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Hooks: Hit songs have one or more hooks. This is the industry term for the bit in the record that makes the listener want to play the record over and over again, i.e. to buy it! It's important that you include at least one hook very early on in your song; you need to grab the audience's attention, and keep it. Making the first lines to your lyric interesting is one way of achieving this.
Hooks can take many forms from a clever title (The Beatles' 'Eight Days A Week'); a catchy intro; a key change; a 'funny' noise; interesting guitar tone (fuzz guitar intro to Ike and Tina Turner's 'Nutbush City Limits'); novel guitar riff (Roy Orbison's 'Pretty Woman'); catchy rhythm fragment; sweeping strings interlude; sax solo (Gerry Rafferty's 'Baker Street'); vocal oddity; technical effect (flanging on the Doobie Brothers' 'Listen To The Music'); 'ear candy', etc. I'm sure you can think of as many as I can. They're not compulsory of course, but if you can introduce one, either on purpose or otherwise (what I call 'a painter's accident'!) you can add that certain attractive something to your finished piece.
Give the listener some structure: Don't make your song so ‘interesting’ that it's weird (unless weird is the deliberate overall hook for the song of course). The listener may feel so disoriented that they quickly lose all interest. They won't mind being challenged and will enjoy something new and imaginative, but on the other hand their minds will be attuned to pop music they've grown up with. They will feel more receptive if some of the 'norms' are present to enable them to mentally navigate through your song. Common architectures are as follows; use different ones to provide variety and to suit the song:
Don't confuse the listener: Beginners do this by putting in too many ideas, asking too many questions and generally not giving the listener enough of a story to grab on to and be taken away with. You want the listener to hear your song once and immediately be attached to it. Songs need to have a simple central theme running throughout. The theme is generally encapsulated in the chorus, where it bursts out after the verses set the scene, however, sometimes the title of the song is the summary of the story. In writing terms this central idea is called the "through-line". It's the central idea that ties up all of the loose ends together. E.g. Bacharach and David's 'Walk On By' is about a lover asking her ex to walk past her if he should see her again in the future. The verses explain why. That's it. That's the song.
For the listener a song with too many ideas running through it gets in the way of the power of immediacy that a song can produce. It gets in the way because it confuses the listener with too much choice and in doing that sends out mixed messages and the listener won't have anything to connect to. Convey your message, invoke the audience's emotions and paint your aural picture - one idea at a time.