Single (music)


August 19, 2022

The record single (or more simply single) is a recording medium (in shellac, vinyl, CD, cassette, digital download or other) that usually contains less than four tracks. Initially used as a synonym for singles, it subsequently went on to define singles in cassette format, then CDs and finally also singles distributed exclusively through digital download or streaming.



The singles can be produced on various phonographic supports and in various formats, shellac, vinyl or CD, or in digital download.


As for vinyl, the typical format of the single is 7 "(seven inches) at 45 revolutions per minute, but it is also possible to find them in 10" (ten inches) and 12 "formats and also at different rotations: 78 spins like 33 spins. Side A is in most cases a song extracted from a record album that is played individually on radio or television networks with exclusively or almost exclusively musical content, often accompanied by a video clip aimed at promoting both the album and the artist. who engraved it. For this greater exposure than the other tracks on the album, this song is therefore also released individually (hence the single name) for listeners who are interested in listening to it, but perhaps not in that of the entire album. Side B usually contains a song presumably of less artistic value, and in any case of less commercial potential. However, it happens that the success of an individual can be determined by the greater appreciation by consumers of the B side compared to the A side. The 12 "(twelve inch) single is called" maxi single "or" mix "and is mainly produced for the radio disc jockey and discotheque circuit. The reason for using this type of support is mainly due to the best dynamics quality that at very high volumes allow a higher quality reproduction than the 7 "at 45 rpm. The greater capacity of the support also allows more space for songs of longer duration, for remixes or dance adaptations of the song. The tracks contained in a vinyl single are usually divided into side A and side B, except in singles containing a double side A.


The single CD is a music single in the form of a full-sized compact disc. It is not to be confused with the mini single CD, which uses a smaller form and is also sometimes referred to as a single CD. The format began to gain a place in the market in the early 1990s. With the rise of digital downloads in the 2000s, single CD sales declined. Commercially released single CDs can vary in length from one track (one side A and one side B, in the tradition of 7 "45 rpm records) up to four different tracks, as in Single Maxi CDs (singles with at least three tracks). . Some contain mixes of one or more tracks (known as remixes), in the custom of 12 "vinyl singles and, in some cases, may even contain a video clip of the single itself, so they become enhanced CDs, as well as an enhanced CD. collectible poster.

Digital Download

The Internet age introduced music downloading and streaming, giving the ability to purchase each track of an album separately, and the term "single" has remained in popular parlance to also mean a particularly popular song by an artist. Demand for digital music has risen rapidly since the launch of Apple's iTunes Store in January 2001 and the creation of portable digital music players such as the iPod. In September 1997, with the release of Duran Duran's Electric Barbarella as a paid download, Capitol Records became the first major studio to sell a digital single by an artist known.