Playing God: Changing The Track Sequence Of Albums

My good friend Paul recently asked me what percentage of my music collection was still in its original running order. It got me thinking.

Recently, as of maybe 2012, I have found myself using technology (iTunes mainly) to reorder the sequence of tracks on albums that I listen to. I think I first started this regularly maybe when I heard Gamma Ray’s To The Metal album had different tracklistings in different countries and that it flowed better in the version I did NOT have, so I tried it the other way and hey, it DID work better. Some people hate Motley Crue’s Theater Of Pain, but I reordered the tracks and came to love it. Its now my favourite Crue album. That’s how big a difference that it can make for me. Nowadays if I find a NWOBHM album with a ballad in the middle, and a slow song first, I’ll swap the songs around so it goes from fastest to slowest.

Today, I made the decision to swap a track around on Children Of Bodom’s fifth album Are You Dead Yet, because on that album, every time I choose to listen to it I skip straight to the title-track and miss out on the opener. Making the title track the opener just makes more sense for me. So now it is. There are however, some albums that I could never ever listen to in any other order. It seems absolutely impossible to listen to Dark Side Of The Moon in any other sequence and even hearing just one track makes me want to hear the next one on the album. Slipknot’s debut is the same. It is my Dark Side Of The Moon for how influential it was on my musical development and where it came in my music discovering world.

Yesterday I discovered (thanks to a review by fellow blogger LeBrain) that I’d been missing out on Quiet Riot’s song “Slick Black Cadillac” from their Metal Health album for about three years because I accidentally failed to (or a technical error caused it to happen) ever rip it into my iTunes. These days I rarely use my CDs anymore apart from on day 1 of purchase when I rip them to the computer. I used to be CD obsessed and was a real late bloomer getting into digital music (I’ll still buy a CD nine times out of ten rather than buy it digitally, or stream it). But yeah, for the past few years, CDs rarely get used and that made me miss out on this nice Quiet Riot track.

This has now resulted in me reordering the whole Metal Health album, rockers first, slow tracks and ballads last. Its interesting, because to many, Metal Health may be their Slipknot’s debut or Dark Side Of The Moon and the idea of playing it out of order would seem awful.

Now its done and I like the new running order.

What do you readers think?
Do you keep running orders set in stone or change things you don’t like?
Which albums could you never ever change?


  1. Thanks for the mention! I don’t change my track orders. I keep them “official”. I fully admit that track order can make or break an album though.

    Great post idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still reckon I change <1% of my music collection. But sometimes, its just too tempting with the ease of iTunes.

      So is making intros disappear (like the first 40 seconds of Manowar's "Warlord").

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting, you definitely have something here and I think you’re spot on about Dark Side of the Moon. You couldn’t change the line up. I have always concentrated mainly on album openers and closers as those can sometimes make or break an album. One example, on Led Zeppelin’s “In Through the Out Door” album, I thought that “All Of My Love” should have been the closer.


  3. I don’t ever play around with running orders of albums. I can see how changing it would maybe improve or hinder albums but I’m like LeBrain… I keep it ‘official’.


  4. A good question Jimmy – I think I’m with the others where I might feel some running orders could be enhanced but I end up leaving it as is anyways!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s