These days, one, two, three months of time is unlikely to provide you with a career record.
With the widespread availability of recording technology, anyone can now make a recording at their slightest whim. However, making a career recording is something quite singular and different.
The term “career recording” connotes a specific point in an artist’s extended body of work that distinguishes itself from the rest of that artist’s work by establishing the highest possible standard that he is capable of reaching. It is a definitive high watermark for the artist and serves as an historic marker to illustrate the peak of his creative powers at the moment in history when it was generated. It may also coincidentally come at a moment in the artist’s career when he needs a great success to bolster his popularity.
Generally, there are several prerequisite variables in order to set the stage for a career recording. The first variable is the artist in question is one with a prior history of music creation/record making. Another is that the artist’s career is on an upward trajectory indicating that his best work is in front of him. One more possible variable is that even though his immense artistic potential is evident, his previous work has, at best, revealed only glimpses of this.
Under any circumstance, it is an exercise in futility to enter into a recording studio casually with little/no preparation to make such a recording. If one is trying to make a statement that will stand the test of time, a project that begins without any strategy and inadequate preparation beforehand will almost certainly end in disaster.
In order to plan for such a project, it is valuable to take into account variables, such as, where the artist’s head is at, what his previous work is like/what direction it’s gone in, your previous experience with him (if any), his age, his motivation, whether or not he has a backlog of material, whether or not his writing cycle has begun and is fruitful, what kind of distractions he is dealing with (personal and otherwise), how much interference those distractions run into his work, etc.
Talent is an essential factor here but far less important than these variables if the end result you seek is to make something timeless. In order to get an accurate picture of what you’ll need in the way of resources (time vs money), you need to be brutally honest, insightful, a great judge of people and have extraordinary horse sense.