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  1. #1
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    Who is your favourite song writer?

    As the thread title poses the question, who has really inspired you, moved you, entertained you over a long period of time by way of musical communication?

    Whilst I idolize John Lennon, have been mesmerized by James Taylor, Ray Davies, Bernie Turpin and Carol King, funked out by Anthony Keidis and Lionel Richie and amused by Ian Dury and Bob Dylan one man, who remains a very private, unassuming and no thrills entertainer still blows me away every time I play one of his songs.

    Paul Simon is my pick as the greatest songwriter ever to enter our musical brain cells.

    Paul Simon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Who is your ultimate choice?

    And my favourite Paul Simon song sung by his vocal craftsman Art Garfunkel.


  2. #2
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    James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich (Metallica) came up with some awesome lyrics.


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    And you can't not mention Eminem as one of the greatest lyricists of all time.


  4. #4
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    I can listen to this guy over and over:



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9999
    James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich (Metallica) came up with some awesome lyrics.
    Never was a heavy metal fan mate but I have heard some of their music played by an orchestra and they are brilliant compositions.
    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg
    I can listen to this guy over and over:
    I really have to be in the mood mate but there is no doubt he is a brilliant lyricist.

  6. #6
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    The ultimate would have to be Bob Dylan

    My favourite ?



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger
    The ultimate would have to be Bob Dylan
    Dylan is one of my favourites mate but I could not stand his voice.

    And Paul Weller is brilliant along with many other British sonwriters from that era.

  8. #8
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    Probably the next on my list would be Smokey Robinson who was also a great singer.

    The great Bob Dylan once referred to Smokey Robinson as "America's greatest living poet."

    Here's a look at 10 essentials from the Hitsville poet laureate who did as much as anyone this side of Berry Gordy, Jr. to establish Motown Records as the Sound of Young America (including two he gave away).

    "Ain't It, Baby" (1961)

    Having spent eight weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's R&B chart with their breakthrough single, "Shop Around," the Miracles came up a little short on commercial appeal with "Ain't it, Baby." But artistically, it's solid gold, an open letter to the girl who doesn't seem to love young Smokey anymore. And this is based entirely on what he calls "the evil things you do." This should have been a cover on one of the Rolling Stones' first albums.

    Best line: "You even wrote yourself a love note and signed some man's name. Uh, then, you put it where I could find it. It's just a lowdown, dirty shame."

    "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" (1962)

    This soulful ballad topped the R&B charts with good reason, famously covered the following the summer by the Beatles, whose version is even more tortured, thanks to the Robinson-worshiping efforts of a young John Lennon at his soulful best. That's how it came to be included on "A Bit of Liverpool," a Supremes album timed to cash in on the British Invasion threatening to usurp Motown's hold on Young America.

    Best line: "I don't want you, but I need you. Don't wanna kiss you, but I need to."

    "My Girl" (1964)

    This may have been the best song Smokey ever gave away, a hopelessly devoted celebration of his special girl, as written in collaboration with another Miracle, Ronald "Ronnie" White. With David Ruffin's aching vocal in their corner, the Temptations topped the pop and R&B charts (staying longer on the R&B charts). The production helped, of course, from that classic guitar to the most euphoric orchestration Motown would produce that decade. Subsequent covers ranged from Otis Redding to the Rolling Stones, but the Temptations version remains the gold standard. Anyone who says they hate this song should be avoided at all costs.

    Best line: "I've got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it's cold outside, I've got the month of May."

    "Ooo Baby Baby" (1965)

    The melody is gorgeous, Smokey's finest. And the harmonies, arranged by fellow Miracle Pete Moore (who took home a co-writing credit), only underscore the ache in Smokey's voice. He really does sound like he's crying as he takes responsibility for having done his baby baby wrong (while pointing out, in his defense, that she's made her mistakes as well). Surprisingly, this undisputed classic stalled at No. 16 on the pop charts, nine spots lower than the Linda Ronstadt version. Think on that a while, and who knows? Maybe you'll sound like you're crying, too.

    Best line: "I did you wrong. My heart went out to play. But in the game I love you. What a price to pay."

    "The Tracks of My Tears" (1965)

    Written with Moore and fellow Miracle Marv Tarplin, "The Tracks of My Tears" was the Miracles' equally melancholy follow-up to "Ooo Baby Baby." And depressingly enough, it also stalled at No. 16 on the pop charts. Even Berry Gordy heard a masterpiece. And he's not easy. The lyrics are brilliant, the true confessions of a man who's still playing the life of the party in public while inside, his heart is breaking. And the way the orchestration accents "My smile is my makeup I wear since my breakup with you" is a stroke of pop genius. When Rolling Stone anointed this the 50th best song of all time, it quoted Pete Townshend revealing that when this was tearing up the U.K. pop charts, he was so obsessed with the use of "substitute" in the line "She's just a substitute" that he "decided to celebrate the word itself with a song all its own," the 1966 hit "Substitute."

    "Best line: "Since you left me if you see me with another girl, seeming like I'm having fun. Although she may be cute, she's just a substitute because you're the permanent one."

    "Ain't That Peculiar" (1965)

    Co-written with Tarplin and White, "Ain't That Peculiar" was the second Smokey co-write Marvin Gaye would sell a million copies of and take to No. 1 on Billboard's R&B charts in a single year. Produced by Smokey, the arrangement offsets Marvin's tortured reading of his lyrics with an upbeat backing track driven by handclaps and female backing vocals.

    Best line: "I cried too much just like a child that done lost his toy. Maybe baby you think these tears I cry are tears of joy. A child can cry so much until you do everything they say. But unlike a child my tears don't help me to get my way."

    "From Head to Toe" (1965)

    An unsung gem from "Going to a Go-Go," a 1965 release that included "The Tracks of My Tears," "Ooo Baby Baby" and a title track the Rolling Stones would take to No. 25, "From Head to Toe" is surprisingly upbeat fare for the Miracles, a carefree celebration of being so in love, you'd feel comfortable writing a lyric as corny as "Hey hey, sweet baby. Now, don't you know that I am yours from head to toe?"

    Best line: "I got two lips that long to kiss you and when they speak they say they wish you were mine."

    "Don't Think It's Me" (1967)

    In which Robinson blames the fact that he can't live without you on his lips, his eyes, his ears, his arms, his foolish heart but not the man himself while the arrangement does its best to tap into vibe of "Spanish Harlem" and the Drifters. "Don't think it's me," he tells her, "I can do without you."

    Best line: "I can't help it if my ears are aching to hear you say you love me just once more. Oh, don't they know that if you do, your words will be untrue just like they were before."

    "I Second That Emotion" (1967)

    Their first big pop hit since changing the name of the group from the Miracles to Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, "I Second That Emotion" peaked at No. 4, their biggest hit since "Shop Around" hit No. 2 in 1961. The groove is slinkier and more percussive than earlier hits, with upbeat horns that leave you wondering if Smokey pictured Otis Redding doing this one, too. The lyrics find him turning down the offer of a one-night stand while telling her "but if you feel like giving me a lifetime of devotion, I second that emotion."

    Best line: "A taste of honey is worse than none at all."

    "The Tears of a Clown" (1967)

    The best use of the name Pagliacci in pop music history? I'd take that bet. Originally tucked away on the Miracles' 1967 album, "Make It Happen," "The Tears of a Clown" returned in 1970 to top the U.S. pop and soul charts after topping the U.K. charts that September. The music was written by Stevie Wonder and Motown producer Hank Cosby, who brought it to Robinson to see if he could come up with a lyric that would do the music justice, which he clearly did. Convinced the music sounded like a circus, he thought of the clowns in the Italian opera "Pagliacci." The lyrics may cover a lot of the same ground as "Tracks of My Tears," but "The Tears of a Clown" is its own kind of wonderful, from that loopy orchestration and bubbling bass line to the melancholy lyrical conceit.

    Best line: "Just like Pagliacci did, I try to keep my sadness hid. Smiling in the public eye, but in my lonely room, I cry the tears of a clown . . . when there's no one around."





  9. #9
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    Of the new breed, Brandon Flowers would be up the front

    Of the last 20 years,a few come to mind
    Neil Finn

  10. #10
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    Of my era i'd have to say noel gallagher too, and these guys did a few great albums




  11. #11
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    Too hard LT. Depends on the genre. But my list. No particular order.

    Dylan
    Randy Newman
    Neil Young
    Van Morrison
    Cat Stevens
    Paul Simon
    Carole King
    Joni Mitchell
    Dolly Parton

  12. #12
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    Noel Gallagher.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton
    Cat Stevens
    We were running off a few of Cat Steven's hits last night mate and he certainly would be in my top 10.

    My favourite work of his is bellow and his songs are so poignant.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveboy
    Noel Gallagher.
    His work was largely overshadowed by Liam's tomfoolery.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Cat Stevens
    Agreed. Just went and read the wikki entry on him to catch up. Interesting stuff.

  16. #16
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    Linda was born to sing with Smoky

  17. #17
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    Great thread. The ones that stand out for me are Paul simon and Cat Stevens, but for me, although it's predictable and been mentioned several times already, nobody could tell a story like Dylan. Not to mention the rate at which he churned out top quality albums one after the other. I agree he had a very marmite voice, but I love it.


  18. #18
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    elvis

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by importford View Post
    elvis
    Song writer mate - writer....

  20. #20
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    inspired by Bob Dylans 'Times they are a changin' and slightly pissed that a white man wrote the song first, Sam Cooke set about writing the black man's version. He came up with this. Not a bad effort if you ask me.


  21. #21
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    Kristofferson has to get a mention.Country is often overlooked.

  22. #22
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    "Robert Allen Zimmerman" (Hebrew name שבתאי זיסאל בן אברהם [Shabtai Zisel ben Avraham])


    Uploaded by UnstagedMusic on 26 Sep 2010

    Recorded on June 15-16, 1965, Columbia Studio A, 799 Seventh Avenue, New York City. Claimed as the greatest song ever written by Rolling Stone Magazine's "The Greatest 500 Songs of All Time".

    Lyrics:

    Once upon a time you dressed so fine,
    Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you ?
    People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall,"
    You thought they were all a'kiddin' you.
    You used to laugh about
    Everybody that was hangin' out.
    Now you don't talk so loud,
    Now you don't seem so proud,
    About having to be scrounging your next meal.

    How does it feel ?
    How does it feel ?
    To be without a home ?
    Like a complete unknown ?
    Like a rolling stone ?

    Aw, you've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely,
    But you know you only used to get "juiced" in it.
    Nobody's ever taught you how to live out on the street,
    And now you're gonna have to get used to it.
    You say you never compromise
    With a mystery tramp, but now you realize
    He's not selling any alibis
    As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
    And say, "Do you want to make a deal?

    How does it feel ?
    How does it feel ?
    To be on your own ?
    With no direction home ?
    A complete unknown ?
    Like a rolling stone ?

    Aw, you never turned around to see the frowns
    On the jugglers and the clowns
    When they all did tricks for you.
    You never understood that it ain't no good,
    You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you.
    You used to ride on a chrome horse with your diplomat
    Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat.
    Ain't it hard when you discover that
    He really wasn't where it's at
    After he took from you everything he could steal ?

    How does it feel ?
    How does it feel ?
    To have ya' on your own ?
    With no direction home ?
    Like a complete unknown ?
    Like a rolling stone ?

    Aw, princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
    They're all drinkin', thinkin' that they've got it made.
    Exchanging all precious gifts,
    But you'd better take your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe.
    You used to be so amused
    At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used.
    Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse.
    When you ain't got nothing, you've got nothing to lose
    You're invisible now, you've got no secrets to conceal.

    How does it feel ?
    Aw, how does it feel ?
    To be on your own ?
    With no direction home ?
    Like a complete unknown ?
    Like a rolling stone ?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by importford View Post
    elvis
    Song writer mate - writer....
    Might have meant Elvis Costello


  24. #24
    Pedantic bastard
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    ^ LOL - that did cross my mind subsequently....

  25. #25
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    Paul Simon was a great choice. I would put this guy right up there too. Keeps on producing great work.



    Pee Wee Ellis on sax Tupelo Honey.


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