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National Title Track Day – May 26, 2023

National Title Track Day is celebrated every year on the fourth Friday of May and this year, it falls on May 26. It’s the day in which we remember our favorite title tracks in albums and movies. But just what is the title track? To put it simply, it’s a music track that shares the name of the album or movie it belongs to. Some examples include ‘Let It Be’ by The Beatles, and ‘Back In Black’ by AC/DC. As for movies, who can forget “Ghostbusters!” They tend to be the defining and most memorable tracks of the album or movie, and some even share a name with the artist, such as “Black Sabbath” or even something like “In the Court of the Crimson King” by King Crimson.

History of National Title Track Day

We don’t know what the first title track in history was because there isn’t a lot of information available about it. But on December 22, 2017, University of Alberta professor André Costopoulos decided to review all of the albums that peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200 between 1966 and 1990, as reported by “billboard.com” as well as the top 10 albums for each of those years, as reported by “besteveralbums.com” on his blog.

He determined the percentage of albums with title tracks for both the “Billboard” list and the “Best Ever Albums” list for each year as well as the number of weeks when an album with a title track held the top spot on the Billboard 200. Only 39 out of 471 albums (8%) made both lists, which showed that early financial success and long-term viability are mostly distinct characteristics. He argued that there may have been pressure to include a title track in commercially successful albums.

Additionally, during years when title track albums were the most successful as well as the following year, the overall frequency of title tracks increased, whereas years in which title track albums performed especially poorly decreased the frequency of title tracks for that year and the following year. Also, he observed that after the release of The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be,’ George Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass,’ and John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ in 1970 and 1971, the number of title tracks appeared to start to rise.

National Title Track Day timeline

1957
The Movie “Jailhouse Rock” Comes Out

Possibly the earliest movie with a title track, it stars Elvis Presley and he sings the song.

1970
Title Tracks Get a Kick-start

The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ and George Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’ come out this year, and both of them have title tracks, which results in other albums having them.

1974
The Album “Bad Company” Comes Out

Possibly the first “title track hat trick,” it’s by the band, Bad Company, and its title track is ‘Bad Company.’

December 22, 2017
Costopoulos Surveys Albums with Title Tracks

Likely the first, he surveys top albums from 1966 to 1990 and documents how the trend evolved over the years.

National Title Track Day FAQs

Why do albums have title tracks?

The intent is usually to serve as a thematic starting point for the musicians or to sum up an album’s essence into one memorable song, usually at the end.

Can songs have the same name?

Yes, this is because the U.S. copyright law considers “names, titles, and short phrases” to possess an “insufficient amount of authorship or creativity.”

Is ‘TT’ by TWICE a title track?

Not in the western sense, but in the Korean music industry, the term is used to describe a promoted song on an album, like a single, regardless of the song’s title. So in the Korean sense, yes it is.

National Title Track Day Activities

  1. Listen to your favorite title tracks

    Enjoy the songs on their own, the complete albums, or even watch the music videos. If there are any movies you like with title tracks, you could watch those as well.

  2. Do a cover of your favorite title tracks

    If you have musical talent, put it to good use! You don’t need to upload the cover on the Internet if it’s not your thing, you can play it for your friends and family or just yourself.

  3. Listen to The Title Trackers

    The Title Trackers is a band that takes popular albums without a title track and imagines what that one could be like. They call them ‘Lost Title Tracks,’ and have made songs inspired by U2, The Clash, The Rolling Stones, and more.

5 Fun Facts About Title Tracks

  1. ‘Heroes’

    The David Bowie song is considered by “Paste Magazine” to be the best title track of all time.

  2. River Deep, Mountain High’

    The Ike & Tina Turner song cost a then-unheard-of $22,000 and required 21 session musicians.

  3. ‘Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay’

    This song by Otis Redding was recorded days before his death and was released posthumously, and it became his #1 single.

  4. Is This It

    The opening track to The Strokes’ debut album influenced many musicians like Jared Followill of Kings of Leon, who said that when he was 15, this one was one of the first bass lines he ever learned and that it was one of the main reasons he wanted to be in a band.

  5. ‘The Sound of Silence’

    This somber Simon & Garfunkel song was curiously inspired by a time Simon was writing songs in the bathroom, for it has the best acoustics, and turned off the lights.

Why We Love National Title Track Day

  1. It’s a good excuse to listen to our favorite songs

    We don’t really need an excuse, but if you’re an avid music fan, there are probably so many songs you love, that it’s easy to forget about some of them. Thinking exclusively about title tracks makes it easy to remember some of these songs we’ve been neglecting for some time.

  2. It’s a time to share music with others

    One thing that’s better than listening to music on your own is to show it to friends and family. Ask them what they think about your favorite title tracks, and if they love them as much as you do, that’s an absolute win.

  3. It’s a day where you can learn to play a new song

    If you’re a musician, it can be tough to pick what you want to learn how to play or sing next. But this day can be used to narrow down your options. You can learn ‘Battery’ any other time, today focus on ‘Master of Puppets.’

National Title Track Day dates

YearDateDay
2022May 27Friday
2023May 26Friday
2024May 24Friday
2025May 23Friday
2026May 22Friday

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