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Friday Influences 11-05-10!


Lee Knight

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Post what has influenced your songwriting either recently this past week or anytime in your development as a writer / listener.

 

For me, it was the seemingly cheap/cheesy/bad writing for teeny bopper bubble gum artists. In fact though, it was fantastic writing, packaged for kids. Bubble Gum masterpieces.

 

Graham Gouldman, later of 10cc, wrote this silly little pop gem about a forlorn lover explaining why his note rolled in a milk bottle to the milkman reads "No Milk Today". She's gone and there's more than enough left from last delivery for just me. Boo-hoo. It's enough to break your 13 year old heart.

 

Check out the pure pop chord progression and the mutation from minor to major at the section transitions. Great tune that sort of foreshadows what the La's were doing with There She Goes.

 

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Of course, we all know that the Monkees song I'm a Believer was penned by Neil. But have you heard it? It's amazing how much of this arrangement the Monkee production team lifted straight. Great tune from a great writer.

 

[YOUTUBE]7iPU6gqUSXU[/YOUTUBE]

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Since Lee brought up the Monkees I'll follow suit.

 

Mike Nesmith at his best. Here are a couple of catchy pop-tunes with intelligent lyrics. I have aspired towards this since I started writing songs decades ago. Still not there yet.

 

[YOUTUBE]C-W0ZIO-hMU[/YOUTUBE]

 

This is probably my all-time favorite Nesmith song. Dig the twanging lead guitar and crazy percussion. I've heard it was James Burton playing lead but Mike refers to the guitarist as Luther. Anyone know for sure who played lead on this????

 

[YOUTUBE]dkgAj0rtGZU[/YOUTUBE]

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Some of the only real singing you're gonna hear on Glee is from this not exactly new band, who do the theme. Here they're having a live go at "Eleanor Rigby"...

 

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Of course, the Swingles made their name swinging Bach and other baroque era composers -- here they are from almost 50 years ago:

 

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Despite the fact that the Swingle Singers are very much a European institution, started in France in 1962, founder Ward Swingle (talk about an as-the-twig-is-bent surname, eh?) -- who also was a founding member of the French vocal swing outfit, Les Double Six, was actually born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. In 2004, Swingle was named "Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" (Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Minister of Culture and Information.

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