Breaking the law
While some common music industry rules have to be followed, I strongly recommend to break others:
- Don’t follow trends. Stand out of the masses in a more or less authentic way, try to be really different, and dare to be really crazy.
- Focus on quality.
If you do this, then you will not be following the industry’s rules and trends, which will be a good start already. Some of the rules mentioned above (under “To follow or not to follow the rules”) can and should also be bent, or even be broken too, namely:
- Focusing on quality often also means doing shorter albums (40-50 minutes), containing less songs.
- The hit song duration can be longer than 4:30 minutes nowadays, as you don’t have to solely rely on radio and TV air play anymore.
The only rule that cannot be broken is that you’ll need some kind of a hit or a signature song.
Or at least you’ll need a song that’s very special, that will turn potentially interested music lovers into fans who will go completely crazy and who will love to buy your album. If you think you can make it just like that, without having at least one very special song, then you must be quite naive. You cannot become successful with a bunch of irrelevant, average class songs.
As mentioned several times before, a hit song does not have to be bad music.
And I don’t mean that your primary goal should be to make it into any Top 40. If I say “hit song”, then I don’t mean “singles chart success”. The singles charts are not important at all, and you’ll soon learn why this is the case. I should also mention that following some rules doesn’t mean that you’ll have to give up all artistic freedom.
You may create a perfect masterpiece using a 3:30 minute VCVCBC song structure, and the Masters Of The Past have proven that this is perfectly possible. And don’t forget that you’re not just doing hit singles, your album will also contain fillers that will allow for great artistic freedom. You’ll learn about all of this in chapter 5.