Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Duplicate The Police for Music Success

I know SWPL musicians. Generally going nowhere. As they age, the day job becomes a focus and the playing becomes the hobby. Many bands sound good but their original songs suck. Just be derivative! Just steal like Led Zeppelin did! Here is a band to copy for success because many hits were about eternal issues of masculine exploration in the relationship world: the Police.

They have some iconic songs that you can still hear on the radio due to the themes of post-sexual revolution dating and mating.

Roxanne - Young man develops an affection for a hooker. (set it around the backpages phenomenon)

Every Little Thing She Does - The joy of young love. (frame it around Tinder)

Don't Stand So Close To Me - Young male teacher has odd sexual tension with female student. (reverse genders, frame it with female teacher)

Wrapped Around Your Finger - Young guy fresh out of college who did not have much sex in college has an affair with a married woman. He learns, grows and eventually figures out that because she is married and he is free, she has more to lose, giving him power. (frame it as the bull/interloper that can expose a cheater)

Every Breath You Take - Guy is upset over a break up, and becomes a bit of a stalker. (social media stalker)

There is a bit of chronological development to match the aging and maturing of a performer and audience. "Somebody that I Used To Know" is a simple break up song, and did incredibly well. That was their one hit. Timeless subject: break ups. It was whining and pleading, which is not too far off of the lyrical approach in "Every Breath You Take", but EBYT was a darker song. There is a current of strength in it mixed with the wish for a reconciliation. That might be the problem with the new bands. The wimpy SWPL mentality reigns.

It is a pretty simple collection of songs. The Police have many more hits that are still on the radio today. They were a great band. Due to their exact moment in pop culture, you not only see a progression from a punkish-new wave sound to a perfect '80s pop rock sound but you see cheap "$5,000 budget, 1 camera, 1 day of filming" music videos to higher budget, interesting concept videos. The power of using a video for promoting a song or band developed just in that short span.

The power of video is gone, but the simple themes and subjects remain. Take these five subjects, slap them into songs and you could make a career. I am completely disregarding the other hits they had, but in this day and age, 2 hits would be a career. Have you seen how every single musician in the history of pop music alive is touring? If you are three guys with some talent, just copy the Police. Of course, you need great melodies, catchy as fuck choruses, great instrumentation.... and having a talented bassist might help, too.

That's the hard part.

4 comments:

PA said...

Or copy thwir "King of Pain (theme: things that suck.) Worked for Alanis Morisette in "Ironic."

TroperA said...

Remake Matt Gormley's entire discography:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87nkJquHnAU

Sure the guy himself is a joke, but his original songs are very catchy. A competent singer could probably turn them into hits.

(Of course, the comments below the guy's songs are often more entertaining than the songs themselves.)

Gollios said...

One of the best Onion op-eds:
http://www.theonion.com/blogpost/you-know-i-used-to-be-kind-of-cool-once-10932

Thales said...

I can't believe this never went triple-unobtainium -- it hits all the notes!