I was delighted to find out that media expert Alan Stevens broadcasted one of my songs in his radio show this week. I knew it was a possibility as he’d announced that he’d feature an artist every week and had a batch of my songs. But which one would he choose? He chose ‘Suzy in the Sun’ from my band’s first EP. Perhaps it was because the song just feels lovely and ‘sunny’ with the sixties style arrangement, backing harmonies and 12-string Rickenbacker. It’s not the best song we ever did. It’s got possibly the simplest lyric. But it was by far the biggest selling.
John Lennon said he didn’t want to be playing ‘She Loves You’ when he was 30. Supergrass were heard to moan about their biggest hit ‘Alright’ and dropped it from their set. Oasis stopped playing ‘Wonderwall’. Actors often moan about becoming famous for playing a certain role. Leonard Nimoy’s autobiography was entitled, ‘I Am Not Spock.’ There always seems to be something that we become best known for, our ‘hit’.
I think it’s safe to say that without exception, we never choose our ‘hits’. I have hundred of songs that have cleverer lyrics, more impressive solos or more original grooves. But I didn’t choose my hits, my audiences did.
We set up and proliferate our brands, products and services in business – but that is only ever half the story. The other half is provided by our audience/customers. A brand is a two-way creation What they see may not be quite what we intended them to see – but if they like it, and buy it – who are we to tell them they’re wrong.
If you get a good reputation for something, or people start explaining to others who you are using different language than you’d use for yourself, listen to what they have to say. They may have spotted the hit making potential that you might just have otherwise overlooked.
Leonard Nimoy published a followup to his autobiography. It was called ‘I Am Spock’.
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