Monday, 13 February 2012

Great popular songwriters in the club

No, not pregnant. / I'm too depressed to write about finance today, so it's going to have to be music, I'm afraid.

I've been listening to Burt Bacharach a lot lately. I reckon he's written the music for roughly thirty classic pop hits. Which means he's in The Twenty to Thirty Club. I have a theory that nearly all great popular songwriters have written between twenty and thirty classics. In my opinion, if you can't write at least twenty you're not a great songwriter. And I think it's almost impossible for any great songwriter to write more than thirty. Only John Lennon and Paul McCartney have gone beyond this figure. I would put them on fifty classic songs each (working together and alone).

Songwriters in The Twenty to Thirty Club? This is according to me, remember: Burt Bacharach (with Hal David), Paul Simon, Elton John, Noel Gallagher, Prince, Jeff Lynne, David Bowie, Jagger/Richards, Ray Davies, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, Holland/Dozier/Holland, Goffin/King. / Oh, and there's U2, Bee Gees, ABBA. Probably a few others.

Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, and Leonard Cohen are obviously great songwriters, but I wouldn't really classify them as "popular". Bob Dylan is the greatest of them all. He has written around a hundred classic songs, but only a handful could be considered popular, like Knockin' on Heaven's Door and Lay Lady Lay. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) is an awesome song, but you can't really hum along to it, can you?

No one's heard of me (yet), but I would put myself in The One and a Half Club. So, I've got a long way to go ... However, I'm gunning for Lennon and McCartney.

It's Valentine’s Day tomorrow!


Related post: The 20 greatest pop songs of all time