Weekly survey: Do you listen to songs on an album in the prescribed order or do you shuffle them up?

When an artist finishes recording an album, they go through the agonizing progress of sequencing the songs. Do the songs need to be in a specific order to tell a story? If it’s a concept album, absolutely. But even if it’s not, an artist looks to create a music experience through how the music flows. You want the highs in the right place balanced out by just the right lows in the correct position. Put the singles closer to the front. That kind of thing.

Adele wanted her 30 album to be experienced in a specific way, which is why she hates the “shuffle” button on streaming music interfaces. So when the album came out last week, she asked Spotify to do something about the default location and appearance of the shuffle button whenever someone calls up the landing page for an album. And Spotify listened.

Me? I love the idea. The shuffle button has been ruining most album listening since it first appeared with some CD players in the middle 1980s. I believe the artist’s vision for how they want to be heard should be sacrosanct.

But that’s just me. Do you shuffle songs when listening to an album?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38427 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “Weekly survey: Do you listen to songs on an album in the prescribed order or do you shuffle them up?

  • Always in order and always from the start to the end of the album….. Just like it is supposed to be listened to.

  • When I listen to albums I always listen in order. I think I may have pressed the shuffle button a bunch of times in a row as a pre-teen when my parents first got a CD player to see what order it would play the songs each time, but not since.


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