Of the thousands of songs written every month, only a few dozen will be played on the radio or national stage. Except for the occasional oddball accidental hit, only the very best songs have a realistic chance of becoming successful. Still, there is a better reason to write and perform only great songs.
A listener is much like a patron of a restaurant. Patrons are a restaurant’s lifeblood, and a smart restauranteur regards every patron as a blessing. In addition to the opportunity to gain a regular customer, every patron should be regarded as walking advertisement. Word-of-mouth will either increase business or insure the restaurant will flounder until it fails.
Conclusion: If you are part of our listening or viewing audience, we are in your debt. Moreover, we believe we are obligated to provide the best possible product and experience. To maximize the entertainment value of our music and performances, every song is meant to cause you to either laugh, reflect, recall, or feel a deep-seated emotion.
Early on, we wrestled with conflicting strategies regarding what kind of songs should be written (with the intention they would be recorded and performed).
Most people go through their day dealing with problems and uncomfortable situtations. One can argue that the last thing regular people want to hear after work is a song that makes them think about anything but happy thoughts. According to this strategy, we should write mostly frivolous songs about partying and escaping and having fun.
After a movie, as people are exiting the theater, the best posible reaction is for them to have tears in their eyes, claiming they are exhausted – that the movie was "a roller-coaster ride." Such comments are accepted as the highest possible approval for a writer and director. The movie was entertaining because it caused patrons to feel a full range of emotions, not just the positive ones. Sadness, fear, suspense and even introspection are important moments because they accentuate the positive emotions, just like the ups and downs of a "roller-coaster." Because human beings are emotional creatures, it follows that the goal of those writing songs to be recorded and performed should be to evoke a mix of emotions. It is up to those performing the songs to end the show on a positive note so the audience exits feeling great.
Analysis: We have opted for Strategy #2. We write, record and perform songs that are substantive while targeting the full spectrum of emotions. As such, every song we play educates, entertains or inspires. Our audience is thoughtful and intelligent if not sophisticated. If you just want to "party," our music is probably not right for you.
Successful artists release several to many albums throughout their respective careers. With few exceptions, each of their albums features just one or two hit-quality songs, with the rest being forgettable. There are typically several simultaneous reasons why artists put out deficient product. First, spreading out an artist's best material over multiple albums maximizes sales and profits for the record companies. Second, artists are under great pressure to release albums on schedule. Third, artists are often obligated to include songs written by friends of the producers.
Conclusion: No album should ever be released before it is packed with at least 12 hit-quality songs. By definition, anything less has to be regarded as a deficient product.