Single tracks digital pre-releases from forthcoming albums

How do we deal with tracks from albums which are made available when pre-ordering an album, but not necessarily singles?

They obviously have different release dates to the official album so should be treated as separate releases.

Single track under album release group?

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If adding a separate release, I wouldn’t add them under the same release group at all - the two aren’t equivalent in any way. My general choice, if they aren’t single-ish enough to get their own release, would be to just disregard the earlier release date and simply have them as part of the album, but I understand that’s probably not everyone’s preference.


Up to now I’ve been putting them as ‘Singles’ but obviously not always the case. I’m referring to Brian Eno’s recent single-track release of ‘The Sea’ which is a preview from the upcoming album. It’s available on Spotify only for the moment, so not commercially available for download as such.

Should we have a ‘streaming’ release medium option?

As you say, it shouldn’t share a release group with the full album. I’ve seen the “Other” release group type used for these kinds of release groups, but the single type might do.

A relevant question is “Is this a release?”. This has been discussed before, see the topic “Clarifying “Release” in a streaming world” (including my personal stance). For reference, I’ll also link my old topic “Album tracks released as singles” from the old forums which seems to handle a similar issue.

Thanks for your replies and links to other threads which I hadn’t seen.

I think at the end of the day including album pre-release single track downloads or streaming previews under the release group for the relative album might be the best idea. <My opinion!> That way at least we get an idea of the ‘history’ of the release itself, ie. seeing that a certian track or tracks were released prior to the full release.

This would be the case if the track is not to be considered a ‘single’. We are obviously talking about digital download/streaming tracks only here of course.

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Personally for one track I would just add a stand-alone recording, and add a note that that the track was available as a preview track before the album was released (with the date and relevant info so we have that history available).
I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a ‘release’.

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