wolff

Greatest songwriter in last 50 years?

80 posts in this topic

I think the word "vehicle" was invented for Neil Diamond.....

I HEFF NO SON!!!!!

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I heard Andy Williams doing "On The Street Where You Live" on the radio last weekend, and it was superb.

I'm amazed by Andy Williams sometimes. Now, I'll admit he did record some schlock from time to time, but there are also some jaw-dropping performances, IMO. With pipes like that, all he had to do was find that right combination of great song, great arrangement, and the right feeling. Jim, I don't know if you're already familiar with it, but if not, check out his version of "Maria" sometime. Wear headphones, if possible- you'll get a better sense of the dynamics that way... and you won't blow out any windows.

Yeah, I hear you. That type of singing is an art unto itself, and Williams could do it quite well when whatever the neccessary mojos were in place. Looking at his records in the used bins, I'm inclined to say that he recorded more than "some" schlock, :g , but if there's a CD compilation of him doing all standards, or something similar, I could probably be persuaded to consider buying it.

The whole thing about that kind of singing is to entirely serve the song, not personalize it into a vehicle (OOOPS, inadvertant Neil Diamond reference :g ), which is of course the direct opposite esthetic of jazz, blues, etc., and the interpretive techniques involved are pretty involved. I'm particularly struck by how these type of singers "unfold" their vibrato on held tones, and how they do they do the same on sustained vowel sounds. It's something that it's real easy to overlook until you notice it, and then it's easy to notice how artlesslt a lot of singers don't do it. And that's when the ones who do do it begin to stick out and shine.

To return, hopefully back to some sense of relevance to this thread, it's been checking out that tpe of singing that has gotten me to thinking of "songs" and "songwriters" in what I suppose you could call more "classical" terms. It's just another dimension to music, that's all.

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here's a few that didn't get mentioned:

Leiber & Stoller

Jackson Browne

James Brown

Randy Newman

Warren Zevon

Ashford & Simpson

Norman Whitfield

Maurice White

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Damn, I thought I'd get to be the first to mention Chuck Berry. Oh, well.

I wouldn't be surprised if someone's already mentioned Goffin/King too.

How about---

Buddy Holly

Lowman Pauling

Argent/White (The Zombies)

Brian Eno

Sly Stone

(and :tup to Leiber/Stoller, Lennon/McCartney, Jagger/Richards, Ray Davies, Elvis Costello, Bacharach, and Becker/Fagen....and others.)

Edited by BruceH

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Difford and Tilbrook

Another enjoyable English songwriting duo.

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And let's not forget Otis Blackwell. :tup

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Some that I don't think were mentioned:

Curtis Mayfield

David Bowie

Elton John/Bernie Maupin

Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter

And especially Smokey Robinson!

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Curtis Mayfield

Funny you mention him, I just bought the Superfly soundtrack, and it is absolutely killin'.

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Good that Curtis Mayfield was finally mentioned!

How about Isaac Hayes?

I'm also surprised that nobody has mentioned Carol King or James Taylor.

This is also Merle Haggard.

I actually think that Dolly Parton writes fine songs. :wub:

In Russia, there is Vladimir Vysotsky

R Kelly or Babyface, anyone? :)

Edited by John L

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did anyone mention Jagger/Richards - and Bud Powell, for my money one of the greatest jazz composers -

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Have I overlooked it -- not one mention of Joni Mitchell? :huh:

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Have I overlooked it -- not one mention of Joni Mitchell? :huh:

You've overlooked it. :)

John L, James Taylor was mentioned (twice, I believe).

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Serge Gainsbourg.

For anyone not familiar, check this site:

http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Musee/1489/...ourg/serge.html

Brownie,

I nearly picked up a used CD of Gainsbourg's early jazz recordings not too long ago... may head back to the shop and see if it's still there. Any recommendations in that area?

Myself, I have "Du Jazz Dans Le Ravin," which is really good. There is another comp titled "Couleur Café", which partly covers the same titles. But "..Ravin" has "black trombone" and "Elaeudanla Teiteia", which are among my personal favourites.

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There is another comp titled "Couleur Café", which partly covers the same titles. But "..Ravin" has "black trombone" and "Elaeudanla Teiteia", which are among my personal favourites.

I think "Couleur Cafe" was the one that I saw. I'll keep an eye out for it and the other one that you mention, couw. Many thanks!

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Serge Gainsbourg.

For anyone not familiar, check this site:

http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Musee/1489/...ourg/serge.html

Brownie,

I nearly picked up a used CD of Gainsbourg's early jazz recordings not too long ago... may head back to the shop and see if it's still there. Any recommendations in that area?

GOM, bear in mind that although Gainsbourg knew his jazz very thoroughly (some favorites of his were Monk, Jimmy Smith, Jackie McLean among others) he did not record any strictly jazz albums.

In addition to what couw already recommended, I would suggest you check 'Confidentiel' (with backing by Elek Bacsik on guitar and Michel Gaudry on bass) and 'Gainsbourg Percussions', also some jazzy soundtracks (with very nice trumpet playing by Roger Guérin) on several items in the 3-CD anthology 'Le Cinéma de Gainsbourg' that came out this year from Universal.

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Jimmy Webb

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In re-reviewing this topic, I'd have to agree with Jim's initial assertion of Jobim. I think it would also make the discussion more precise if you broke it up by field, jazz, rock, etc. and also looked at who crossed boundaries. While Lennon/McCartney are giants in rock, their songs haven't been done too much in other areas I believe.

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Already mentioned: Chuck, Leiber and Stoller, Smokey, Goffin/King.

How about Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman?

And Hank Williams has been gone for over 50 years, but not much more than that.

More recently: Dan Hicks, John Sebastian, Jesse Winchester, and Jake Jacobs are personal favorites.

Merle Haggard is still at it.

Apologies if anyone has mentioned them and I missed it.

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If you had said 60 years instead of 50, I would say Hank Williams. An amazing body of work!

And he got his inspiration from real life and the funny books!

Edited by It Should be You

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Already mentioned: Chuck, Leiber and Stoller, Smokey, Goffin/King.

How about Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman?

And Hank Williams has been gone for over 50 years, but not much more than that.

More recently: Dan Hicks, John Sebastian, Jesse Winchester, and Jake Jacobs are personal favorites.

Merle Haggard is still at it.

Apologies if anyone has mentioned them and I missed it.

Nice to see these pop and country writers mentioned.

I can't believe that more people haven't mentioned Brian Wilson! Up there in quality, if not number of cover versions, with Lennon/McCartney and Stevie Wonder.

Of late, I've been partial to the songwriting of Fountains of Wayne and Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields, etc.) Both write songs that could stand up quite well on their own apart from their originator's renditions; in Merritt's case, perhaps stand up even better.

Edited by Kalo

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Of late, I've been partial to the songwriting of Fountains of Wayne and Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields, etc.) Both write songs that could stand up quite well on their own apart from their originator's renditions; in Merritt's case, perhaps stand up even better.

I only know some of Merritt's work but he sure is impressive. He has been known to write a few songs about love.* ;)

Agree too about Hank Sr. rating high, even if he just misses the cutoff. I was just spinning a couple of live shows of his last night.

*For those who don't know, his group put out a 3 disc set called "69 Love Songs."

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Duke Ellington

Johnny Mandel (name someone else still living writing memorable standards)

Dave Brubeck

Sorry, but I can't think of any rock or pop stars that I would include on my list, even if were increased to 25 names.

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Serge Gainsbourg.

For anyone not familiar, check this site:

http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Musee/1489/...ourg/serge.html

Brownie,

I nearly picked up a used CD of Gainsbourg's early jazz recordings not too long ago... may head back to the shop and see if it's still there. Any recommendations in that area?

GOM, bear in mind that although Gainsbourg knew his jazz very thoroughly (some favorites of his were Monk, Jimmy Smith, Jackie McLean among others) he did not record any strictly jazz albums.

In addition to what couw already recommended, I would suggest you check 'Confidentiel' (with backing by Elek Bacsik on guitar and Michel Gaudry on bass) and 'Gainsbourg Percussions', also some jazzy soundtracks (with very nice trumpet playing by Roger Guérin) on several items in the 3-CD anthology 'Le Cinéma de Gainsbourg' that came out this year from Universal.

I've been listening to DU JAZZ DANS LE RAVIN, and speaking of Jackie McLean, who is the saxophonist on track #16, "Quand mon 6:35 me fait les yeux doux"? Sure sounds like a Jackie acolyte.. no wonder SG used him. It originally appeared on GAINSBOURG PERCUSSIONS.

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