What is the best way to pick singles for an album?

I've been planning out an album. I have almost all of the songs written and I've trying to decide how many and which tracks should be released as singles. What's the best way to decide this?

Update:

I am a solo and independent artist

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  • 4 weeks ago
    Favourite answer

    It's usually marketing people who choose that.  But in the absence of that you could do "focus groups".  Play the album for some friends and get them to tell you which one they would pick.  Artists themselves are often surprised by what sells and what doesn't.  And in some ways, that's the way it should be.  The artist should create based on what they want and the sales are based on what other people want.  Only crappy art gets made if the artist tries to make what the people want.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Generally, the person signing the checks gets final say over what gets onto an album and what doesn't. But there's a wide variety within that generality. Sometimes the label executives are closely involved in the process all the way through, including selecting which tracks will be singles, which will be album filler and so on.

    Focus groups are often used to choose new songs, which sometimes can make sense as those groups usually mirror the band's demographic. Sometimes, it's the band that makes the request!

    It's often my experience that many bands aren't objective enough to know what may be a potential single. Some would rather choose the song they like to play, rather than a simpler, more commercially viable song.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    My band was originally supposed to release a debut in 2003. I wasnt behind the project at all. It was against the sound I was after with the band. But at that time I had no power to influence anything. So, I snuck the rough demos to the record company and pretended that they were a finished product which we wanted to record. I pretended to be really excited about it and that it was my idea, because I knew they would especially reject them on the basis of that. Ultimately I got what I wanted and they rejected the demos. 

    I notified the band that somehow the record company found out about our rough mixes and rejected them. We then held a band meeting and it was determined that we needed to fire the rhythm guitarist and drummer as they would hamper our ability to advance as far as we go as a band (with them out of the way there was only the pesky shortsighted vocalist to worry about, but luckily we didnt have to do much, he couldnt take the pressures of touring and recording another album so he quit). 

    So, you want the best way to chose singles for an album? Find someone who is very professional and will critizise the schit out of your work. 

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