How Does This 59-Year-Old Beatles Record Hold the Secret to Success?
I listened to the remixed “1962-66” and “1967-70” Beatles albums, and they blew my mind.
In case you didn’t know, these “remixed” albums were done with “voodoo*” separation technology that allowed them to create better separation between instruments, even those that had been bounced down together to a single track.
Being able to hear the separation between the instruments in such detail was amazing to hear, and there were parts in certain songs I had never heard before.
And I’ve really listened to The Beatles. They were ALL I listened to when I was in middle school.
The first Anthology album came out in 1995 when I was ten years old, and from then on, I couldn’t get my hands on more Beatles fast enough. Whether it was a song, a movie, or a musical analysis by an Icelandic biographer, if it had “The Beatles” on it, I wanted it.
What The First Appearance of The Beatles Tells You About Success
Funnily enough, the new technology doesn’t just enhance the tracks, but it also brings out any mistakes they made in their performances.
As much as we deify them, they were just musicians with their own hopes and dreams who made mistakes.
Because let’s not forget, The Beatles were nobodies once.
Just some random lads from Liverpool who got their first appearance on an album with the English singer Tony Sheridan on his record “My Bonnie.”
In the movie BackBeat from 1994, there’s a scene where they’re singing this song with Sheridan. BackBeat is about the early days of The Beatles in Hamburg. It’s one of the movies I used to watch on repeat as a teenager after recording it to VHS from the Icelandic national television station, and it’s one of the core musical movies I watched growing up that would make me dream of becoming a performing musician.
My Bonnie Blows
Now, “My Bonnie” is a mediocre ditty at best and a far cry from the masterpieces The Beatles would go on to create.
But I have an old copy of this record from 1964, which features the old Hamburg line-up of Stuart Sutcliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums.
I found this record in a random record store in Tucson, and I didn’t buy it because the song is so good. I didn’t even buy it because it’s valuable. It’s a re-issue and in less-than-stellar condition.
I bought it because of what it means.
Great Things Come From Humble Beginnings
The Beatles couldn’tt have imagined the success they would achieve, even if they may have been dreaming of it at the time.
And even if they did, I’m sure the sheer weight of those expectations would’ve crushed them.
Imagine if somebody from the future came to you and told you,
“You’ll become the greatest musician the world will ever know. No pressure, but get on that will you?”
So regardless of where you are in your musical journey, whether you’re still figuring out how to start or have achieved some success, remember that all great artists start from humble beginnings.
What you’re working on now, even if it’s not the masterpiece you want it to be, will hopefully lead you to evolve your work to the level of your dreams.
My Book Writing Journey
We can’t all be The Beatles, so let me illustrate with a personal example that’s a little more down to Earth.
In 2011, I released my first ebook. It was called Mixing Strategies: Planning the Perfect Mix. At the time, I was writing lengthy articles for the Envato Marketplace, and they would often bundle my 3,000-word tutorials into stand-alone products people could buy on their marketplace. I only got paid once for writing it, but they could sell my writing repeatedly because I was just a contractor-for-hire. I knew this was the deal when I got into it, but it made me want an asset like that.
I thought, “If people buy 3,000-word articles for $9 on the marketplace, would my audience buy an eBook about a similar topic for the same price.”
So I set out to write my very first eBook. It was pretty short, only about 8,000 words, but I was still proud of it. Mixing Strategies wasn’t the best ebook on mixing. The writing was mediocre, and I didn’t know that much about mixing yet.
But I released it anyway.
I wanted to see how people reacted to it. It was my MVP, or minimum viable product, to see if people would want to learn more from me.
And I remember the rush when that first sale came in.
“OMG, people are buying my book!”
Even if it wasn’t the best book on mixing in the world, people still found it useful.
MVP Leads to Most Valuable Product
More importantly, if it weren’t for that first book, I wouldn’t have written my #1 Amazon best-seller, Step By Step Mixing: How To Create Great Mixes Using Only 5 Plug-ins.
That book has helped thousands of musicians and producers worldwide make better music, and I may have never written it if I hadn’t shipped my shitty work first. I had to write a short and subpar book before writing a best-seller in the music industry.
Sustained success comes from simple beginnings and consistent output.
What Are You Releasing Next?
Your first few creative works won’t make your career.
But they’ll create the stepping stones you need to get closer to finding the success you want. Even though you might not have a best-selling, hit-making, and award-winning work of art in your head right now, make room for it by finishing and releasing the creative work you’re doing now.
Finishing what you’re working on, building up your skills, and evolving to a higher creative level is the only way to get to the good stuff.
It’s waiting for you. All you have to do is go get it.
Featured image by Dall-E, who thinks there are six people in The Beatles. AI still has a long way to go before it takes over the world 🙂
*I call it “voodoo” because I’m too lazy to get into the detailed specifics of how it works, so it might as well be black magic as far as I care.