Vinyl/Records with one track: A or A1?


Title kind of says it all - if there’s a vinyl release with only one track on a side, should we number the track like:

A - Song
A1 - Song

Couldn’t find anything in google/our style stuff.


I think both are fine. If there is one track on one side and more tracks on the other, I think it would be more consistent to write A1, B1, B2 etc. If there are only two tracks in total, I would personally use A and B, though I would always follow what’s on the release itself.


There is a style proposal (request for comments) about this by @hawke.


I personally like A1 in all cases, for consistency.


I generally use A and B, as it matches what we usually say when talking about the single’s 2 songs and it matches what is printed on labels (SIDE A: song 1 / SIDE B: song 2)

If the label is printed as SIDE 1, SIDE 2, I use numbers instead.
If the label of a tape is 1/2, I may use tracks like 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4. Maybe it’s bad.
I think I’ve used A1, A2 in these cases but I feel I could have also done it with numbers, can’t remember clearly.


To be honest, I’ve never even considered going with ‘as printed’ for these kind of track numbers, because that’s something that personally I really want consistency with (in terms of tagging). I never even thought of leaving it up to the artist/ packaging designer.

I’m not dismissing it though, it’s good information to store (although does it really help people find a release? and if I upload scans as well we’re not losing information are we? common alternate tracklists…). But I dunno. Most LP’s don’t have any numbers on the back anyway so by adding a letter we’re already doing some sort of standardization.

Guess we’re split on this one huh?
Leaning towards always putting in a number, largely because of the example where there’s one track on one side, and multiple on the other - doesn’t hurt to put the number in.

That proposal doesn’t cover this question (one track per side, what format to use), so maybe we can nail it down here.


That’s completely correct, @aerozol, I had just used A and B because it sounded more natural to me than A1 and B1 (without A2 and B2).

I’m looking to the part of my collection that’s already in MB and it appears that my SIDE 11.1, 1.2, etc. was just a digression as most of my tapes show side 1/2 but I only have set them as A1, A2, etc…

But all my 2 track vinyls — only a handful of 45 tours and one 33 tours — are consistently set as A/B, without asking any questions to myself, it looked obviously natural.


It does, more specifically, the “Unnumbered tracks” section proposes:

If the track listing is entirely un-numbered, number them in order starting with one.


Here’s an example of using what is printed:


Personally I don’t mind the kind of “as printed” exemplified by that Public Enemy release. (The medium titles are another story but not relevant here).

It becomes a problem when you get to things like “this side 1” and “the other side 3” or “orange 5” ( especially when the side is only colored orange and doesn’t actually have that text printed).

Also for non English releases where they say things like “cara 1” (“face 1”) instead of “side 1”, I see no need to record that info at least not as track number


as long as we’re clear that it should be A1/B1 rather than 1/2. I don’t object to A/B alone if that’s all the sides say. 1/2 alone is a problem because it doesn’t make it clear that it’s a 2-sided medium.


There is a different field in the database for that, the position (as opposed to the number). At least in the API, that just counts 1, 2, 3,… for each medium. Not sure if Picard exposes it, but it’d be a perfectly reasonable thing to tag with.


Specifically, I want my vinyl tags to be consistent (eg A1, A2 etc).
But it really isn’t the end of the world if not.

The only thing I feel like I’ve been doing wrong is this:

If the numbering does not restart at 1, use the number on the release: A1, A2, A3 / B4, B5, B6.

I’ve always been going back to B1, because I thought because that’s how I preferred it that’s what naturally everyone else would prefer as well :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
edit: because this one I do think can be misunderstood, B4 I wouldn’t assume to be the first track on that side

Pretty clear artist intent there!
But in cases where it’s not so clear/ one track per side I’m starting to feel like people don’t really care that much either way/don’t think it’s that important to make a decision/wouldn’t want to change how they personally do it? Yeah?


My interpretation of your current style proposal is A1/B1 only, maybe that should be clarified?

Yeah, except that I don’t mind to change how I personally do.
Any prefix (A/B/1./2./P/E/G/M/orange/pineapple/…) to track numbers, is something that will probably disappear in the (distant) future, once sides/layers/folders will be distinguished in the database schema.
Thus, I don’t mind to use either conventional ones (A/B) or descriptive ones (1-/2-/P/E/G/M/orange/pinapple). In both cases, side-related data can be put in the medium title and/or release annotation.
But I care that whatever style guideline is adopted (if any) has to be very clear and as concise as possible, that is, with as little special cases as possible.


I would count that as “For releases which have their own lettering format” but I don’t have any strong feelings one way or the other for “A1/B1” vs. just “A/B”.


Some singles uses A & AA (instead of A & B).


That is specifically called out in the proposal, yes


I’m comfortable with whatever notation format is printed on the release.