A band or a singer will oftentimes record a large number of songs to make just one album. Could be forty tracks…or even more. A number of people listen to these songs; the band members, their wives/husbands and girlfriends/boyfriends, label executives, their friends and family. And then they whittle the song list all the way down. What remains are roughly 12 songs. Out of those, there are two types of songs that make it onto an album – singles and filler.
Anyone over the age of 30, who bought a whole album just to listen to the one good song, knows the difference. It’s easy to distinguish between the two. Singles were the songs you fast forwarded to find every time you got in the car. Filler, were the forgettable songs that you would be fast forwarding over.
Singles, are the songs you hear on the radio over and over again. These are the hits. These are what you see on MTV when they play their videos, Tuesdays from 2:00-2:15am. These are the songs that get everyone on the dance floor. The songs that move you emotionally. The songs that stay with you the whole day. These are songs that mark an entire summer. Or even define an era of your life.
Filler is fine. These songs are good enough to make the cut. They are not songs you hate. But they are not good enough to stand out. Filler won’t have great beats or rhythm underneath. Filler won’t move you emotionally with respect to the lyrics. Filler is there because a label can’t charge you $14 for an album with one song on it. So they fill out an album with these mediocre songs that won’t upset anyone. They fit in, either rhythmically or thematically with the hits.
Think of your life, this chapter at least, like an album. What do you want to have your life composed of?
You ever get an album that has one great song after another? Those albums hang on a wall, dipped in platinum. They are the pinnacle. The supreme. The best.
Make your life over in the model of those all time great albums. Include great friends, great relationships with your family, get a great job, go on great adventures. Everything. The biggest and the smallest things in your life. All hits. All the time.
It’s easy to write a song. I could do it in three minutes. So could you. But it probably wouldn’t be a hit. It would be, at best, filler.
I don’t care how easy things are. If something is doing nothing for you, like the filler that is the 9th best song on a mediocre album, eliminate it from your life.
If you load the album up with filler, there will be no room left to put the hits. Live by that golden rule. Only hits, all the time. Expect nothing less. Make nothing less.