Wherever we're going and whatever we're doing there are two ways to get there, to accomplish our goals: we can use a spade or we can take an elevator. That's a simplistic view, granted, but it does apply.
I was thinking about this whilst reading Roisin Murphy talk about the pivotal songs from her own back catalogue. In so doing, she naturally mentioned her 2007 album, Overpowered. An album lavished with quite a bit of money and a lot of (rightly so) swoony reviews, and which has found its natural resting place in the vaults of the criminally underrated vaults.
Murphy tells a story about how, commercially, Overpowered was killed before it even began. A copy of the finished but as yet unreleased record was given to a decision maker at BBC Radio 1. He took it in holiday, loved it, but said Radio 1 would not play it. This is surely an A1 example of getting into a broken elevator; you get a direct route to the top, but only when allowed to by certain gatekeepers. Murphy ponders whether starting small and building a grassroots campaign - in this case, using a spade - might have served the album better, commercially speaking. It's never one way that is right while the other wrong, the hard part is knowing when to take the elevator and when to use a spade instead.