Kate Bush

Why Old Songs Like “Running Up That Hill” Reappear as Hits Today?

It’s exciting to hear a song that was a hit several decades ago make a reappearance on the Billboard Hot 100. The latest example of this is Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” from her 1985 album “Hounds of Love.” It’s exciting because in a funny sort of way it’s like a validation that we […]

Singer-songwriter-guitarist

Polishing Songs Has a Limit

Scott Borchetta is an American record executive, known mostly as the founder of Big Machine Label Group. You may not know who he is, but suffice it to say that he’s spent a lot of his career working in the business end of music. He started Big Machine Records, and his first major client was […]

Rock band in concert

A Song Hook’s Rhythm and Melody, and How They Pair Up

Good songs don’t follow rules; it’s more a case of following guidelines. That means that every time you think you’ve identified a songwriting “rule”, you can come up with a list of songs that don’t follow it. Here’s a good example: if you look at a hundred different songs and try to identify the characteristics […]

Calvin Harris

The Power of Patterns In the Writing of Song Melodies

You’ll sometimes see discussions amongst songwriters on the topic of how many notes a good melody should have. In other words, how much of a  range, when you compare the lowest notes to the highest ones, should there be when considering good melodies? History tells us that there’s no good answer to that question, because […]

How Important are Lyrics to the Success of a Song?

Taking a look at the lyrics of the current top hits in North America, it’s easy to conclude that lyrical quality just isn’t that important. “You think I’m pretty/ Without any make-up on/ You think I’m funny/ When I tell the punch line wrong…” are the opening lines of “Teenage Dream.” Or how about this rumination? “You know […]