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Important songs that were written very quickly...

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  • Important songs that were written very quickly...

    You know, I've watched and re-watched that video Booshy posted here: "Jesus Is My Friend" by Sonseed.

    I'll be darned if that song is not catchy.... in spite of any other corniness and dated-ness it miught have. Now I can't get it out of my mind. The song couldn't be TOO trivial: it, and all of its parodies and variants, are all over YouTube.

    I just read an interview with the lead singer, Sal Polichetti. He says the song was written in ten minutes.

    How many important songs that you're aware of.... were written in a ridiculously short amount of time?
    Every paint-stroke takes you farther and farther away from your initial concept. And you have to be thankful for that. Wayne Thiebaud


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  • #2
    Half the Beatles catalogue?

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    • #3
      "Venus" by : "The Shocking Blue" Written bij Robbie van Leeuwen in 10 minutes when he was taking a dump.

      He's still making a good year's salary from that song every year for the last 35 years.
      Don't Eat The Yellow Snow. Don't Eat The Yellow Snow.

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      • #4
        "Venus" by : "The Shocking Blue" Written bij Robbie van Leeuwen in 10 minutes when he was taking a dump.


        Man Booshy, I just looked at that album yesterday after I took a dump !!!!
        Are you the FBI ???
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        • #5


          Honestly? Other than great symphonic music, I'd say the grand majority of good songs were written very quickly.

          There's a saying out there about pop/rock music: the more you think, the more you stink. To me, a great song is such a natural process that the song comes out even quicker than you can write it down. It just flows out naturally. Like taking a crap.
          Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

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          • #6
            "American Woman" by Guess Who was written live and impromptu.

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            • #7
              I believe I heard long ago in a radio interview that Boyce and Heart wrote the great "Last Train to Clarksville" in 15 minutes.

              Looking it up just now to double check, I note something I never had before -- it was written as a love song from a soldier going off to Vietnam:
              According to the song's authors, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, the song is their protest of the Vietnam War and tells the story of a young man who has been drafted. He is waiting for the train that will take him to an army base, and he knows he may die in Vietnam. At the end of the song he states, "I don't know if I'm ever coming home."[1]
              The article goes on to add some intersting -- and possibly conflicting background info:
              Like many hit Monkees songs of the era ("Cuddly Toy," "Pleasant Valley Sunday"), the song pairs a fast, chipper melody with darker lyrics. Micky Dolenz performs the lead vocals, with Boyce playing acoustic guitar. The song has been compared to The Beatles' "Paperback Writer", both in the style of "jangly" guitar and the chord structure. It also resembles the guitar riff in "Blue's Theme", by Davie Allan and the Arrows, from the Peter Fonda biker movie The Wild Angels.

              Though the Clarksville in the song's title appears to refer to the city of Clarksville, Tennessee
              .

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              • #8
                ZZ Top's "Tush" was made up, on the spot, at a gig.
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                • #9
                  "Venus" by : "The Shocking Blue" Written bij Robbie van Leeuwen in 10 minutes when he was taking a dump.




                  Well .... sure ... the key to that is that you sit there in the bathroom, listening to this song from 7 years earlier on the record player in the next room. Voila ! Out of the bathroom and into the next room to rewrite ... er ... write Venus. 5 minutes flat ! No problem.


                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOVv43DJdrQ

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                  • #10
                    Neil Young wrote "Ohio" within a few hours of seeing the Life magaizne coverage of the incident.



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                    • #11
                      Victor Wooten in his book "The Music Lesson" states that nobody actually creates music. He says the music exists already and it just comes through us. I recorded a dozen or so songs by a singer who says he does not write songs he finds them.

                      It makes sense that when the channel is open the song gets "written" in the time it takes for it to play itself in the "composers" mind

                      A good example of that is McCarney's "Scrambled Eggs" where he rolled out of bed one day, went to the piano and this song came to him. He shopped it around to his friends because he thought he must have heard it somewhere before. He and his cohorts refined it into "Yesterday" the most covered tune in history.
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                      It is up to you which one you choose to explore
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                      • #12
                        Well .... sure ... the key to that is that you sit there in the bathroom, listening to this song from 7 years earlier on the record player in the next room. Voila ! Out of the bathroom and into the next room to rewrite ... er ... write Venus. 5 minutes flat ! No problem.


                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOVv43DJdrQ


                        Very good point. And that's the danger of writing a song too quickly--you never know where your brain may have lifted it from. There are only 12 notes, so you gotta be careful. Look what happened to George Harrison with "My Sweet Lord".

                        And that's why I can never write a song too quickly--I just don't trust my brain to be that brilliant. It usually takes a good deal of woodshedding to get it to the point where I'm satisfied that it's "my" song. It has to sound natural and familiar enough, without being a copy of something. That's a delicate balance.
                        ...

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                        • #13
                          dylan wrote a couple songs off "blonde on blonde" in the studio, and those are all like 3 hours long with 50,000 words.

                          ray charles' "what i say" was improvised.

                          i once wrote a song and forgot about it, then one day at practice while the drummer was taking a piss, i rewrote it with a different story but the same hook. it's my most popular song.

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                          • #14
                            Some songs will come to you all at once in a few minutes, and you will labor over others for weeks. This is what the craft of songwriting is all about. You collect fragments and ideas all of the time and you always work at it. I saw an interview with Joni Mitchell once and she had a couple of yellow legal pads per song on one of her albums.

                            If you study the great songwriters they all say pretty much the same thing about this.

                            I happen
                            "It's all good; except when it's Great."

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                            • #15
                              Paranoid... Black Sabbath was told they were short of material for the album (which was supposed to be titled War Pigs), Geezer wrote the song on the spot and Ozzy was reading the lyrics as he recorded it

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