What makes a sound recording a hit? There are many factors that can be considered in determining if a sound recording is already a popular song in public. To name a few, record sales and the public’s reception towards the sound recording in terms of requests in radio stations indicate if a sound recording is a hit. The popularity of the artist is also a factor which can influence the sound recording’s performance with regard to its sales.Regardless of genre, any sound recording can become a hit if it is able to take a strong command in terms of record sales.
The best basis for determining if a sound recording has a high record sales compare to others is through the sales inventories of music bars. If a certain record performs well enough in terms of song purchases in these music outlets, it can be said that the record is marketable. It also indicates that the public has a strong interest in purchasing the record for several reasons.
One is that the artist of the sound recording is already popular prior to the release of the record. For example, the Beatles at the height of their popularity had records which “dominated the sales charts in the United States and even abroad (Inglies, p. 44).” It was enough for their status quo at that time to give them a substantial marketable position since they had a strong public following.Another example is the case of Elvis Presley.
At the height of his popularity, most of the songs he released were readily accepted by his audience because he already has a large following. The charisma he exuded in his public performances simply captivated his audience that it did not almost matter what song he was singing so long as it was Elvis who was singing the songs. His audience loved what he did and his songs were hits “the soonest time that they were released to the public (Marling, p. 94).”Radio stations also play a major role in determining if a sound recording is a hit. The combination of phone requests to radio stations with the frequent plays of the recording makes a song more appealing to the listening public.
The greater a song has airtime, the greater the listening public becomes aware of the sound recording regardless of the artist. It may also be the case that frequent radio plays of certain sound recordings can lead to songs becoming instant favorites of avid listeners. In any case, one can hardly deny that songs which are usually played by radio stations—especially due to a strong demand from the listeners—are songs that are either already popular or are being played in order to gain popularity.One possible effect of frequent radio plays of certain songs is that it drives up the sales of these sound recordings which, in effect, can make any sound recording a hit.
It is hard to conceive of a song which has been a hit in the past but is unable to penetrate the radio stations and gain a strong demand from the listening public.Perhaps the most important element of all in knowing what makes a sound recording a hit is the quality of the sound recording itself. A well-crafted and well-polished song in terms of lyrics and melody has a chance at becoming a hit especially if the proper marketing strategies are made.
However, a song can also become a hit even if there are no professionals hired by the artist who are to be in charge of the promotions and other publicity measures for the sound recording. For instance, it is not entirely difficult for a “blues” song with an attractive melody and captivating lyrics to acquire a good following among enthusiasts of the blues genre. These individuals who have the passion for blues music will most likely listen to a well-written blues song regardless of the artist.
Thus, a well-written blues song will have less difficulty finding an avenue to reach the listening public and become a recording hit. The same holds true for any other musical genre.But of course, without the larger exposure given by radio stations and other forms of media exposure, it will be a challenge for a sound recording to become a recording hit, much less reach the awareness of the public. That brings the idea that for a sound recording to truly become a hit, it is important to make use of a combination of the following: good marketing strategy, sufficient media exposure and the exceptional quality of the song. But prior to that, the quality of the recording of the song itself should also be at least pleasing to the ears. That being said, a sound recording should be recorded neatly and without the unwanted noise and other audio disruptions. At the least, proper recording equipments should be used in recording the songs so that the audio output will attract listeners instead of repel them.Since an overwhelming positive response from patrons is by itself an indication that the sound recording is a hit, it is important to sustain this response in order to similarly sustain the popularity of the song.
A song can be considered a hit if it is able to maintain its popular position in the “hit” lists of radio stations for a certain period of time instead of making it to the top five, for instance, for a few short days. Like the case of the Beatles, some of their songs were able to hold the top ranks in the hit charts of radio stations for several weeks to several months (Inglis, p. 53), thereby suggesting that their sound recordings were truly hits. Thus, a song is also recording is a hit if it is able to sustain its popularity for a certain length of time.