Single tracks digital pre-releases from forthcoming albums

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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?

Digital releases

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.


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’.