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Your favorite songwriters


Okieslims

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Who are your top five favorite song writers? If you will, please break down some of their lyrics and explain why they made your list.

 

Here's my list

 

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Ben Folds. This man writes great lyrics. John Mayer sites him for inspiration in writing No Such Thing. His style is often conversational.

 

"Next door there's an old man who lived to his 90's and one day

passed away .. in his sleep. and his wife, she stayed for a couple of days

and passed away..

I'm sorry I know that's a

strange way to tell you that I know

we belong.."

 

See.. conversational.. and brilliant in my opinion.

 

 

 

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Tom Petty

 

This, in my opinion is one of the greatest songs ever written. Tom Petty is amongst the greatest writers ever. I wont back down, free falling, waiting, etc etc etc etc.. the man is awesome.

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The Boss

 

This song represents hopes and dreams and failure and the way that life doesn't always turn out like you hoped.. it shows a man standing by his family.. but longing to know what if.

Springsteen could tell a story.

I was listening to Born in the USA the other day.. it dawned on me that nobody writes and sings with as much passion as this man.

 

 

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Bob Dylan

One of the most covered artists ever.. he writes timeless songs.. hell I found out the other day that he wrote Constant Sorrow from Oh Brother Where Art Though..lol.

 

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Pete Townsend

 

He writes great tunes. This is squeezebox and it pulls you back into your child hood.. and the wierd noises you would hear at night.. and then you just feel weird.. but its awesome.. Not to mention the fact that he wrote two concept albums..

 

 

Ok I'm done. Hope somebody gets turned on to a few of these guys if you they aint already.

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When I think songwriters, I tend to think more of lyrics than perhaps others who look more at overall composition, but that's me. I don't think anyone would deny that Mozart was a great songwriter (composer) but I'll focus more on songwriters in a more contemporary popular sense.

 

Paul Simon is one of the greats. His ability to turn a unique phrase is up there.

 

Out in the Indian Ocean somewhere

There's a former army post

Abandoned now just like the war

 

In the clearing stands a boxer

And a fighter by his trade

He carries the reminder

Of every glove that laid him down

Or cut him til he cried out

In his anger and his shame

 

Theses are the days of lasers in the jungle

Lasers in the jungle somewhere

Stacatto signals of constant information

A loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires

So forth and so on. The list is lengthy. Like his songs or not, you have to admit he has a way with words.

 

Lennon and McCartney. From "Mean Mr. Mustard" on through to the end of the album alone qualifies them, let alone all the rest. Nuff said.

 

Jon Anderson takes a lot of heat for the sheer abstraction of his lyrics, but I have come to appreciate them the way one looks at an impressionist painting. You don't get photorealism, but the way he paints images that all connect can evoke a lot of emotion. Some of his more coherent material like "Turn of the Century," "A Venture," or "Wonderous Stories" are quite haunting as well.

 

Robert Hunter wrote many of Jerry Garcia's folksier Americana style songs. My own writing is probably more closely akin to his than anyone else's.

 

Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Mark Knopfler, Neil Peart, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Dylan, John Prine, John Fogerty, Joe Walsh (yes, Joe Walsh, you heard me) all receive high marks as well. There are others, but that will do for now.

 

EG

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I could pick five today and tomorrow it would be a different five.

 

Off the top of my head: Hank Williams, Leonard Cohen, John Prine, Guy Clark, Howard Devoto, Hoagie Carmichael, Jagger & Richards, Tom Verlaine, Samuel Beam -- and then I'm just warming up...

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I generally like songwriters who are succinct and tight in their songs: Porter, Gershwin, Berlin, Hank Williams, Lennon/McCartney.

 

Paul Simon is one of the few "wordy" songwriters that I enjoy. I also really enjoy Andy Partridge of XTC, who is an impeccable pop songwriter. And, I gotta say, there are plenty of Led Zep songs that I really dig.

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Many good ones here.

 

My Top 5 (no particular order)

 

Lennon-McCartney (Variety in Songwriting Award)

Paul Simon (Songwriting Craftmanship Award)

Richard Thompson (Somebody Dies in Almost Every Song Award - not what makes him great, tho)

Any Partridge (Quirky but Always Tuneful Brit Award - nice to see some XTC fans here)

Bob Dylan (The Borrowed Melody-Crappy Voice Yet Still Extremely Influential Award)

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Second best IMHO. Right after David Gilmour.

 

 

He certainly ranks up there, but my top honor in that category has to go to Mr. Page.

 

I can't believe I left Plant and Page off my list. Maybe not the greatest lyricists ever, but the songs are unforgettable. Though some of their tunes like "Down By The Seaside," "Ten Years Gone," "No Quarter," "Achilles Last Stand," etc. rate pretty highly in the lyric dpartment. And, love it or hate it, any group that puts together a monster like "Stairway" (yes, I mentioned it, so kill me now) deserves credit.

 

EG

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hell I found out the other day that he wrote Constant Sorrow from Oh Brother Where Art Though..lol.

 

Umm, who told you that? :cop: Dylan covered "Man of Constant Sorrow" on his debut self-titled album. It's actually what's called a traditional folk song, probably meaning that it's so old noone knows who the original writer was.

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Umm, who told you that?
:cop:
Dylan
covered
"Man of Constant Sorrow" on his debut self-titled album. It's actually what's called a traditional folk song, probably meaning that it's so old noone knows who the original writer was.

 

Some guy at work told me that and then he showed me an old clip of young dylan doing it.. Color me naive

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Lennon/McCartney

 

Ah, look at all the lonely people

Ah, look at all the lonely people

 

Eleanor rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been

Lives in a dream

Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door

Who is it for?

 

Jager/Richards

 

Please allow me to introduce myself

Im a man of wealth and taste

Ive been around for a long, long year

Stole many a mans soul and faith

And I was round when jesus christ

Had his moment of doubt and pain

Made damn sure that pilate

Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guess my name

But whats puzzling you

Is the nature of my game

 

Lots of others also but these rank right up there...Page/Plant...Simon

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Lennon/McCartney


Ah, look at all the lonely people

Ah, look at all the lonely people


Eleanor rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been

Lives in a dream

Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door

Who is it for?


Jager/Richards


Please allow me to introduce myself

Im a man of wealth and taste

Ive been around for a long, long year

Stole many a mans soul and faith

And I was round when jesus christ

Had his moment of doubt and pain

Made damn sure that pilate

Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guess my name

But whats puzzling you

Is the nature of my game


Lots of others also but these rank right up there...Page/Plant...Simon

 

 

Two insanely great songs.. I had a serious connection to Eleanor Rigby when I was younger.

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I'm a fan of the writers who inject a little subtle humor into their songs. Roger Clyne, BNL, Andy Partridge (the love for him on this thread surprised me, in a good way), even though they might be considered too "pop" to be taken seriously.

 

I think all of my other favorites were already named.

 

ETA: How could I forget Todd Snider? One of my favorite lyricists ever.

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How could I forget Todd Sinder? One of my favorite lyricists ever.

 

Hey, VGW - do you mean Todd Snider? The guy who wrote the "Louie, Louie" song whose name escapes me?

 

Yep, forgot about him - add him to The List.:)

 

XTC in my mind developed as much as the Fab Four but without the respect. They went from short, fast, brittle, angular songs to a kind of lush, orchestral style - without losing that "subtle humor". Great band!

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Hey, VGW - do you mean Todd Snider? The guy who wrote the "Louie, Louie" song whose name escapes me?

 

Yes, I meant Snider. :facepalm: And the song you are thinking of is "The Ballad of the Kingsmen". Truly one of the great songs about music and our society.

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