Race to the top
The Beatles’ fame derived from their talent for creating catchy tunes, with immediately familiar lyrics and an unforgettable beat—a dream for any savvy producer, who views all this in terms of dollar signs. When they can’t sign the rare gem that combines talent and inspiration, agents musically dissect earlier successes. Highly sought after in a sector keen on short-term investments, between single and one shot, the search for custom-designed hits uses techniques and methods inspired from the economic effciency of Taylorism. And after the industrialization of musical supports—from vinyls to digital platforms—the same approach is now being used for content. No longer based on the guitar/bass/drum trinity backing up a singer, atomized creation draws on specifc profles from across the board: topliners write the refrains and hooks, while production studios sample standout musical tracks. Finally, after a series of tests and compilations, the studio ends up with a tune that may lack personality but at least is easy-listening.