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A challenge for snobby musicians


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You may have said it yourself, certainly you have heard your friends or associates say it:

 

"This ____(pick a genre: rap, country, pop, techno, trance, country etc.) music is BS, any idiot with a _________(pick a tool: computer, software, synth, drum machine, guitar, etc.) can make a "song" in a couple of hours and it will be a hit."

 

So my challenge is: pick the genre you think requires the least talent and effort and make a hit song. Then come back here and prove that you're correct. Preferably come back showing your song on the charts. If your too lazy to distribute and promote your record and make millions of dollars you can at least post it on-line and we'll tell you if it sounds like a hit.

 

Have at it.

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Originally posted by hard truth:

You may have said it yourself, certainly you have heard your friends or associates say it:

 

"This ____(pick a genre: rap, country, pop, techno, trance, country etc.) music is BS, any idiot with a _________(pick a tool: computer, software, synth, drum machine, guitar, etc.) can make a "song" in a couple of hours and it will be a hit."

 

So my challenge is: pick the genre you think requires the least talent and effort and make a hit song. Then come back here and prove that you're correct. Preferably come back showing your song on the charts. If your too lazy to distribute and promote your record and make millions of dollars you can at least post it on-line and we'll tell you if it sounds like a hit.

 

Have at it.

Great idea! But I have no talent, so all my music are suck. :D

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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it's a stupid question/challenge...unless you're willing to post how you went about writing your 'hit' song you're not really qualified to ask it AND certainly not qualified to judge someone else's ability to do it and/or judge

 

in otherwords, sometimes people aren't snobs, sometimes you just don't like their opinions

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Sorry, Hard Truth, but your premise is flawed.

 

Most times, people say those things to indicate that the artist managed to get enough backing for promotion to have a hit record. Sometimes sexual favors are involved. More often, good looks and half decent talent plus weaseling your way into the good graces of powerful people does the trick. At that, some people are masterful. Has nothing to do with being able to write great pop material.

 

Let me put it another way.

 

Mark Chestnutt released a song as a single from an early album and it garnered no interest. Was the song just not hit material?

 

Well, consider that shortly thereafter, Garth Brooks released the same song, albeit a better version (IMO) and it made him a superstar with a capitol "S".

 

The song was Friends In Low Places.

 

So, obviously, it wasn't something wrong with the song that kept Mark Chestnutt from becoming what Garth Brooks became. It was a lot of things, from production, to his voice, to his attitude in singing the song. That's even before you factor in $$$ in promotion and after dollars spent getting that song in front of the right people to even make it as a simple cut, alongside 10 others on an album and hundreds of others released on albums that year.

 

Which makes your challenge pretty useless.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

Soundclick

fntstcsnd

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

Mark Chestnutt released a song as a single from an early album and it garnered no interest. Was the song just not hit material? Well, consider that shortly thereafter, Garth Brooks released the same song, albeit a better version (IMO) and it made him a superstar with a capitol "S". The song was Friends In Low Places.

You're kidding, I never knew that! I wonder what album that was on. I'd like to hear his version.

> > > [ Live! ] < < <

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Fantastic sound wrote:

"Most times, people say those things to indicate that the artist managed to get enough backing for promotion to have a hit record. Sometimes sexual favors are involved. More often, good looks and half decent talent plus weaseling your way into the good graces of powerful people does the trick. At that, some people are masterful. Has nothing to do with being able to write great pop material."

 

No question many (if not most)successful artists make it for reasons beyond their actual musical talent.

 

That's why I am offering the alternative method for meeting my challenge. Just make your hit song in the genre requiring no talent, post it on-line and let your fellow forumites see if it really sounds like a hit in that genre.

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I'm don't understand your premise Hard Truth. Having a "hit" song often has nothing to do with musical talent. A hit song comes about when a large enough slice of the population goes and buys a copy. What will that prove? Sales of CDs says nothing about talent.

 

You're touching on value-judgements about talent which must be identified by an individual, and then you intend to "confirm" these value-judgements by way of a popularity contest, i.e., by what the masses decide.

 

What problem are you trying to solve exactly?

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Hmmm... I really am not a fan of the genre range of techno/electronica/trance/rave etc except Bjork, but I think alot of that stuff is one genre that people started nitpicking into different genres probably over a different snare or something... and while I think alot of it sounds alike, sometimes uninspired and been-there-done-that, and sometimes I knock it, I can't deny that some of that music (not all) does take some degree of skill or talent - however it is so easy today to putout something in these genres, to a degree of quality or accessibility - what with softsynths and synth-oriented keyboard patches, etc.
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The song was Friends In Low Places.[/qb]
You're kidding, I never knew that! I wonder what album that was on. I'd like to hear his version.[/QB]

 

That's on Mark Chestnutt's Too Cold At Home Album.

I don't care if you boo. As long as you boo in key.-Jimi Hendrix.
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Originally posted by LanceMo:

A hit song comes about when a large enough slice of the population goes and buys a copy.

Even that is not entirely true. A song climbs the charts through spins on radio. That's accomplished through marketing, which is $$$ thrown at ad campaigns, promotion agencies and gift/favors thrown at program directors.

 

Sales data for albums isn't determined by actual sales of albums to consumers, either. It's determined by how many copies of said recording are shipped to distributors. That's accomplished by basically the same means - ad campaigns, promotion agencies and the right palms being greased. Many albums don't actually sell the required amount of copies to earn gold or platinum status until years after they are awarded it. They often languish in warehouses until they're sold to discount clearing houses or put in cut-out bins.

 

Kinda f*&ked up, but that's the nature of the business we're in. :(

Later..................
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Originally posted by Roadie:

The song was Friends In Low Places.
You're kidding, I never knew that! I wonder what album that was on. I'd like to hear his version.
That's on Mark Chestnutt's Too Cold At Home Album.
Exactly! And while Mark failed to succeed with Friends In Low Places, he did become a star with Too Cold At Home, Your Love Is A Miracle and Brother Jukebox. ;)

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

Soundclick

fntstcsnd

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the missing ingredient in your challenge is the millions of dollars that it takes to make a hit song these days. i hardly think that anyone could work hard enough out of their bedroom to make a song a top 10 smash in any genre. if you put your money where your mouth is, and put up about $750k to market or promote such song, THEN we'll have a contest....hell, maybe we could get the networks involved, it could be a reality TV show?!?
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>Hard...where were you when "Mr. Nice" was around a few months back?

 

I was here and tangled with him a little bit, I just didn't waste time carrying it on very long.

 

His mentality (the notion that only music created in a specific manner is legitimate, everything else is easy and stupid.) is what I'm trying to call out with my challenge.

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Originally posted by 61Pbass:

Originally posted by LanceMo:

A hit song comes about when a large enough slice of the population goes and buys a copy.

Even that is not entirely true. A song climbs the charts through spins on radio. That's accomplished through marketing, which is $$$ thrown at ad campaigns, promotion agencies and gift/favors thrown at program directors.

 

Sales data for albums isn't determined by actual sales of albums to consumers, either. It's determined by how many copies of said recording are shipped to distributors. That's accomplished by basically the same means - ad campaigns, promotion agencies and the right palms being greased. Many albums don't actually sell the required amount of copies to earn gold or platinum status until years after they are awarded it. They often languish in warehouses until they're sold to discount clearing houses or put in cut-out bins.

(

Actually, the Billboard charts are done with SoundScan data, which is pretty much sales-driven. You're describing the old way the charts were done, but that changed back in 1991.
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While this is true, Chris, Soundscan only polls a small percentage of album sales, IIRC. They still use some distribution data IIRC.

 

And as for the notion of $$$ thrown at marketing and program directors at radio stations, that is still true although they've gone to great lengths to hide slush money in legitimate transactions.

 

If you throw enough money at mediocre product some of it will sell. It takes a real stinker to overcome the wave of support well spent money can create. ;)

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

Soundclick

fntstcsnd

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Originally posted by hard truth:

You may have said it yourself, certainly you have heard your friends or associates say it:

 

"This ____(pick a genre: rap, country, pop, techno, trance, country etc.) music is BS, any idiot with a _________(pick a tool: computer, software, synth, drum machine, guitar, etc.) can make a "song" in a couple of hours and it will be a hit."

 

So my challenge is: pick the genre you think requires the least talent and effort and make a hit song. Then come back here and prove that you're correct. Preferably come back showing your song on the charts. If your too lazy to distribute and promote your record and make millions of dollars you can at least post it on-line and we'll tell you if it sounds like a hit.

 

Have at it.

If you're really ready for a 'hard truth', then consider that making a song into a hit is primarily a financial endeavor that has little or nothing to do with the audio content or the quality of performance.

 

If you have any doubt of this, go find the mid-60's single 'They're Coming to Take Me Away' by Napoleon Bonaparte XV and give it a listen...

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I thought Billboard now reflected units shipped to retail, not actual retail sales,hence the record companies' ability to manipulate chart position. I thought that Billboard used to track actual retail sales.

 

Of course, I could be wrong (and most likely am).

www.ruleradio.com

"Fame is like death: We will never know what it looks like until we've reached the other side. Then it will be impossible to describe and no one will believe you if you try."

- Sloane Crosley, Village Voice

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Phil- I'm surprised at you! Coming to Take me Away Ha Ha is one of the Greatest Recordings of All time. It was so good that it was banned from radio after becoming a huge hit. I'm not kidding.

 

Not much to it from a traditional musical perspective, but the spare, simple audio setting and the edginess in the voice successfully convey the artist's intended mood and message quite effectively. There was never anything quite like it before. (Although Spike Jones' version of My Old Flame comes close)

 

I predict some day in the future most of the flashy bands showing off their hard earned classical skills will be long forgotten and "coming to take me away' will remain an underground classic.

 

Why?-Its funny, original, interesting and weird. Not just because of promotion.

 

I am not denying that many, if not most, records become hits due to reasons having nothing to do with the quality of the material or recording. One of my points with this thread is that many narrow-minded musicians don't appreciate that it does take skill and talent to make (for just one example) a good techno record. The skill required might not be the ability to play complex chord changes, sing with a wide range etc. Instead the artist might bring other talents such as an ear for interesting timbral combinations, a sense for using rhythmic variation to build dynamics etc.

 

The same applies to a blues artist. Muddy Waters probably wouldn't last long as a guitarist in the Tonight show orchestra, but his music will be appreciated for a long time. Every type of music needs to be judged on its own terms.

 

I do appreciate and respect those who work to develop traditional playing skills, I'm just saying that it is not the only approach to music making deserving of respect.

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Actually all popular music is BS. If it's a hit its even more certain to be crap. Since the largest group of music consumers is young teenagers anything that becomes a big seller has been put there by a bunch of nitwits whose taste is based on what they are told to like by music business professionals and marketing experts. Real music, created by artists with a passion for expression, is surpressed by the industry because it can't be manufactured and the artists aren't disposable and replaceable. True artists can achieve cult status and may even have some longevity but they almost never have hit songs, they don't follow the rules of the hit makers. Hit songs are just clever variations of the formula du jour, hardly distinguishable from one another within the same genre. Music professionals use promotion budgets and payola to insure that some of their product 'hits', it has little to do with the merit of the song.

 

That doesn't mean that it's easy to write a potential hit song either. You must be clever to put a new twist on a formula and modern production is very sophisticated and expensive.

Mac Bowne

G-Clef Acoustics Ltd.

Osaka, Japan

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I have to go with the notion that a "hit" tune isn't always associated with talent. There have been many #1 hits in the last 50 years that weren't due to an enormous amount of talent, except the talent to read the times. Plenty of silly, novelty, sappy and mindless songs have been hits due to the fact they struck a chord with the right amount of people.

 

Plus, the venom a lot of us use in our critiques of various genres are holdovers from earlier times. I might make some snide remarks about country, rap, or what's called "soul" these days, but I come from times when what made these genres great used a different criteria. Bill Haley and The Comets might have been "Rock Gods" in their day, but any group that tries putting a tune out in that style today wouldn't be taken seriously, and relegated to the novelty bin. Also, much of what you might regard as "snobbish" is mearly letting off steam. We really don't need to be actors or directors to decide if we think a particular movie sucks. You don't need to be Hemingway to figure out if some certain book bores you to the bottom of your bowels. I for one will never concede that anything done by someone who's doing something I can't or don't is great simply for that reason.

 

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Hello Mudda.

Hello Fadda.

Here I am in Camp Granada.

 

Damn boys, I gotta hit.

 

Ain't got nothing to do with talent or expertise. It's all in who you know and who you blow.

 

The casting couch is still there, albiet in different guises.

 

Our Joint

 

"When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it." The Duke...

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This was originally a rap song that we wrote. I don't have that copy, but we wrote it saying, "hey, anyone can write rap." Then we took the song and made it techno/dance. Then we took the song and made it country. Check them out:

 

(questionable lyrics)

Boobylicious-Techno

Boobylicious-Country

 

John

-----------

John\'s Songs

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