Greatest hits get tiresome and I think I am suffering burnout on it. Not because artists are putting out greatest hits or best off collections, it’s because Spotify has the same popular songs from artists across hundreds of their own generated playlists like, songs to run to, work out to, songs of the 80’s, hard rock songs, glam rock songs and so forth. And then you go to the artist account and of course, the top 5 songs for the artist are the ones on the Spotify generated playlists.
And if all we do is listen to the most played songs, the hits, then we are missing out on the real good stuff. But it’s hard to escape the greatest hits, because the internet and every social media platform, push us to check out what is trending and what everyone else is checking out.
But to be popular or to make something popular, the creator is leaving out the important parts of the song, in case it turns people away, like a lyric that deals with dark thoughts or a guitar solo which takes the song into the 5 minute mark. You want a hit, call Max Martin, who has a team of writers working on the same song,
In other words, simplify things in exchange for attention.
It’s easier than it sounds, otherwise artists will go straight to the hit, or a director wont make those small indie films and make just the hit film.
Because no one will know what is a hit until they release it.
The Beatles recorded hundreds of songs before they even broke big. Black Sabbath never had a hit but are seen as hit makers today. David Coverdale wrote hundreds of songs before he hit the charts in a big way with the 87 album.
And the music we love, the soundtrack to our youth, well, those songs didn’t really get to number 1. Same deal for the books I read, the articles I read, the journals I read and documentaries I watched, that formed my viewpoints and shaped me.
Popular doesn’t mean the best. It’s just popular.
Remember “Gangnam Style” or “Achy Breaky Heart”.
Check out this great post from Seth Godin about Hits.