Max Martin is the biggest star in popular music.
Who?
The Swedish dude who wrote or co-wrote Baby One More Time, I Kissed A Girl and Taylor Swift’s We are Never (ever, ever, really freakin’ ever) Getting Back Together, Shake it Off and Blank Space, and many other recent hits.
Not to knock the guy because it does take a lot of talent to write a hit song. I can’t do it and 90% of the population will never pen a song that hits the top 100, never mind #1.
You can’t teach or learn “catchy,” any more than you can run as fast as Usain Bolt by watching him sprint to victory.
Only a small percentage of the population can be Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan or Tom Brady…or Leiber & Stoller, Lennon & McCartney or Jagger & Richards.
I say this because, every time I hear that one of my favourite acts from the ’70s to the ’90s is about to release a new album I wonder why. They’re competing with their own classic numbers.
Can Aerosmith even come close to Dream On or Walk This Way?
Can AC/DC top Back in Black or You Shook Me All Night Long?
Can anything Scott Weiland does now compare to the best of Stone Temple Pilots?
I love Paul McCartney but he hasn’t written anything great since Band on the Run, 40 years ago. Good, yes. Great, no.
Cher has a hit every ten years or so. There is only one Cher. She adapts and reinvents herself while remaining Cher. God love her. Older rock acts repeat the same formula and expect lightning to strike.
Stop releasing albums with songs that will be forgotten or ignored by listeners and radio (and when you play them in concert, fans will look at their phones or hit the bathroom) and put all your talent into one killer track.
Or give Max Martin or Dr. Luke a call.

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