In a recent tweet, Rosanne Cash said that she is obsessing over the order of songs for her new album:
Resequencing my record for 94th time even tho only 5 people in the universe listen to a record in sequence now. Don't care, obsessing anywayWithin a minute, she received over 100 replies from fans (including myself) who still find value in listening to whole albums, in order.
— rosanne cash (@rosannecash) August 23, 2013
I don't do it all the time, of course. Listening to various songs by different artists is how music fans have listened to the radio for longer than I have been alive. Clearly, there's no harm is doing the same with our personal music collections.
But some albums are so well put together, and have a common theme running throughout, that they actually have a stronger impact when heard in their entirety, in the intended sequence.
It's a matter of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.
My favorite CD's to listen to in order (ironically, this list is in no particular order):
[Yes, I realize that there is nothing recent here. I'm old. I'm entitled to hold songs from my generation more dear to my heart than songs from your generation. Cut me some slack.]
Like Red on a Rose (Alan Jackson)
Control (Janet Jackson)
King's Record Shop (Rosanne Cash)
Bill (Tripping Daisy)
Tunnel Of Love (Bruce Springsteen)
She's So Unusual (Cyndi Lauper)
My Life (Ronnie Milsap)
Brothers in Arms (Dire Straits)
Lubbock Texas in my Rear View Mirror (Mac Davis)
The Memphis Record (Elvis)
Centerfield (John Fogerty)
Will the Circle Be Unbroken II (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)
Graceland (Paul Simon)
The Magazine (Rickie Lee Jones)
Songs in the Key of Life (Stevie Wonder)
Volume 1 (Traveling Wilburys)
Rattle and Hum (U2)
Got any you want to add to the list?