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I'd say greatest and most influential songwriter living songwriter today is Max Martin. He's a genius - from Hit Me Baby to My Life Would Suck Without You and all of the great hits he's cowritten in the last 15 years or so. He's an unassuming legend. People that really understand songwriting know that he has an extremely rare gift to write and produce music that consistently connects with a lot of people.
Correction - "max is wrong, abrasive and, likely, a felon"
finally found it ... the dumbest person on the internet. matximus.
Matximus wrote: I'd say greatest and most influential songwriter living songwriter today is Max Martin. He's a genius - from Hit Me Baby to My Life Would Suck Without You and all of the great hits he's cowritten in the last 15 years or so. He's an unassuming legend. People that really understand songwriting know that he has an extremely rare gift to write and produce music that consistently connects with a lot of people.
What a load of old crap! Legend and Max Martin will NEVER belong in the same sentence!! He's nothing more than a failed swedish rock singer, who was lucky enough to produce Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys at the beginning of their career. Ever since he's used his "genius" - more like pulling power to monoplize everything. P!nk sold out to him, so did Avril Lavigne, so did Christina Aguilera. As a result all their records suck now. Britney and the Backstreet Boys fans never cared about the crap that they were singing and he's been given a free ride off of their backs, not the other way around. By the way I understand that you are a total idiot: I understand more about songwriting that you do and people like Max Martin are ten a penny. There are geniuses out there that can write better than him. And as long as Paul McCartney, Barry Gibb, Brian Wilson, David Bowie, Diane Warren and RedOne are on the planet Max Martin will never be the greatest, ever. I can't believe you wrote such a moronic talent about someone who is nothing more than an opportunist, not a talented songwriter. I feel ever sorry for you...
Shot From Guns
www.shotfromguns.wordpress.com - New updates!
The Artful Dodger -
"Business acumen, institution building, and shrewd political maneuvering are the only way to protect conscious artistry."
"The more fragile harmonics can survive in a vacuum tube, where they seem to be eliminated or squashed in the solid state crystal lattice. Maybe it just comes down to that." - the wise Alexander Dumble
Hell... I think Stack can have a rumble all on his own from the looks of it.
"...can you imagine the Cole Porter and the Irving Berlin partisans having a street bang over it..."
And it should be all-out gang warfare if those two are not in the discussion.
(Takes down Tommy-Gun, sticks in a clip.)
And let's not forget the great Harry Warren, author, with lyricist Al Dubin, of the greatest song of the 20th Century (and cut when the century was only 1/3 over), "Remember My Forgotten Man" -- sung below by Joan Blondell and Etta Moten...
Not just the century's best song, but its best video...
(From the otherwise relatively light-hearted depression-era musical, "Gold Diggers of 1933," directed by yet another great, Busby Berkley. People probably mostly think of Berkley's big fluffy production numbers, but check out what happens above when he's got something serious to chew on. Check out Blondell as the proverbial prosti with a heart of gold as she stops a cop from taking a whack at a street bum with his night stick, reaching across to open his coat and show the cop the tarnished Medal of Valor clipped inside the lining. And take note of the marching to war sequence -- where the fresh soldiers marching to battle zip past the weary, wounded, devastated troops limping back, the speed of their marching accelerated by a treadmill. And the final production number... keep in mind, kiddies, there's no CGI there... that's a huge ass set with a jillion dancers. [He also directed some serious dramas and often injected serious sub-themes into his depression era extravaganzas.] That guy rocked.)
This is too broad a question. I think there are writers that were/are the best at different things, but in terms of the all-around greatest songwriter, I think that's almost impossible to answer.
Dylan--probably the most innovate lyricist in rock 'n roll. Pushed the boundaries of what could be said in a pop song. But of course, without Woody Guthrie or Stephen Foster, there would probably be no Dylan.
Paul McCartney--probably one of the greatest melodists in rock 'n roll. Of course, you could probably say that about Brian Wilson too.
For craft, you couldn't beat the best of the Brill Building songwriters--King/Goffin, Leiber/Stoller, Mann/Weil. Of course, if you mention them, then you also have to mention the Motown writers as well--Holland/Dozier/Holland, Smokey Robinson, Whitfield/Strong, etc.
Max Martin is probably one of the best current writers, in terms of great hooks. Although I'm sure there are many Nashville writers who could rival him easily in that department, and are better storytellers.
For a current performing songwriter--I'd have to give that award to John Mayer. You can tell he pays attention to his craft. He has the knack for getting the point across in a song in a unique way.
And of course, the pre-rock & roll songwriters--creators of the great American songbook: Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin--those guys could write circles around anyone in rock 'n roll today in terms of sophistication (and they were considered "pop" back then), but sadly, people don't talk about them much anymore.
Burt Bachrach, Paul Simon, Jimmy Webb, Stevie Wonder...I could go on.
Point is, I don't know if there is one "best" songwriter. Many of the "great" songwriters had different reasons why they were great. It wouldn't be fair to compare someone like Dylan with someone like Irving Berlin, because they're songs are very different. We're talking apples and oranges here.