I enjoy watching music documentaries. Movies with stars playing people such as Elvis, Elton John, Freddie Mercury and others are interesting but I can’t say that I connect with them as much as I do while watching a documentary and seeing real people, not actors.
This morning, I was watching the Credence Clear Water Revival documentary about how they went from a struggling band of high school friends to being a group of guys in the twenties performing all over the world, headlining at Woodstock and being considered one of the best rock-n-roll bands of all time.
They started writing their own songs. They were o.k. But, it wasn’t until they started playing cover songs that they made some gains on the charts. Then, one people started to hear their voices and get to know the band members, they were able to release originals.
Their confidence grew and their ability to get top level production also helped. If you can attract top talent in all aspects of your production, whether in the studio or on stage, it goes a long way towards building the brand and, at the time, selling records.
The story reinforces the fact that many successful people simply find what works and duplicate it. Why release and untested song when you can release a song you know people love but connect that to your voice. It is a psychological association – or mind trick.
Other bands and performers including Elvis rarely if ever write their own material. The just identify what people like and do that thing. A lesson learned.