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#1024086 - 09/21/13 02:30 PM the writer as the judge?  
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maccharles Offline
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maccharles  Offline
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I've heard so many great records by great artists over the years (as we all have), and have been surprised MANY times at what was picked for the single. upon listening to the whole record, I hear other songs that ,to my ears, would have made better singles...of course, the single picked was the best choice (in most cases).

I'm also learning that usually when I write a song "I'm" stoked about, (having paid so much attention to nuance ect.), it almost always fails to resonate with anyone but me.........people will hear it and give a reaction something akin to...."meh, it's okay........but THIS one is awesome".......pointing out the song that was slapped together in a few hours.

Is it because these "polished" numbers are over thought?.....and the tunes that are shot from the hip come across as more real? I used to balk at the idea that an artist was terrible at choosing their own singles (who better to decide his/her best songs?)..........now I've come to learn how true that really is.....it's still puzzling, but it appears to be accurate.

anyone else?

Last edited by maccharles; 09/21/13 02:55 PM.
#1024093 - 09/21/13 03:37 PM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: maccharles]  
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bobbyearlray Offline
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I still believe in my own ears, but music is like food, it appeals to many different tastes, and for the most part, the masses are tone deaf, and gravitate towards the cookie cutter formula songs that our brains are trained to love. I love your stuff Mac, i would tell you stick to your guns. ALL your work is very well done. I'd buy any of your singles......

#1024099 - 09/21/13 08:17 PM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: bobbyearlray]  
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D)  Offline
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I've often heard a song on a CD that never Charted..that I personally thought was a Hit.

BUT..I'm quite-aware of What Goes On to get that "Single" that does Chart Airplayed. (Rumored to be a Mil..for a Top Ten Pop Hit.)

Bottom Line, "It's a Biz"..and perhaps it's a Plus that there ARE so many "Filters" that lay out the Loot...to get the "Good Ones" (In Their Estimation) "Out There".

The Competion's Incredible...BUT...That's what makes it a Good Challenge. (Only the Optimists Survive..heh!)

Good Luck! (& That's ALWAYS a Factor..as You probably know!)

Best Weekend Wishes & a Big Guy-Gug,

#1024116 - 09/22/13 02:54 AM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: "Tampa Stan" Good (D)]  
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maccharles Offline
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wow, thanks Bobby....much appreciated, I'm honored you feel that way. I think regardless of how things in the biz operate, I can say I've not been too spot on, picking my best songs most days...


It wouldn't surprise me to find a million plus, to break someone.

#1024126 - 09/22/13 09:47 AM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: maccharles]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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There is no accounting for taste! I have had similar experiences. I think a songwriter typically loves his newest work and thinks it is far better than what went before. That is often not the case for the audience. I have played three originals at open mics many times and been surprised by the reactions. The audience members often comment on a song that I would not have predicted and ignore the great one that I just wrote......and one audience member may love one of the songs and another may like a different one.


I try to critique as if you mean business.....



#1024127 - 09/22/13 09:53 AM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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I find the same thing when pitching songs.The ones I consider my best are passed over for my lesser lights.One man's meat is another man's poison.

The more you taste the bitterness of defeat, the sweeter final victory will be

May the flowers of love forever bloom in your garden of life




#1024240 - 09/23/13 11:24 AM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content

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After doing this the past 30 years and screening countless albums, I find that the "single" is obvious to anyone about half the time. The other half, the artist rarely has a clue which is best. There's too much personal baggage with any given song for an artist to be an impartial judge. Partiality can be your worst enemy.

Of our award nominees, historically speaking, about 40-50% of the nominees agree with or are not surprised by the song or songs recognized. About 10-20% weren't shocked, but expected otherwise and about 40-50% are totally shocked and said they'd never have even thought to have submitted the particular song selected/honored. Among the winners, it's even more lopsided, as app. 60-70% would not have expected that song to be the one chosen from their album to win an award, nor do they agree it's deserving against their other work. When you have over 10K judges involved in 6 rounds of screening to choose those songs from among 100's of thousands, it illustrates how hard it is to pick a hit single when you don't even know which of your own songs have the best chance 50% or more of the time.


Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

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#1024246 - 09/23/13 02:04 PM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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maccharles Offline
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I think Colin may have hit it pretty square, most of the time it's probably because it's new and tne artist is excited about it, but I notice it happens with older tunes too.....

I think it's interesting how the harder I seem to work at it, the less reaction the song gets, whereas the ones I slap together quickly are the ones that get the most attention. It's like doing a vocal take......the more times it's done (trying to capture that certain something), the more life seems to get sucked out of it.
The best take being somewhere in the first two or three.

As for the writer having baggage connected to a song, THAT is very true and goes a long way toward the writer having higher expectations I guess. This is where things like the mp3 threads can be really helpful for someone trying to get outside their own bias and letting other's reactions show a song's initial impact.

it's almost gotten to the point where if I write something and it really gets me excited, I can almost bet it won't go very far.......doesn't fall into my "best work" category?....it's a HIT!!.......ha ha.

#1024298 - 09/23/13 09:04 PM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: maccharles]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content

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The quick ones are almost always the best ones. That is how long time pro's just churn em out. Pick up a cool phrase and a cool music lick and it's usually good to go... then move on. Spending tons of time on a small number of songs is hardly the stuff of true inspiration. Songs come through us, they aren't typically forced out. Sure, you can do some edits, but fawning over songs relentlessly is often a waste of time. Either the idea is there and accessible to interested ears or it isn't. Move on. Write more songs. You improve a little each time and after a while and a lot of songs, your stuff will be way better than those few you spent the same amount of time slaving over.


Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

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#1025066 - 10/02/13 04:51 AM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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R&M Offline
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I would like to do a certain cover song. I have posted about 30 or so originals online since 2004.
But I would like to make that cover song my song and at the same time not be too distant from the original. REM's "The One I Love" is that particular song I would like to do by the end of the year.
Those finely toothed songs that are memorable seem to have the most universal quality to them.

At Soundclick:

Videos at youtube (Ads, editing film, and instrumental song docomenteries):
#1025158 - 10/02/13 06:28 PM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: R&M]  
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Bugsey Offline
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Bugsey  Offline
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Well, thinking our own songs are better than they are, is an age old epidemic. And having a song that connects, will connect even with a rough demo, so few songs actually do resonate with anyone, that's what makes an artist great.

Lots of folks write songs, there's more songs than there are people in the world, the last thing the world needs is another damn song! So it's no wonder if people are not moved by it.

As far as artists go, I recall reading an article involving Tom Petty. Where the song was "Don't do me like That", and none of the band or Tom were that impressed by it, they thought it was a filler track.

Then, one of the tech guys, he was an intern I think, was really liking the song. And it was a general rule that the techs didnt say anything, let alone give an opinion on what song should be a single, but he did it anyway and told them what he thought.

He was right. So who the hell knows

#1025164 - 10/02/13 06:33 PM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Jim Colyer Offline
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Music is subjective for sure but in the long run, the strongest songs will make it to the karaoke bars.

#1025167 - 10/02/13 06:39 PM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: Jim Colyer]  
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Bugsey Offline
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Bugsey  Offline
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True, but first the song has to become "popular" The greatest song in the world is nothing, if it doesnt get exposure.

But I agree the best songs will be the one's that last and get covered, and into karaoke bars.

For somebody who cant sing to want to go up and sing a song in a bar on karaoke, they must feel some invisible power from the song, something that transcends their horrible singing! LOL

#1026059 - 10/14/13 08:28 PM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Dave Rice  Online Content
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Hi "Mac" and fellow thread participants:

When we as individuals write and record a song for the first time, it's easy for the euphoria of the moment to carry us away with the importance and lasting ability of our creation. After all, it's our "baby" and we've put our heart and soul into it.

It pays to "sleep on it" for a day or two before sharing with any but your most trusted friends and critics. They will often tell you exactly what you don't want to hear... but it's wonderful when they agree or provide a line or chord change that makes all the difference in the world.

As listeners, we are spoiled and pre-prejudiced as to what constitutes a good song. Brain says it best... "Does it move you?"

Best of luck with your music.

#1026075 - 10/15/13 12:52 AM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Moker Jarrett Offline
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I think as writers we've all had that "oh this one I just wrote, you gotta hear it man!" as Colin and Mac said, that's the new flavor syndrome at work. Some of my favorites, out of thousands, are ones that just flowed out. Every once in a while I get one that gets stuck in the pot for a while and has to simmer until i find that connecting part that puts it in I gotta finish this one mode. Jeffrey Steele has a story he tells writers of him playing a lick on piano for six months around the house, finally his kid came to him one day and said are you ever gonna write that song dad? So...he went ahead and finished it, 2 weeks later it was picked up by Faith Hill, "When the Lights Go Down"...a nice hit for her and more mailbox money for Jeffey.
I have one or two sitting in the pot right now...maybe I should just go finish them! It is very true though Mac, some of the ones I am like pumped about, get that so, so reaction, and some of the ones I like plug and played my way through on auto-pilot get the wow that's a hot tune reaction...go figure.

#1026191 - 10/15/13 06:25 PM Re: the writer as the judge? [Re: Moker Jarrett]  
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Rick Heenan Offline
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Every song I ever wrote was the best thing I ever heard, at that time. Thats what is great about recording your work. You can give it a couple of days rest and listen to it again.

I'm not a prolific writer but I've got a couple hundred under my belt. Most will never see the light of day, ever. The ones that pass the relisten stage get tried out at an open mic. If they don't go over there, they are unceremoniously deep sixed.

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