I was listening to JackFM the other day and Annie Lennox’ song “Walking on Broken Glass” came on. My radio trigger-finger aimed itself at the dial, and since I was fortunate enough to be alone in my car at the time, I blasted the beejeezus out of it. There is this amazing mix of piano and strings in the song that pairs so well with Annie’s driving vocals that it’ll easy send a chill up your spine if you’re listening with an attentive ear. That baby has a HOOK that’ll kill!
Then it dawned on me that this song, while probably a good ten years old, would most certainly NOT be considered a good track by a good number of people a decade or so younger than myself. And that’s a shame, because a hit song is a hit song, no matter what genre or how old it is. . .if the thing gets your foot tappin’ and your heart beating, it’s probably a hit, and it doesn’t matter one iota what style it is or whether it can be played on an eight track player or an iPod. After all, why do you think so many hip hop songs sample from old record singles? It’s because they’re looking for guaranteed hits that most folks listening to radio today won’t recognize. The only constant aside from a cool rhythm or a great verse to sample, is that a song with a great hook that was recorded in 1965 is still a hit today if done right.
So my advice to aspiring folks interested in an entertainment career focused on music is to feed your passion for music by listening to music of all sorts. . classical, folk, rock, soul, r&b, hip hop, punk, ska. . .everything. Listen to all the music you can handle and breathe the power a diverse musical palate will give you. After all, the people at the top of the musical food chain are music encyclopedias. They’re guys and gals who probably refused to listen to everyone in their life who told them to become a doctor or an electrician in favor of an choosing a career in entertainment, and they want to work with someone who shares that passion for music. . .someone who can hear a hit a mile away in any style. Is that you?
If you haven’t yet thought about it, start exploring. Check out sites like Yahoo’s Launch Radio for example and click on similiar artists as you’re listening to music, or visit the All Music Guide to explore the musical influences chart. It’ll open your ears to so much great music you never even knew existed! So keep those ears open and find the hits. . .you’ll be promoting them someday, and if you work for a record label you’ll most likely be promoting all different styles of music as well.
By the way, wanna’ guess what song immediately followed that Annie Lennox track? With only a five second radio station ID break, the next single to fill the air space in my car was AC/DC’s “For those about to Rock”! Now that would make the beginnings of a great mix tape! I guess Garry Wall and Patrick Bohnat at JackFM still know a hit when they hear one. . .do you?
Hey don’t forget to check out the song links above to see live videos of both Annie and AC/DC on YouTube. . .you’ll be amazed at how the transition works!
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