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How To Pick Which Track Goes First on Your Album When None of Them Start With “AARRRREE YOOUU REAAADYYY?!”

It feels amazing to finally have all the songs recorded for your new record. But that elation can be quickly deflated when you realize you have to pick which song goes first. Especially when not a single one of them starts with a growling inquiry into the listener’s preparation status.

Not everyone can have the ingenuity of Jonathan Davis, so we put together some tips you can use to decide which track goes first on your album. Are you ready?

Use your second-best song
You want to make sure to capture the listener’s attention with your opening track, but you don’t want to just give away your best stuff within the first three minutes of your seventeen-minute masterpiece. Give them a taste of what could be your second single if your songs were any bit appropriate for radio play. That’ll nab their attention for the rest of the album.

Add a cool sample
Why start with a song at all when you can add something obscure or kind of kooky? You could start off with a clip from a 1950s nuclear fallout training video or a sentimental birthday voicemail from your uncle. The nostalgic intrigue will keep your listeners hooked.

Let your drummer count to four
This one’s an oldie but a goodie. Nothing gets people pumped up like a short list of numbers, especially when they’re in order and match the beat of an upcoming song.

Create an elaborate and incomprehensible formula
You could go down the scientific route and put together a mathematical formula to decide on the running order of your album. This may take some extra time, depending on how much attention you paid in algebra class, but it is definitely the most accurate way to pick your track listing. The only downside to this method is that you will be plagued forever by fans obsessed with cracking your code and convincing everyone around them that they understand you better than anyone. Just ask Tool.

Ask your mom
If all else fails, you can always fall back on the fan who has been there for you the longest. Your mom will be so happy you called her, she is sure to look past all the foul language in your lyrics. Let her give the input into your life that she’s always craved. After all, mother knows best!