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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:07 am 
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I have a hard time believing how high some of these people are, Morrissey is really high compared to names below him from what I know, but maybe I just don't know much of his work. I can't believe Mariah Carrey's placement though, she's a great artist, very popular, but songwriting is where it's really lacking, I think the songwriting involved in her songs (did she actually write her own? If so, even more disappoint) is just awful. Very bland, formulaic pop and R&B writing, ripped off many others and has no spur of talent or creativity. She is an extremely talented singer, but like Britney Spears for example, they are both very popular, but could anyone say the songwriting involved for any of Britney's songs were anything but bland, formulaic and talentless? People dish out number 1 hits at companies by following a very common formula for the genre of what type of chords, choruses, etc. develop a catchy song when combined with the artists charisma/ability/sex appeal/whatever and proper marketing make a hit. That doesn't excuse the fact that the songwriting is poor. The fact that she is ahead for songwriting of some terrific, intelligent, creative, and genius songwriters that are quite low just surprises me. Popularity of songs is a big deal, and I guess that's why she's ahead, but she was really popular as an artists, her hits went really high and I guess that's why, but honestly, very few remember them. I've heard this many times, and went and tested it. You guys can too. Go and ask someone to name a Mariah Carey song, or at least 3. I've met maybe 4 people of the hundreds I've asked (did it for a paper for my pop music class, I did one similarly to see how familiar people were with Charlie Parker for my Jazz class) that can even name a song of hers. I know I can't, but that's not saying much, though I've heard many of her songs, nothing sticks to me at least. As bias as that is, objectively I find the songwriting extremely poor, I guess she's there for popularity of the songs themselves, but I can't stand seeing terrible songwriting being higher than great songwriting due to popularity, but it's bound to happen. Acclaim of her songwriting should be pretty low too, I've never heard anyone say anything about her songwriting ability except that she makes hits. So does Justin Bieber, so did the Backstreet Boys, N-Sync, Miley Cyrus, Backstreet Boys, etc. They make some good and bad songs, but they all represent terrible song writing.


EDIT: Looking at the criteria, it's extremely bias towards popularity of the hits, initial popularity, popularity within multiple genres, it's pretty much a popularity of the songs they wrote list, influence and acclaim seems small compared to all the other criteria. If Influence was the biggest, then Acclaim and Popularity tie, Mariah Carey and others would be much lower. Does she have any songwriting influence? I'd be very curious to hear about it


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:26 pm 
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Classic Rock Junkie wrote:
I have a hard time believing how high some of these people are, Morrissey is really high compared to names below him from what I know, but maybe I just don't know much of his work. I can't believe Mariah Carrey's placement though, she's a great artist, very popular, but songwriting is where it's really lacking, I think the songwriting involved in her songs (did she actually write her own? If so, even more disappoint) is just awful. Very bland, formulaic pop and R&B writing, ripped off many others and has no spur of talent or creativity. She is an extremely talented singer, but like Britney Spears for example, they are both very popular, but could anyone say the songwriting involved for any of Britney's songs were anything but bland, formulaic and talentless? People dish out number 1 hits at companies by following a very common formula for the genre of what type of chords, choruses, etc. develop a catchy song when combined with the artists charisma/ability/sex appeal/whatever and proper marketing make a hit. That doesn't excuse the fact that the songwriting is poor. The fact that she is ahead for songwriting of some terrific, intelligent, creative, and genius songwriters that are quite low just surprises me. Popularity of songs is a big deal, and I guess that's why she's ahead, but she was really popular as an artists, her hits went really high and I guess that's why, but honestly, very few remember them. I've heard this many times, and went and tested it. You guys can too. Go and ask someone to name a Mariah Carey song, or at least 3. I've met maybe 4 people of the hundreds I've asked (did it for a paper for my pop music class, I did one similarly to see how familiar people were with Charlie Parker for my Jazz class) that can even name a song of hers. I know I can't, but that's not saying much, though I've heard many of her songs, nothing sticks to me at least. As bias as that is, objectively I find the songwriting extremely poor, I guess she's there for popularity of the songs themselves, but I can't stand seeing terrible songwriting being higher than great songwriting due to popularity, but it's bound to happen. Acclaim of her songwriting should be pretty low too, I've never heard anyone say anything about her songwriting ability except that she makes hits. So does Justin Bieber, so did the Backstreet Boys, N-Sync, Miley Cyrus, Backstreet Boys, etc. They make some good and bad songs, but they all represent terrible song writing.


EDIT: Looking at the criteria, it's extremely bias towards popularity of the hits, initial popularity, popularity within multiple genres, it's pretty much a popularity of the songs they wrote list, influence and acclaim seems small compared to all the other criteria. If Influence was the biggest, then Acclaim and Popularity tie, Mariah Carey and others would be much lower. Does she have any songwriting influence? I'd be very curious to hear about it


I was just browsing this topic for the first time, and when I look at the criteria, I see:

Criteria: - Songwriting hits generated in the US and UK (lasting popularity is acknowledged but initial popularity is given precedence due to reliability and accessibility), Songwriting influence and Songwriting reputation/acclaim. Second tier (In the event of a tie): The breadth of one's songwriting - How many different artists, styles and eras, did the writer have success with/in.

I think her placement makes sense with that criteria. She wrote / co-wrote all of her songs, both good and bad, so she certainly gets a lot of credit for having as many number ones / top ten hits as she has had. And she certainly has reputation / acclaim within the industry; she was nominated for and won a songwriting award every year from 1991 to 2005, and then again in 2008. And aside from the industry, she's written a couple of songs that it seems like everyone knows (including, I suspect, your friends), even if they cannot remember who sang them or do not know that she actually wrote them.

And she's been successful as a songwriter for around 20 years, and has written songs in a number of different genres and styles. She does well under the criteria.

That said, you might be right that the inherent quality of her songwriting is lacking, that it is soulless, that it is derivative, etc., etc. But those aren't qualities listed in the criteria, and I think that the reason for that is apparent; deciding what songs are derivative and soulless is too subjective a process.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:09 pm 
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hence my edit. Yeah the list of 'greatest songwriters' is less their ability and more the importance, lasting impact, popularity, and consistent praise/selling of their works. So Mariah and Elton John's placements for example make tons of sense. However I'd consider bands like King Crimson to have a much higher songwriting ability from a purely musical standpoint and have people like Joni Mitchell, Brian Wilson, Beatles, Springsteen, Neil Young etc. for the pure depth of their writing. Mariah Carey made consistently great selling fluff music that people love and she knew how to make them popular, and they aren't bad songs, I just don't think they represent any songwriting ability that all the song writers in the industry that just dish out number 1 hits for artists on a monthly basis already have. They have a formula 'what do I know will sell, and what do I know appeals to the largest audience?' Then they chose an appropriate artist that they think will make the song succeed the most. I'm sure Mariah cared about her music much more than that, but the depth and skill behind the production to me is nothing more than the most basic and repetitive material set to appeal. Her insane singing ability however makes her stuff much more listenable and popular, she will forever be remembered as one of the most talented vocalists ever, but I don't think any of her songs are really special. This is all just my opinion though.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:32 pm 
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Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards are shockingly low in this list. 139? :eek:


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:04 pm 
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I think it's awesome that the greatest female songwriter of all time just happened to be a gorgeous redhead.

God I love this woman.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:19 am 
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does the fact that Max Martin writes half a dozen number 1 hits every year count for anything around here?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:10 pm 
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pave wrote:
does the fact that Max Martin writes half a dozen number 1 hits every year count for anything around here?


It certainly should.

The list hasn't been updated since 2007, and Martin's done a lot since then. But I certainly would see a spot for him whenever this is updated.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:49 am 
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Todd Rundgren is unjustifably low.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:26 am 
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Queen and Led Zeppelin are unimaginably low on this list. Single Pete Townshend was a greater songwriter than Queen and Zeppelin combined?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:30 am 
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Plants Strider wrote:
Queen and Led Zeppelin are unimaginably low on this list. Single Pete Townshend was a greater songwriter than Queen and Zeppelin combined?


Definitely. It's not even close.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:40 am 
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Based on your reasoning, Roger Waters should be in the top 10.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:50 am 
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I fail to see how you can think that Queen or Led Zeppelin can touch the songwriting genius of Townshend. Queen is one of my favorite bands, but Townshend is easily a greater songwriter. Townshend was responsible for a huge bulk of the Who's work, which includes Quadrophenia, Who's Next, The Who Sell Out, and Tommy: some of the most highly acclaimed albums in terms of songwriting. Townshend is also ridiculously influential, developing and popularizing the concept of the rock opera and pushing boundaries in songwriting techniques (Lifehouse). I've personally never been impressed with either Queen or LZ's songwriting: it's always been about the collective talent of the performers rather than their actual songwriting ability.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:55 pm 
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Deany wrote:
Plants Strider wrote:
Queen and Led Zeppelin are unimaginably low on this list. Single Pete Townshend was a greater songwriter than Queen and Zeppelin combined?


Definitely. It's not even close.


I'm not sure if Townshend beats them *combined*, but since they aren't BEING combined (and there is no reason at all to combine them), I don't see the relevance.

Anyway, yes, Townshend should clearly be well ahead of either one. For one thing, his use of longer forms ("A Quick One While He's Away", Tommy, Quadrophenia) gives him an influence the others don't have.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:40 pm 
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Deany wrote:
I fail to see how you can think that Queen or Led Zeppelin can touch the songwriting genius of Townshend. Queen is one of my favorite bands, but Townshend is easily a greater songwriter. Townshend was responsible for a huge bulk of the Who's work, which includes Quadrophenia, Who's Next, The Who Sell Out, and Tommy: some of the most highly acclaimed albums in terms of songwriting.

I would say exactly the same about Roger Waters.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Songwriters
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:38 pm 
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I'm not seeing Waters's songwriting influence, while Townshend's is massive.


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