You need a hit
No matter if you’re doing an album, an EP, a single, or a maxi single, and no matter how good you are at bending or breaking the rules, there is one fundamental rule you cannot ignore, and that’s the following one:
YOU ALWAYS NEED A HIT.
If you don’t have a hit, then simply forget about it. If you don’t have a hit, then don’t waste your time, energy and money recording an album, unless you’re a well-established artist who can be sure that there will be millions of people out there waiting to buy your new record, no matter what crap you’ll put on it.
IF YOU WANT TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL, THEN YOU WILL NEED THAT HIT OR SIGNATURE SONG THAT PEOPLE WILL LOVE AND REMEMBER.
You will need that one song that will make people listen to your album. Don’t lie to yourself by thinking that you’re doing some weird kind of genre that doesn’t require hits, and don’t forget that a hit doesn’t have to be bad music. A hit is a song people will recognize and remember, and they may be able to sing along with it. It is the song people will listen to over and over again, it’s the song people will be waiting for when you’re performing live, and it will probably generate the strongest emotions on your gig. You will probably play it at the end of the gig (unless you have more than one hit song), or even after people will be yelling for more. It’s the one song that people will play to their friends if they will recommend you, it’s the song they will share on Facebook and talk about on Twitter.
THIS IS THE SONG THAT WILL SELL YOUR ALBUM.
If you produce a hit, then this will probably also become something like your signature song, and it will transport your image. It will define what you are as an artist. So be careful not to do anything you could possibly regret later on.
Your hit song will follow the “Golden Rules Of Pop”. That’s the term used by The KLF in their Manual (as seen in chapter 3), and we’ll reuse it here. We’ll talk about those rules soon. Your hit song will probably have a cool title, a great instrumental hook, and a chorus that will be remembered.
And yes, the Golden Rules Of Pop are always the same, not matter what genre you do. It doesn’t matter if you do disco or heavy metal, the basic rules are always the same. Just think of Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth and others, they all had a number of popular songs following conventional hit song rules. Even US death metal band Cannibal Corpse had some kind of a hit that allowed them to embark their international career, it was called Hammer Smashed Face and yes, even this song complies to the Golden Rules Of Pop. Cannibal Corpse even performed Hammer Smashed Face in Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura – Pet Detective movie, and that’s the song that sparked their career.
YOUR HIT SINGLE – ALONG WITH ITS VIDEO – WILL BE YOUR NUMBER ONE MARKETING TOOL.
If you don’t believe all of this, then you must be quite naive. After reading this chapter you should see everything a bit clearer.