Want A Hit Record? Read The Manual

manual

In 1988 The Timelords/KLF released a book that guided the reader how to “Have a Number one (The Easy Way). It’s influence has spread to successful songs by Eurotrash band Edelweiss and The Klaxons.

Bill Drummond explained his motivations in an interview: “It was an excuse to say a lot of things I wanted to say about how the industry worked. It was an excuse to go out and say to people all they can say to themselves: If you want to do something, go and do it! Don’t wait to be asked, don’t wait for a record company to come and want to sign you or a management company. Just go and do it. Also, it was saying: If you wanna have number one…you can have it. It won’t make you rich, it won’t make you happy, but you can have it”

The book’s advice can be pretty much distilled into just 100 words.

“The song must have a dance groove that will run all the way through the record and that the current generation will find irresistible. Secondly it must be no longer than 3 minutes 30 seconds or DJ’s will start fading early or talking over the chorus when it’s finally being hammered home (the most important part of any record). Thirdly it must consist of an intro, verse, chorus, second verse, second chorus, a breakdown section, back into a double length chorus and outro. Fourthly, you will need some lyrics, but not many.

Edelweiss – Bring Me Edelweiss

Timelords – Doctorin’ The Tardis

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