I wonder if the music executives pick the music that made superhits some 30 or 40 years ago, dress it up using modern arrangements, and disguise it well, but use the same foundation melody, scale and rhythm and try to create new hits.
I'd argue that today the execs pick the gimmick first before anything else. The quality of the music's far down the list. Pop music's always been a little bit about style over substance but acts like Lady GagMe epitomize it. Back to Sid Meier.... I haven't played the original Civ for more than a decade but I sure did when it first came out. Folks who weren't around yet or are too young to remember don't realize what an impact it had.
"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."