Listen to the Deep Tracks !!

I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic lately.  If you don’t know this about me, I’m a huge music freak !!  I have music playing constantly in the car, in my office and when I’m working around the house.  I’m not very particular when it comes to styles of music either.  I prefer to keep the iPod on shuffle so that there is a constant mix flowing around me.

The reason I’ve felt nostalgic is that I grew up in the era of Album Rock.  You looked forward to the full LP from an artist vs. anticipating the next hit single. This isn’t a rant against Pop Music.  There have always been artists who are more known for their hits more than their body of work and there always will be. Unfortunately (in my opinion), the pendulum has swayed back to the hit single now instead of enjoying an artist’s full album.

Vinyl RulesI love vinyl records.  Everything about vinyl is great.  The look of the record.  The size of the album.  Knowing that you have to turn the record over in order to hear all the songs.  And, yes, I love the scratches, pops and snaps that emanate from the speakers while the songs play.  When you hear the first crackle as the needle drops and you don’t hear any notes for a few seconds, it’s bliss !!  Enough reminiscing . . .

The true joy of vinyl is that you are almost forced to listen to an entire side of an album.  It’s really difficult to skip a song, so you make time to listen to all of it.  That’s when it happens.  You discover a gem of a song by an artist you enjoy.  If you were given the chance to pick and choose songs, you’d probably only listen to the hits from the set.  But now you find that the deep tracks of the LP are actually better, more creative and show the depth of the artist.  Granted, there are some misses, but not that often.

In the workplace, we tend to pay attention to the employees who put out “hits” and are very visible, and we ignore the steady folks who are those “deep tracks.”  HR needs to play the part of the stereo arm and guide management to pay attention to the “whole album” vs. being enamored with the employee who may be a “one-hit wonder” !!  HR has the chance to take the hitmakers and show them how to develop their body of work into classic albums as well.

I know there a tons of comparisons to music in this post, but seriously, look at your systems HR.  They reward the people who have your attention at a particular moment.  This is true of performance management systems, compensation systems and how you promote people.  We need to be more focused on development so that we can enjoy all of the contributions people make.

I can tell you this, I’d much rather have a stack of vinyl to work with all the time instead of a quick single from iTunes from someone I may never hear from again.  This week dust off your vinyl, drop the needle and enjoy Track 8, Side 1.  It will be great !!

5 thoughts on “Listen to the Deep Tracks !!”

  1. How true! Listening to a vinyl record, I imagine, could probe discoveries for songs we never could have stumbled upon before. I often have my iPod on shuffle and delight in finding rare song on XM satellite radio so I can download them on iTunes. But I never really thought about going back and listening to the vinyl. Great post!

  2. Love it! What a great post Steve, my apologies for not finding the time to drop you a line on this fine subject sooner. One of my fave albums that absolutely backs up your assertion is Sandinista, by The Clash. A triple vinyl 36 track monster into which you can go pretty much as deep as you like. Track 16 – Let’s Go Crazy. Like I say, love it!

  3. This is a fantastic analogy! So true! I just joined this group and this is the first post I’ve read. I look forward to more.

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