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What else do i need to know about pop songwriting?
Old 1st August 2019
  #61
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Since this got dredged back up, it would be interesting to learn how many hits DaPear has under his belt 4 1/2 years later.
Old 1st August 2019
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnalia Barcus View Post
Since this got dredged back up, it would be interesting to learn how many hits DaPear has under his belt 4 1/2 years later.
I'd say a safe bet would be none. It's a tough business. 42 years for me and nothing substantial to show for it.
Old 1st August 2019
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagtunes View Post
I'd say a safe bet would be none. It's a tough business. 42 years for me and nothing substantial to show for it.
Yeah, I'm being sarcastic, basically. There's not really a formula for success.
Old 1st August 2019
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_B View Post
Incongruent? I agree. Cheap sounding rendition? I bet it would still make it -- even in a genre that usually relies on a lot of bells and whistles.

I think production or engineering helps make something sound more professional (and that almost always will help the appeal), but it isn't the reason why songs get attention. Get Lucky has a persistent, danceable beat and a repetitive, catchy melody. That is why the song was successful. Keep those two elements and you can change pretty much anything else -- lyrics, arrangement, overall production -- and it will still maintain its appeal. However, get rid of those two elements and keep everything else (mood, arrangement, production) and you don't necessarily have an "earworm" song.

Actually, I think the rest of the album is a good testament to that. There's a reason why Get Lucky was so successful, it was clearly the catchiest single. The rest of the album keeps the same strong qualities of "well engineered" songs, but nothing else on the album has nearly as catchy of a melody.

For instance, take this cover of Get Lucky:


It escapes the funky sorta-EDM genre. The instruments are different. The production is fine, but obviously isn't as professionally recorded, mixed, and produced as Daft Punk's original was. However, the song is still very catchy. I could definitely hear that song getting a ton of radio play if that was it's original recording. Do you disagree?



I agree in some ways, but I think that passage over-emphasizes the role of lyrics (or "story or message"). Even the most beautiful prose can't make a pop song successful by itself. As your example, "Say Something" is beautifully written and has strong emotional component. However, without the catchy melody of the song, it would have failed miserably. Want to test this theory out? I bet I could take just the lyrics of the song and could render it un-palatable by changing the melody to something dull and non-repetitive.
So I read this thread through again and found it quite amusing.

But first, I never heard Daft Punk's Get Lucky. So I played the cover first. A minute in I was bored and turned it off. I then went to listen to Daft Punk's version. Blows this version away.

No, this version would NEVER have been a hit. It doesn't have the same groove or anything for that matter.

Now, here's the kicker. I don't really think the melody is all that great. It's okay, but I've heard a lot better. But the production and performance is slick as hell.

And THAT'S why this song was a hit.

Obviously, neither of us can prove the other wrong because what was is what was and we can't change history. But like I said, the cover bored me to tears. I listened to the original all the way through because it's slick as hell.

As far as the general conversation here, if there was a formula for writing a hit song, somebody would package it and sell it on the Home Shopping Network.

I can play you tons of examples of two songs with almost the same melody, production and everything and yet one was a monster hit and the other one wasn't at all.

In fact, here they are.

Big Hit



Big Flop (In The US) (same group even)



So please, there is no "formula" for success in this business and there never will be. There is always going to be an intangible with every song that defies explanation that will determine whether or not it's a hit and not even the pros in the industry can tell you what it is.
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