Jump to content

What Sells A Song - The Lyrics Or The Melody ?


Recommended Posts

  • Members

I think there are actually four components to consider - melody, lyric, rhythm and harmonic structure. Different styles of music, indeed different songs, will depend on these in differing order and in differing degrees.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

If you're asking what factors are most important to literally "sell a song" to consumers in the marketplace, I would answer: The quality of the song, the quality of the performance, the quality of the recording, the type of song and popularity of the genre, the popularity of the artist, and the promotional exposure the song receives in various media - and not necessarily in that order.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Clear Channel Communications, Inc. is an American mass media company headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.[3] It was founded in 1972 by Lowry Mays and Red McCombs, and was taken private by Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP in a leveraged buyout in 2008.[4] Clear Channel specializes in radio broadcasting, concert promotion and hosting, and fixed advertising in the United States through its subsidiaries.

 

Clear Channel is the largest owner of full-power AM, FM, and shortwave radio stations and twelve radio channels on XM Satellite Radio, and is also the largest pure-play radio station owner and operator. The group was in the television business until it sold all of its TV stations to Newport Television in 2008.

 

With 850 stations, Clear Channel is the largest radio station group owner in the United States, both by number of stations and by revenue. The 850 stations reach more than 110 million listeners every week, and 237 million every month. According to BIA Financial Network, Clear Channel Media & Entertainment recorded more than $3.5 billion in revenues in as of 2005, $1 billion more than the number-two group owner, CBS Radio.[20

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

The crazy, symbiotic melding of words to a melody, tweaked by a heartwenchingballbustinggetyououttayerseatsmakesyoureevaluateallyouknow chord progression supporting or "against" or somehow bringing to life your new passion to exist!

 

easy

 

But in a word.. bend

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Clear Channel decides what is played on the radio. Youngsters buy songs they like on the radio from iTunes. Clear Channel decides what songs get sold. All this creative blah blah blah is just wishful thinking... Sorry ....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Payola, in the American music industry, is the illegal practice of payment or other inducement by record companies for the broadcast of recordings on music radio in which the song is presented as being part of the normal day's broadcast. Under U.S. law, 47 U.S.C.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

I think there are actually four components to consider - melody, lyric, rhythm and harmonic structure. Different styles of music, indeed different songs, will depend on these in differing order and in differing degrees.

Agreed but there's a 'meta-element' missing from your list: the hook. Of course, that's one or more different elements in a given song -- to the extent the song has any hook at all -- obviously, one person's hook can be another's annoyance.

 

 

Of course, everyone's different. Many people say they never listen to the lyrics at all. And, to be sure, even though I came to songwriting from the world of prose and poetry, there are a lot of songs I love that I have no idea what the lyrics mean -- or even what they are. And I don't just meant bossa novas in Portugese or chansons in French. There are plenty of English language songs I love where I may recognize or even remember a few of the specific lyrics, but have no idea what the song is 'about.' Sometimes I'll investigate such a song and find that the lyric is really great and be sorry I didn't listen harder earlier. Perhaps a little more often such songs may have less than compelling lyrics.

 

On the flipside, there are some songs where the music is little more than a formality and the words take center stage. I listen to a lot of folk and traditional music as well as old time country, and in much of the body of traditional works, storytelling is primary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

 

...and in much of the body of traditional works, storytelling is primary.

 

 

Well said.

 

I put in Greg Laswell's new CD yesterday and the 1st track... it had this soaring, uplifting, transcend your limitations sort of vibe. I was driving and just felt great. Windows open and just feeling it. Awesome track. Then I look up the words to post here in the FIT and lo and behold, it's an eff you song. And it worked great that way too. And of course, an eff you song can have all those qualities above as well. Why not.

 

It is primal storytelling.

 

I realize, Blue, you were referring to traditional works as more primal, but I like that concept for songs in general. Primal isn't simplistic. On the contrary, it's a pretty complex thing. Using a more base or primal means of telling a story through song makes sense. It connects without the cognition acting as a filter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

I'm with Blue. Hooks win the popularity contest.


LCK

 

 

Hooks. You know them when you hear them. (Or at least the really killer ones.)

 

But it's really hard to pin down what can make it as a hook. A riff, a beat, a lyric phrase, a melodic cadence or motif, a joke, pun, or other 'easter egg,' a particular sound or texture, even a sound effect.

 

That's why 'words' may be important to a song getting over, even if most folks only know a few lines from the song. That may be all it takes to hook in the listener.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

Clear Channel decides what is played on the radio. Youngsters buy songs they like on the radio from iTunes. Clear Channel decides what songs get sold. All this creative blah blah blah is just wishful thinking... Sorry ....

 

Only if the only way you can be fulfilled as an artist is to sell a bunch of records to teenagers.

 

This obsession with mercantile success by some is one of the most disheartening things about the music community. Far too many people have these fantasies that have nothing to do with music and all too much to do with prostituting the creative process.

 

 

When I was taking commercial music biz/recording classes in the early/mid 80s and freelancing in studios, I realized early on that trying to 'hit it big' with music was one of the most dangerous things you can do -- if music itself is important to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

depends on what type of artist you are but id say MELODY!!!!!!! time and time again i will hear a song and listen without thinking about it. then when i go to read the lyrics i just end up thinking, wtf is this song about? lol, and im talking about pop, its not a stanley kubrick film

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

Only if the only way you can be fulfilled as an artist is to sell a bunch of records to teenagers.


This obsession with mercantile success by some is one of the most disheartening things about the music community. Far too many people have these fantasies that have nothing to do with music and all too much to do with prostituting the creative process.



When I was taking commercial music biz/recording classes in the early/mid 80s and freelancing in studios, I realized early on that trying to 'hit it big' with music was one of the most dangerous things you can do -- if music
itself
is important to you.

 

 

Haven't you ever dreamed of having a #1 hit?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

Only if the only way you can be fulfilled as an artist is to sell a bunch of records to teenagers.


This obsession with mercantile success by some is one of the most disheartening things about the music community. Far too many people have these fantasies that have nothing to do with music and all too much to do with prostituting the creative process.



When I was taking commercial music biz/recording classes in the early/mid 80s and freelancing in studios, I realized early on that trying to 'hit it big' with music was one of the most dangerous things you can do -- if music
itself
is important to you.

 

 

I totaly agree but its not the case with everyone, although its mostly {censored} some truly great artists to hit it big and have a life long career. what would their lives be like if they had they thought "it will never happen" or stopped trying. it took metallica 10 years, THEN they turned to {censored} after. i agree, 99.9 percent wont hit it big, but what about the .1? maybe im some stupid naive kid but i think with if you have talent, some skill and a never ending burning/drive to be heard it will happen. trouble is thats very rare, and most people that think they have it dont.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

@ Kurdy: I certainly never have... I know number one hits to be music I dislike. My music isn't appreciated by most and I'm fine with that; I don't appreciate most people. I'd rather connect with people who care about the same thing as me than get paper. Can money even buy you that?

@ BenDuncan: their life would be like whatever it feels like to make great music and be recognized by fan without making tons of cash. I doubt the money made them significantly happier (considering the lawsuit(s?) it apparently wasn't enough), although it may have made the records easier to produce.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

@ido: I'm sure it does. All I'm saying is my goal is to make music I love and that if anything getting public success is only a bonus. Making music I dislike and being acclaimed for it would not satisfy me. I'm the one who judges whether my work was great. I have wished to be a more prolific musician, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

making it isnt about money to some people, its about being heard, its about validation, people agreeing with you, connecting on another level and probably many other things, good and bad. playing off of the football reference from before.....to me, thats like saying a team would feel the same whether they won the superbowl or not. the whole "its how you play the game" thing is bull{censored} at that point. now, there are plenty of people that play football because they like it and never expect, try or even dream of playing in a superbowl but thats not who im talking about. i love making music, i make it for me and no one else, i would never play anything i didnt want to but id be lying to you if i said i would be ok with almost no one hearing it, it would feel like watching a movie with no end, leaving an airshow before the crash(simpsons joke) all investment, no payoff, and thats a metaphor, im not talking about money

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I'll have to jump on the bandwagon and vote for the Hook~ anything that produces brainworm is a winner imho~

 

I remember the first time I heard The Killers "

- ("I've got soul/but I'm not a soldier") I wound up singing that for months. Really. It was a combo of an infectious hooky melody and a brilliant piece of writing. Plus the intro riff/chord progression is addictive.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

If I knew what "sold" songs I'd be a rich guy. But I try to find a good blend of hooks both musically and lyrically. I've also been trying to do things in the melody that you don't hear on mainstream radio...which is exactly why I'll never be on mainstream radio. No matter. I write and record for those folks that want my music. There's not many of them, but there are a few die-hard followers that say they relate (and I'm sure I'll be alienating them soon!).

What catches my interest in others songs is blatant honesty in the lyrics. That line that you know someone wrote from the heart and you can feel the emotion in the lyric.

And I have come to detest the "same old, same old" in the melody lines. I love a song that's outside of the box. THATS what catches my attention.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I too would vote for "the hook", but I guess you could break that question down further as to whether it should be a lyrical hook, melodic hook, or instrumental hook. The easy answer would be to say all of the above, but as for what's the main selling point? I would say a good melodic hook. The lyrics are often just a mechanism to help remember it the first few times...they could be anything really. But if you look at a lot of rap music which is mostly absent of melody...they usually get a singer to sing the hook. They know that's what's gonna make people pay attention.

 

I don't think any one particular type of hook dwarfs the others in terms of importance...the more different kinds of hooks you can pack in there, the better. But I do think melody has a slight edge in that department.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...