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Old Apr 07, 2013, 10:54 AM   #1
Apple Scruff
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Smile Thinking of John as a SONGWRITER

I want you all to be completely honest. I am placing this link here because, in my opinon, Menlove gets so many very opinionated/interesting discussions. I want to know how YOU would rank your top 10 songwriters of all time (let's keep it pop/rock and in the 20th century if I need to be super picky). I loved this guy's list. Didn't agree with the order of course, but loved his choices. Please look it through and think about your list and then write out WHY if you can. I want some discussion. Oh, and we can definitely debate (as we always do, in a friendly way).

Here it is!!!
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Old Apr 07, 2013, 10:56 AM   #2
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Try top 20 if you want, but all I really care about is where you place JOHN.
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Old Apr 07, 2013, 01:45 PM   #3
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His list is alright.Dennis DeYoung?My ass!I wouldn't put Pal Simon over John or Paul but...
1.John
2.Springsteen
3.Paul
4.Peter Gabriel
5.Dylan(I'm not a fan but,he belongs on any list)
6 Bob marley
7.Van Morrison
8.Chuck Berry
9.Paul Simon
10.Neil Peart
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Old Apr 07, 2013, 07:01 PM   #4
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I think Paul Simon's solo catalog OWNS the Wings/solo Paul catalog by a landslide. So I guess it's all subjective.
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Old Apr 07, 2013, 07:20 PM   #5
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Hey, Scruffie... I'm with you on Paul Simon. Maybe not by a landslide, though... for me, the two Pauls are neck-and-neck, with Paul Simon just more consistently amazing. (His newest album is gorgeous.)

I'll post my personal Top 20 of the rock era, but it's really hard. There are so many great songwriters I've left off (Joni Mitchell and Buddy Holly are just two examples). These are my personal faves of what I consider to be consistent greatness that endures over time... and you KNOW John is in the Top Spot!
  1. John Lennon
  2. Paul Simon
  3. Paul McCartney
  4. Bob Dylan
  5. Elvis Costello
  6. Kurt Cobain
  7. Billy Bragg
  8. Smokey Robinson
  9. Tom Waits
  10. David Bowie
  11. Lou Reed
  12. Chuck Berry
  13. Bob Marley
  14. Van Morrison
  15. Sly Stone
  16. Ray Davies
  17. Lucinda Williams
  18. Black Francis/Frank Black
  19. Carole King/Goffin & King
  20. Bruce Springsteen
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Old Apr 07, 2013, 07:25 PM   #6
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When you look at these lists and when you think about all the amazing songwriters from the second half of the 20th Century, it makes you wonder about the future of music. Well, it makes me wonder, in any case...
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Old Apr 07, 2013, 07:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Maia 66 View Post
When you look at these lists and when you think about all the amazing songwriters from the second half of the 20th Century, it makes you wonder about the future of music. Well, it makes me wonder, in any case...
Jack White is pretty damn good.
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Old Apr 07, 2013, 07:36 PM   #8
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I think Paul Simon's solo catalog OWNS the Wings/solo Paul catalog by a landslide. So I guess it's all subjective.
That I do agree!When I chose Paul ahead of Paul Simon I go by his Beatle stuff.I'm not into Paul McCartneys solo music.
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Old Apr 07, 2013, 08:25 PM   #9
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I gotcha Chris!

I am working on my list!!!!! It will be posted very soon...let me now work on commenting on Maia and Chris's awesome lists.
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Old Apr 07, 2013, 08:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ChrisG134 View Post
His list is alright.Dennis DeYoung?My ass!I wouldn't put Pal Simon over John or Paul but...
1.John
2.Springsteen
3.Paul
4.Peter Gabriel
5.Dylan(I'm not a fan but,he belongs on any list)
6 Bob marley
7.Van Morrison
8.Chuck Berry
9.Paul Simon
10.Neil Peart
I love that you included Peter Gabriel in your list. It just reminds me of how brilliant he really is. I'm pretty much in awe of your whole list. I think they are most excellent choices. Order is subjective (but we know NUMBER 1 isn't....I mean, oh...).
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Old Apr 07, 2013, 08:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Maia 66 View Post
Hey, Scruffie... I'm with you on Paul Simon. Maybe not by a landslide, though... for me, the two Pauls are neck-and-neck, with Paul Simon just more consistently amazing. (His newest album is gorgeous.)

I'll post my personal Top 20 of the rock era, but it's really hard. There are so many great songwriters I've left off (Joni Mitchell and Buddy Holly are just two examples). These are my personal faves of what I consider to be consistent greatness that endures over time... and you KNOW John is in the Top Spot!
  1. John Lennon
  2. Paul Simon
  3. Paul McCartney
  4. Bob Dylan
  5. Elvis Costello
  6. Kurt Cobain
  7. Billy Bragg
  8. Smokey Robinson
  9. Tom Waits
  10. David Bowie
  11. Lou Reed
  12. Chuck Berry
  13. Bob Marley
  14. Van Morrison
  15. Sly Stone
  16. Ray Davies
  17. Lucinda Williams
  18. Black Francis/Frank Black
  19. Carole King/Goffin & King
  20. Bruce Springsteen
Fantastic list Maia. OMG, Tom Waits, Ray Davies, Lucinda Williams, and Bowie?!? Your list is SO eclectic. I absolutely LOVE it and now I need to go listen to "Orphans."
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Old Apr 07, 2013, 11:53 PM   #12
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Post My list

Here is my personal and subjective list:

1. John Lennon
2. Paul McCartney
3. Bruce Springsteen
4. David Bowie
5. Billy Joel
6. Elton John
7. Bob Dylan
8. Brian Wilson
9. Jim Morrison
10. Paul Simon
11. Michael Jackson
12. Bob Marley
13. Bono
14. Peter Gabriel
15. Ray Davies

Snoopy

Last edited by Snoopy66 : Apr 08, 2013 at 01:29 AM.
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Old Apr 08, 2013, 03:01 AM   #13
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Question A great what?

But... but... but... what makes a songwriter The Greatest? Shouldn't that be decided first before the lists??? I mean, is it the quantity of output, the number of hits, the impact on society, the overall quality of the compositions (Does one super fantastic song beat two really good ones?), the originality, innovativeness, advancement of the art form or what?

For instance, what impact has Bruce Springsteen had on society or the advancement of music or even originality? He's written some good songs, true, but still? Dylan has had an impact on society but, among his good songs, there are quite a few real duds he should be ashamed of having put on record. How do you compare somebody like Cobain, who died so young, with Paul Simon that's still composing now in his 70s? See what I mean?
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Old Apr 08, 2013, 07:16 AM   #14
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1. John
2. Paul
3. George
4. Dylan
5. Young
6. Simon
7. Ringo!
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Old Apr 08, 2013, 07:43 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by hibgal View Post
But... but... but... what makes a songwriter The Greatest? Shouldn't that be decided first before the lists??? I mean, is it the quantity of output, the number of hits, the impact on society, the overall quality of the compositions (Does one super fantastic song beat two really good ones?), the originality, innovativeness, advancement of the art form or what?

For instance, what impact has Bruce Springsteen had on society or the advancement of music or even originality? He's written some good songs, true, but still? Dylan has had an impact on society but, among his good songs, there are quite a few real duds he should be ashamed of having put on record. How do you compare somebody like Cobain, who died so young, with Paul Simon that's still composing now in his 70s? See what I mean?
It's just an opinion.Our own opinion.We could go on forever about what makes a great songwriter.It will still be different from youe choices.
As far as Springseen and what his songwriting has done for our society.Have you listened to the "The Rising?It's about 9/11.He was the only musician who had the balls to write about the subject and make a whole album about it."The album "Wrecking Ball" is about our economy and the people who put us there.He might not have an impact on you ,but he's had an impact on millions of people.He's been doing it for over 40 yrs for crying out loud.People are still buying his records and going to his concerts,so he must be doing something right.He's one of the greatest american songwriters.He's also not afraid to do bluegrass & country albums(Nebraska,Ghost of Tom Goad,Devils & Dust & The Seeger Sessions)The guy is not a hack!
As far as Bob Dylan is concerned yeah he's had some duds,but then again what artist hasn't?I don't care for his voice or music but you know what?He's influenced many artist including John & Paul!Come on now!Even if you don't care for some artists you have to reconize what they have done to influence the artists you love!
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Old Apr 08, 2013, 07:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
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But... but... but... what makes a songwriter The Greatest? Shouldn't that be decided first before the lists??? I mean, is it the quantity of output, the number of hits, the impact on society, the overall quality of the compositions (Does one super fantastic song beat two really good ones?), the originality, innovativeness, advancement of the art form or what?

For instance, what impact has Bruce Springsteen had on society or the advancement of music or even originality? He's written some good songs, true, but still? Dylan has had an impact on society but, among his good songs, there are quite a few real duds he should be ashamed of having put on record. How do you compare somebody like Cobain, who died so young, with Paul Simon that's still composing now in his 70s? See what I mean?
You also can't compare an artist that died young to an artist thats older.Thats really not fair.Put it this way artists like John,Kurt & Jimi Hendrix died young but just think of the impact they made in their short lives.I do believe these young artists would still be making great music if they were still alive!It's not like they made a few good albums and that was it.They died and their creativity was cut short!
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Old Apr 08, 2013, 06:26 PM   #17
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But... but... but... what makes a songwriter The Greatest? Shouldn't that be decided first before the lists???
I hear where you're coming from, and that seems very logical. But I think that even determining the criteria and deciding who fits those criteria will also prove an exercise in subjectivity.

What might be more interesting would be to have people describe their own criteria?

I chose the people whose songs I enjoy over and over and over again, whose songs never seem to get old to me. For example, I think Elton John & Bernie Taupin are an extremely talented songwriting team, but I stopped liking their songs (for the most part) in about 1977. I can't deny that Brian Wilson has written some enduringly beautiful songs, but there are tons of his songs that I don't really enjoy that much. By contrast, I love the majority of songs written by the people on my list, and I feel that those songs never get old, that there's a certain eternalness because these writers (in my opinion) are archetypes of their particular aesthetic—an aesthetic that appeals to my particular sensibilities.
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Old Apr 08, 2013, 07:30 PM   #18
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When I consider "greatest songwriter" I am thinking of several different elements. Firstly, how does the artist's music effect me? Can I play many of their songs on rotation throughout my years and feel that they have made some kind of impact on me in some way? Also, the strength of the compositions, lyrics, their ability to basically write a song.

Then I take into account a more general viewpoint and think about popularity, impact on culture, and longevity of their musical appeal. One of the most challenging is seeing how their songs impact on a universal scale. That kind of plays a big role.

But of prime importance to me is just...how many of their songs do I absolutely love to death.
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Old Apr 08, 2013, 07:31 PM   #19
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Here is my personal and subjective list:

1. John Lennon
2. Paul McCartney
3. Bruce Springsteen
4. David Bowie
5. Billy Joel
6. Elton John
7. Bob Dylan
8. Brian Wilson
9. Jim Morrison
10. Paul Simon
11. Michael Jackson
12. Bob Marley
13. Bono
14. Peter Gabriel
15. Ray Davies

Snoopy
Phenomenal list Snoopy (though I question Bono and such a high placement of Morrison...still the others are all impressive!)
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Old Apr 08, 2013, 11:43 PM   #20
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Thumbs up Well said

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Originally Posted by ChrisG134 View Post
You also can't compare an artist that died young to an artist thats older.Thats really not fair.Put it this way artists like John,Kurt & Jimi Hendrix died young but just think of the impact they made in their short lives.I do believe these young artists would still be making great music if they were still alive!It's not like they made a few good albums and that was it.They died and their creativity was cut short!
I absolutely agree with that statement. The career of those who died young was cut short, but due to their obvious talent it's very probable that they would have made more great music.

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