Taxi Say NO - But It`s In A Movie + Chart Success

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stuartleggat1
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Taxi Say NO - But It`s In A Movie + Chart Success

Post by stuartleggat1 » Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:58 am

Hi All...I also had my first critique back from Taxi, but there`s a twist in my tale.Normally, I`d have accepted everything said because the critiquers are experts in their field and should, by all accounts, know better than me.My first song; "Honky Tonkin`", was sent in various, very different versions; from a basic Hank Williams-type arrangement, to a female and male Texas-swing arrangement which were recently re-arranged/produced by one of Curb Records top producers who`s latest project topped the Billboard album and singles charts...so you can guess that the `demos` were done to a fairly high standard (Links To All The Submitted Versions Below)I sent in to various listings (at least a dozen) and back came the comments, some of which I`ll include below, saying that my song was too old-fashioned; too cliched, too weak in the verse, chorus etc., etc., etc.Normally, I`d have taken in all the expert comments and shot myself (only kiddin`)...I`d have seriously wondered if it was worth proceeding with my efforts at songwriting as I`d been writing from the heart and to the very best of my ability for several years and in all styles and these experts must know better and must be hearing something I couldn`t - and probably never would hear and read.However, and here`s the wee twist to my story; my old-fashioned, weak and cliched song was released in late May in the European Country Music Charts (check my song out at: http://www.europeancma.com/chart.htm it plays every hour or so) and, would you believe, even as a cheaply-done, basic demo and competing against major American country performers, it has turned out to be the fastest-climbing country song ever in this chart (91-26 in one week) and made the top 10...not bad for a no-hoper, wouldn`t you agree? This success was predicted by the Curb Records producer amoung others. I have no doubts at all that it would do at least as well in the U.S.A charts as that other old-time, cliched country number. "Blue", which was a smash a few years back featuring LeAnn. I am at the present time, trying to place this song and the other, with an established female or male country act and believe it`s just a matter of time before I succeed.Also, this song along with another which has been knocked back on more than one occasion, have been requested for inclusion on the soundtrack of the forthcoming action movie, "Revenge", by a U.K. film production company and their co-producers, a company from Holland who are involved in developing movies that Quentin Tarrintino is involved in...in other words; they are not small-time no-hopers who don`t have a clue what their talking about."Honky Tonkin` is the main song in this movie; built around the hit-man who happens to be a country-lovin` dude and is to feature, in various versions, in several scenes. The reasoning behind selecting this song, is that they believe it will entice hundreds of thousands of country loving fans to go and see the movie or buy the dvd when they hear it on the trailer for the movie...who am I to argue with their expert opinion...lol.BELOW ARE THE DIRECT LINKS TO ALL VERSIONS SUBMITTED___________________________________________________________http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/viewtrack.php?trackid=46236(Honky Tonkin` - Female Texas-Swing Version)___________________________________________________________http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/viewtrack.php?trackid=45270(Did You Ever Get The Blues? - Male Texas-Swing Version)___________________________________________________________http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/viewtrack.php?trackid=39830(Honky Tonkin` - Basic Hank Williams-Type Production)___________________________________________________________http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/viewtrack.php?trackid=41234(Honky Tonkin` - With Changed, Extended Verse)___________________________________________________________http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/viewtrack.php?trackid=43619(Honky Tonkin` - Male Texas-Swing Version In Charts At Present)___________________________________________________________Here`s some of the Taxi expert opinions:1).Overall Comments: Hey there Stuart, how ya doin'? Good stab at this major high bar listing. You have a real strong grasp on the traditional country music sound - that's for sure. Very honest sounding vocals as well. Hope it's you singing ;-)). A few things I'll mention. I would just like to see you dig a little deeper into your creative well. Think of new ways to say common phrases. Ex: "Honky Tonkin` it’s making me blue/ Honky Tonkin` is breakin` my heart in two/All night walkin` searchin` for you/people talkin’, what am I gonna’ do" Those obvious rhymes and well worn phrases in your chorus can use to be updated my friend. It's a very competitive country market out there. You should try and challenge yourself and your audience a bit more melodically and lyrically. Hope this is helpful. Good luck. Too predictableMelody Good music in verses Style On target for this listing So-so Title2).Lyric Too predictable Too many cliches Vocal does help to sell song The lyric sentiment here is good. I think the story line could be slightly more unique and colorful to help add more mainstream appeal. More specific and unique details in the story line would help it sound less old-fashioned. Why do you love him if he's cheating? How do you know he's cheating? Overall Comments: Stuart, Thanks for sending in your song. I like the idea here, but it's a bit too old-fashioned for this particular listing. It might be better for a purely traditional listing. To add more mainstream appeal try to look at it in a different way to help add more freshness to the story line and melody. Some surprise notes in the melody and some surprises in the lyric will help it sound more unique. Good job overall and good luck! 3).The V & CH melodies sound very similar in vocal range/lphrasing to my ears, creating a linear effect in the song. You might try giving the Ch more range to lift it up out of the Verse melody in a more dynamic way. Over all the melodies sound very "common" giving the song a predictable sound in my opinion. Structure Very good song structure! LyricToo predictable Too many cliches Vocal does help to sell song Lyric communicates the feelings well! I do feel the story line & theme may be a bit "well worn" in country music giving the song a predictable quality. Also, I feel the lyric leans a bit much on "cliche-like" lines/wording (Honky Tonkin it's making me blue, your honky tonkin is breakin my heart in two....... we made a vow our sweet love would never die, I thought I'd always want you back.....etc). Finding more fresh, unique words & visual imagery to tell this story might give this a more contemporary flair! Status: Forward Return Good title.4).Overall Comments: Hi Stuart, Thanks for sending us you song! It is certainly "Traditional Country" in style but it sounds very "classic" along the lines of Hank Williams SR and may not have the contemporary mainstream appeal this artist is looking for. The melodies seem very "common" in my opinion. You might try exploring melodies that sound less-familiar and are more creative in movement to give the song a more current flair. Lyrically as well, I feel the song leans on "cliche-like" wording that is adds to the less-current style of the song. (see lyric comments). Finding a more unique approach to telling this story might givei the song greater impact in my opinion.Lyric communicates the feelings well! I do feel the story line & theme may be a bit "well worn" in country music giving the song a predictable quality. Also, I feel the lyric leans a bit much on "cliche-like" lines/wording (Honky Tonkin it's making me blue, your honky tonkin is breakin my heart in two....... we made a vow our sweet love would never die, I thought I'd always want you back.....etc). Finding more fresh, unique words & visual imagery to tell this story might give this a more contemporary flair! 5).Overall Comments: Try listening back to some of Randy Travis's milestone hit singles and records to get a feel for how he puts a fresh spin on classic country. Lyrics like "Storm Of Life", for example, take tried and true country ideas and convey them in a slightly fresh yet accessible way. So-so Title Too predictable Too many cliches Verses could be stronger Choruses could be stronger There are way too many familiar lines, phrases and ideas in this lyric, unfortunately. So the lyric's just not coming across as fresh or new and interesting. Try to take the same feelings and convey them in more unique ways. Some modern language and references would be good. Avoid using cliches like the ones in your opening lines in particular.Second Song "Did You Ever Get The Blues?"1).Overall Comments: Stuart - There is a lot of good energy here, but it feels like you could probably take the basic elements here and make 2 (or maybe even 3) songs out of it. Each musical section has its' own personality and there are so many different musical themes that it is hard to latch on to any one of them to remember it later. The energy is memorable and the vibe (it is a lot of fun) but if you could simplify it, it could help increase it's potential commerciality Lyrically, it is the same story - there are so many lyric hooks - 'when I hold you in my arms', 'baby, I love you, I cried for you', etc... - that it is hard to latch on. The actual title seems like it may be better served in another song. The gist of the lyric here is more personal - the singer singing to the object of his affection. The title suggests a more rhetorical question sung to a 3rd person that the singer is telling about his troubles. Also, where does the 'misty blue' idea come from? That seems unrelated to the lyric at hand (but it is very hooky and could be yet another song title). Too many themes / too complexTitle So-so Title Doesn't repeat enough The main reason you were or were not forwarded for this listing is: You have a lot of good ideas here and you obviously know how to come up with a strong hook. Unfortunately, this song feels a little too jumbled up to forward at this time, but keep up the good work - if you can settle in to one theme at a time you will definitely have something going.

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Re: Who`s Right, Who`s Wrong?

Post by davewalton » Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:49 am

Quote:Normally, I`d have accepted everything said because the critiquers are experts in their field and should, by all accounts, know better than me.Other than forwarding your song with the appropriate accolades, under what circumstances would you have accepted everything they said? First question... are you saying that the song IS an example of current, contemporary country and all the screeners comments are off the mark or are you saying that you recognize that it has an "old time" style but is nontheless very popular? That's an important distinction.Generally speaking, the jist I'm getting is that this is an older style, traditional country song being submitted for contemporary country listings. Several of your examples mention specifically that the song wasn't forwarded because it wasn't targeted to the listing. The other comments seemed to imply that also.I get the feeling that you feel it should be forwarded not so much based on whether it's properly targeted for the listings but based on its success in a more general venue (i.e. - it's a good song with success outside of Taxi therefore it should be forwarded). Quote:It is certainly "Traditional Country" in style but it sounds very "classic" along the lines of Hank Williams SR and may not have the contemporary mainstream appeal this artist is looking forAs an example, Taxi has been told what this artist is looking for and they don't feel that the style of the song fits the artist. Are they supposed to forward the song and then talk this artist into changing his mind as far as the style he's looking for? That's obviously a goofy question but there are only so many choices that Taxi has with respect to how they handle the screening process. If they start sending a bunch of stuff that the client didn't ask for, no matter how appealing it might be in a more general sense, that client will no longer list with Taxi and will look for songs elsewhere. I'm just throwing out a guess here, but is it safe to say that "I Hope You Dance" (Lee Ann Womack) might have been turned down by an act like Montgomery Gentry? Even though it's a great song, sending it to certain acts just wouldn't be in the interest of whoever is doing the sending. If that's not their style, it's just not their style. It doesn't have anything to do with the song or the sender.The song chart thing is interesting and may speak to the general appeal of the song but doesn't address the issue of the appropriatness of the song for any specific listing. Inclusion of a song in any film, television show, or advertisement doesn't have anything to do with whether or not a song should be forwarded. I have plenty of soundtrack material that was appropriate for the project at hand but probably wouldn't fit any Taxi listing ever. Anyway, if you were to include a link to the song along with descriptions of the listings for which this song was submitted, then someone with a country background on this forum (not me) could comment. Otherwise the only thing anyone could do is speculate in very general terms.Congrats on the success you've had so far. DavePS - Posting this (or anything for that matter) in one section is sufficient.

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Re: Who`s Right, Who`s Wrong?

Post by aubreyz » Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:06 am

Quote:However, and here`s the wee twist to my story; my old-fashioned, weak and clitched song was released in late May in the European Country Music Charts (check my song out at: http://www.europeancma.com/chart.htm it plays every hour or so) and, would you believe, even as a cheaply-done, basic demo and competing against major American country performers, it has turned out to be the fastest-climbing country song ever in this chart (91-26 in one week) and made the top 10...not bad for a no-hoper, wouldn`t you agree? This success was predicted by the Curb Records producer amoung others. I have no doubts at all that it would do at least as well in the U.S.A charts as that other old-time, clitched country number. "Blue", which was a smash a few years back featuring LeAnn. I am at the present time, trying to place this song and the other, with an established female or male country act and believe it`s just a matter of time before I succeed.I can appreciate your feelings, but in reality you are not comparing apples with apples. The ECMA charts are about as valuable as Soundclick, Broadjam or any other member vote generated chart --- essentially worthless. They offer no real world reflection on market potential, because they are not the real world and not based on real world stats. So how many sales has your $25 membership to ECMA generated? If you are moving thousands of units, then you have a hit on your hands. If you are on some kind of chart without any significant sales, then something is wrong with the chart.Aub

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Re: Who`s Right, Who`s Wrong?

Post by stuartleggat1 » Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:13 am

Hi Dave...have to agree that it was placed in the wrong listings on some occasions as I was new to doing this, but even so, sometimes they made out the song was not strong enough at all and too cliched etc., etc. and should be re-written along with some other improvements. LeAnn`s song; "Blue", was not mainstream and definitely against the grain of what was goin on in the charts at that time, but cliched and old-time as it was, it was an obvious and massive hit...are people scared to try something that is not similar to a million other songs that are doing the rounds...if it has you singing along to it and has your toes tapping, it`s got a real chance of doing well amongst the general public - too much snobbery going with the big boys in their high up, make or break positions in in my opinion. A song doesn`t have to be ground-breakingly unique in lyrics or melody to be a hit as has been proved countless times.

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Re: Who`s Right, Who`s Wrong?

Post by davewalton » Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:26 am

Quote:LeAnn`s song; "Blue", was not mainstream and definitely against the grain of what was goin on in the charts at that time, but cliched and old-time as it was, it was an obvious and massive hit...Wikipedia describes that situation this way:In 1996, Rimes burst out of nowhere with her debut single, Blue, which immediately captured the attention of country fans across America. It wasn't just the fact that her rich, powerful vocals were remarkably similar to Patsy Cline — it was the fact that Rimes was only 13 years oldIt sounds like it had next to nothing to do with the song and had everything to do with the artist.

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Re: Who`s Right, Who`s Wrong?

Post by stuartleggat1 » Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:27 am

Re: E.C.M.C...these charts ain`t usless by any means. As a direct result of this song`s success, dj`s from all over Europe have been in touch with the unknown singer on my song requesting he send copies of his album for them to play on air. The country-lovin` folk who tune in from many countries, have the ability to buy your song every time they hear it played. Every song reaches it`s position by the number of airplays it`s getting from every station. It depends on how many dj`s like your song and are prepared to play it to thir listeners.Finally, I`ll be receiving between $9 and $120 dollars (depends the size of the station`s listeners amoung other things) as the publisher from every station EVERY time they play this song...you don`t have to be a genius to know this can add up to a colossal amount of money if you`re getting lots of plays.

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Re: Who`s Right, Who`s Wrong?

Post by stuartleggat1 » Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:35 am

Sorry Dave, your comments about LeAnn`s hit, "Blue", not being due to the fact that her rich vioce sounded a lot like Patsy Cline`s, but because she was only 13 is totally wrong...you still need a good, melodic song that the public can get right into...strong soundalike vocals from a 13-year-old are not enough.

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Re: Who`s Right, Who`s Wrong?

Post by aubreyz » Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:56 am

Quote:Re: E.C.M.C...these charts ain`t usless by any means. As a direct result of this song`s success, dj`s from all over Europe have been in touch with the unknown singer on my song requesting he send copies of his album for them to play on air. The country-lovin` folk who tune in from many countries, have the ability to buy your song every time they hear it played. Every song reaches it`s position by the number of airplays it`s getting from every station. It depends on how many dj`s like your song and are prepared to play it to thir listeners.Finally, I`ll be receiving between $9 and $120 dollars (depends the size of the station`s listeners amoung other things) as the publisher from every station EVERY time they play this song...you don`t have to be a genius to know this can add up to a colossal amount of money if you`re getting lots of plays.And if you think DJ's pick their songs anymore, then that pretty much sums up your knowledge of the music industry.And my experience? 12 years of radio at 5 different stations as dj, program director and music director. I may not know much, but I do know how radio works.Aub

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Re: Who`s Right, Who`s Wrong?

Post by stuartleggat1 » Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:03 am

Hi Aub...thanks for the invaluable info about djs not being able to pick what songs have to be played on their shows...as a direct result of this info, I`m contacting the police in the various countries concerned to ask them to investigate all these bogus requests from nutters posing as radio dj`s.Seriously; I`m sure the case varies from station to station...some can and some can`t.

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Re: Who`s Right, Who`s Wrong?

Post by aubreyz » Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:11 am

Quote:Hi Dave...thanks for the invaluable info about dj`s not being able to pick what songs have to be played on their shows...as a direct result of this info, I`m contacting the police in the various countries concerned to ask them to investigate all these bogus requests from nutters posing as radio dj`s.Seriously; I`m sure the case varies from station to station...some can and some can`t.Well... at least you got my name right

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