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Difference Between Album and Record

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The main difference between album and record is that an album refers to the finalized and full-length songs of an artist, while the record pertains to the single released music of a singer.

We are all excited every time our favorite music artists make and release their new songs. However, they sometimes release a teaser song before revealing the whole collection. This teaser song is what we call the record. Record is one song released by the music artist and their management. A record is a single song part of the whole singer's music collection. On the other hand, an album is an artist's total, complete, and entire song collection.

To further explain the difference between album and record, let us explore and know why these two categories matter in every music artist's journey, especially for the Grammy Awards.

What is an Album?

montero lil nas x
The cover of MONTERO, the Album of Lil Nas X nominated for the Grammy awards 2022 (Album of the Year)

A singer or songwriter makes music and songs of various kinds of a genre to compile it altogether and create an album. Technically, an album is the assortment and compilation of music recordings being released by the singer in various forms such as compact disc (CD), audio, vinyl, or other formats of online distribution like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and others.

Making an album also has a format according to music listening platforms. They are claiming that an album is a recording output that should only include more than thirty (30) minutes of musical content made by one musical artist.

Usually, most albums are performed in enclosed spaces, also called studios. However, the recording setup would still depend on the artist and producer. Some prefer to record their songs at home or make a live version of them by performing them in a live audience and recording it simultaneously. An album takes time to build and craft, a successful recorded album typically created in months to years.

What is a Record?

montero call me by your name
MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X, the Record of the album, was also nominated for the Grammy awards 2022 (Record of the Year)

One way and technique that singers do is releasing a single song before they reveal their whole and complete album. The record is a way to give hints and ideas to their listeners that they are planning to release an album. This method is called the record. A record is the single that is part of an album being launched ahead to the listeners.

Singers are also sometimes making a music video about their released single to make it more likable and make their album look more attractive to the listeners. It is a process to help their upcoming album release to be appealing to their fans and audience.

Differences Between an Album and a Record

Even though an album and record are connected and usually linked together, they still differ in the music industry context.

Complete List of Songs

An album is the entire and complete list of the music artist's songs. It consists of all the compiled songs released in one storage or one album. Usually, an album has seven or more songs depending on the singer; some of them also release another album consisting of additional songs called an album deluxe.

Single Track

The record is the single track of music being released by the singer to announce an upcoming album to be launched subtly. A record is a song that is part of their album; however, it is being released ahead of the completed compilation of songs.

Comparison Chart: Album Vs Record

Level of Comparison AlbumRecord
DefinitionThe completed and compiled song made by one music artistA single track that belongs to the unreleased album of the performing artist
The Grammy AwardAlbum of the Year (A Grammy Award for the whole album)Record of the Year (A Grammy Award for the single record and its performing artist)
Who can receive this Grammy Award?Album producer, recording and sound developers, the musical artistAlbum producer, Performing Artist, recording and sound developers
Other relevant meaningsCollection and assortment of songsOne track is being released before the whole album

Similitudes Between an Album and a Record

Both album and record are important categories and are always considered whenever the musical or performing artist releases a new song. This is vital to make a public announcement about their upcoming album to be announced after releasing their single record track.

The Grammy Award: Album and Record Award

If you are a music lover and a fan of various music artists and genres, you may be fond of watching awards shows like the famous Grammy Awards for the artists.

The Recording Academy makes Grammy awards to commemorate and acknowledge different artists that have been part of outstanding achievements in the music industry. This award is well known because it has awarded prominent music artists and singer-songwriters such as Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Taylor Swift, Adele, Kanye West, etc. The Grammy Awards is an annual celebration and awarding of the top music and big hits.

A Grammy award consists of four major categories in which your favorite music artist can be nominated. However, we will only be focusing on the year's album and record of the year award.

Album of the Year

The Grammy award's album of the year is closely similar to the best picture award in the movie and film category of the Academy Award. We all knew that album of the year is the highest, most distinguished, and significant award in the music industry.

This award recognizes the entire album, its tracks and singles, the production, recording setup, and everything that involves the complete album. Traditionally, the recognition of the album of the year only goes to the music artists, but now, the entire production and recording crew or staff are also being honored and recognized as part of the award.

The 2021 winner of the Grammy award's album of the year was "Folklore" by Taylor Swift. Meanwhile, "Future Nostalgia" by Dua Lipa and "Chilombo" by Jhene Aiko was nominated for this award.

Record of the Year

Some may confuse the record of the year to the song of the year award by Grammy awards, but these two are entirely different categories. The record of the year is awarded and given to the performing artist of the album. The record of the year also honors the single, or the track released ahead of the album. Thus, the record of the year award also recognizes the entire production and recording crew or staff that is part of the recording session of the single record.

The 2021 winner of the Grammy award's record of the year was "Everything I Wanted" by Billie Eilish, while "Black Parade" by Beyonce, "Say So" by Doja Cat, and "Circles" by Post Malone were nominees for the record of the year award.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Record of the Year Award and Song of the Year Award different?

Yes. The record of the year award is given to the artist who performed the song in the album. The award also honors the entire production and recording staff. On the other hand, the song of the year award is awarded to the songwriter who wrote the musical piece. Both of these awards are given by the Grammy Awards.

Is the record part of an album?

Most artists put their single track record as part of their album. However, some new artists might be exploring their craft, and they are only releasing single tracks which can be eventually compiled into one album.

Are music artists naming their album title as their single record?

Some singers usually name their album as their single record to create a recall; however, some use a different album name.

Are musical artists often making music videos for their records?

Some of them use the music video platform to successfully release their single track record; this also helps boost their album and make it more appealing to the audience.


We all love music. Who doesn't? Music gives us entertainment for our everyday lives. That is why musicians, songwriters, music artists, and singers play an important role in this industry. Without their talents, no one will produce any music and sounds. We must care for them and support their crafts in any possible way.


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About the Author: Nicolas Seignette

Nicolas Seignette, who holds a scientific baccalaureate, began his studies in mathematics and computer science applied to human and social sciences (MIASHS). He then continued his university studies with a DEUST WMI (Webmaster and Internet professions) at the University of Limoges before finishing his course with a professional license specialized in the IT professions. On 10Differences, he is in charge of the research and the writing of the articles concerning technology, sciences and mathematics.
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