googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: How Do Singles Differ From Album Cuts?

How Do Singles Differ From Album Cuts?

What is the difference between a song that is released as a single and one that is included on an album, or as they're called these days, a CD?

Many times they are basically the exact same song. That is, the tracks recorded for the album are used but augmented and remixed to make the single. This is common practise although I've never heard a story of The Beatles ever doing that. The Beatles recorded every song as a potential single and when they collected enough of these they released them together as an album. But plenty of other bands do it all the time so what exactly is the difference?

Here is the album version of Cindi Lauper's song She Bop:

 This is what music videos looked like before TV, staring at the album cover.

Notice the drum machine sounding snare right up front and dry, in fact, despite the 50s sounding echo on Cindi's voice the tracks are all pretty clean. So why wasn't this used as the single as is?

Now here's the single version:

 This is what music videos looked like before MTV, watching the record spin.

Notice how this mix has an extra little intro that the album version didn't have. There is also a very subtle extra synth in the background once the drums come in. There are some soundeffects (starting after the first line of the second verse) and overall the mix is much smoother with more of a blend between the instruments. The vocals are certainly easily heard and understood but they do seem to be blended into the instruments more giving this mix more of an overall atmosphere. There's just a slight bit of harshness to the album version that's smoothed out for the single.

Here's the album version of Fleetwood Mac's Rhianon:

And she can sing and write songs too!

The first thing you'll notice is how dry the guitar is and how the snare is only hitting every other beat. Overall the dryness and loudness of that snare drum makes this version sound like a demo.

And here's the single version of Fleetwood Mac's Rhianon:

Poor Christine, from band fox to band keyboard player overnight.

 On the single version the vocals and instruments have much more presences and a smoother sound (echo). This may be due to mastering but this version is much lusher even though the instrumentation is the same as the album cut. The background vocals are much more upfront and the lead guitar slightly mixed back.

And finally here's an example of Eric Clapton playing the SINGLES version of Cocaine live:

Eric playing Cocaine before it became a huge hit.

Now here's Clapton doing the ALBUM version of Cocaine live:

Clapton playing Cocaine AFTER a huge hit.

See what a major difference the album version is to the singles version even when played live?

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