Back in the old days of actually making records, you know, those archaic dinosaurs of a by-gone era, the order in which songs were placed and heard was a very critical and often discussed topic when putting the final touches on an album. This was very important in the pre-cd era, since every record had 2 sides, and the musical thing you were trying to “say” with your album had an awful lot to do with the order and pacing of your songs.
I am currently working on this with my new album, and it’s really an interesting process. I am going vinyl with the first run of this record, so I have to really think of not only the pacing, but the fact that there are two sides to this thing really changes the whole “ball game.” The trickiest aspect of this phase of making the record is how many different “bags” and genres I’m truly working in on this record, regardless of how subtle those differences may be. No matter what, the differences become fairly well-pronounced when you are thinking of doing all of this pacing of an album. There are even some times when it seems to me as if one song just leads right into another, which evokes some of those records from the days or when albums had a connecting “theme.” This new album I am doing, called All Tricked Out works though many genres, as well, and even seems to have “mini-themes” woven through it, that can be helped by the actual song order and pace of the album itself. As I’ve been going through the songs it becomes incredibly evident that while I was composing, arranging and performing these tunes, there were certain connections that these songs had that maybe even I wasn’t aware of. This can be in the form of thematic approaches, melodies, chord structures and certainly the fact that the music essentially captures a moment in time for me, which is something that we all want our various “art forms” to encapsulate. I guess this is the most important thing to me; that the record really embodies my particular approach at that given time. The worst thing we ever want to happen is for our recordings to sound all disjointed, and to sound as if they’re “put together” from too many session and studios and various musicians all over the place.
What you really want too work for at all times, is consistency, and this is the very thing that must be communicated through your song choice, production value, players and of course, song order and pace. It’s really the kind of thing that hits you right in the face when it’s right, and really says “when you know it, you know it.”
So wish me luck on my continued adventure with this album, and good luck on your recording adventures as well! Think I’ll jump in the car right now and put in that cd to listen to my latest mixes and song order!