I go into something minute, then look at it, then go back into it. The soul newbie wrote all of the tracks on her passion-meets-pleasure 2012 debut, Perfectly Imperfect, a rare feat for many artists, and debuted at No. As he's aged, Petty has movingly explored relationships (1999's divorce chronicle Echo) and the dark side of the American dream itself (2014's Hypnotic Eye), always rooting his music in a sense of our common experience (Johnny Cash told Petty that the title track from 1985's Southern Accents should replace "Dixie" as the region's unofficial anthem). Then Dylan began to climb the charts on his own with music that turned pop into prophecy: "Subterranean Homesick Blues," "Like a Rolling Stone," "Positively Fourth Street," "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35." My whole goal in life was to reach that certain success where people will say, 'Hey, that guy can do anything. But his songwriting legacy was sealed for good when Frank Sinatra declared "Something," the group's second-most-covered song after "Yesterday," to be "the greatest love song of the past 50 years." But the music was pure delight: melodies that let vocalists' power and move gracefully through them, neatly cross-stitched into an array of instrumental hooks and forceful dance rhythms. ", No one outside of Leiber & Stoller better combined the commercial verities of pop with the deeper-than-dirt hoodoo of the blues than Toussaint did on songs like "Lipstick Traces (on a Cigarette)," "Ride Your Pony" or "Fortune Teller" (covered by the Stones, the Who and a host of other British Invaders). "Everything was a song," Mayfield said in 1994. If Paul Simon's career had ended with the breakup of Simon & Garfunkel in 1970, he would still have produced some of the most beloved songs ever – including "The Sound of Silence," "Mrs. Robinson," "Bridge Over Troubled Water." She began with songs that only by her later standards seemed simple: "Clouds," "Both Sides Now," "Big Yellow Taxi." List of 100 greatest rock music songs released between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2009 as compiled by digitaldreamdoor.com. Why She’s Dope: A musical legend, Missy is known for pushing the envelope and her in your face R&B cuts. Controversy aside, the R&B genius has done it all: crafted a modern lovemaking masterpiece (TP2.com), stepped in the name of love, invented and reinvented the remix, released a motivational world anthem (“I Believe I Can Fly”) and blessed the world with over 15 chapters of his Trapped in the Closet series when five would’ve sufficed. "We wrote a batch," said Jones. "Let there be songs to fill the air," insists the singer on "Ripple," one of the duo's most indelible numbers. Uncut’s 50 best singer-songwriter albums. He’s known for enhancing songs with strange phrases, repetitive adlibs—see: the “ella ella” in “Umbrella.” And songs both for himself and other artists tend to have some quirk factor, which led to this VIBE list: How Well Do You Know The-Dream’s Silly Lyrics? "And then a melody starts to happen, and then the lyrics start to happen, and then you've got a song. ", The Beach Boys' resident genius wrote gloriously ecstatic California anthems such as "Fun Fun Fun," "I Get Around" and "California Girls," rock & roll's greatest odes to idyllic summertime freedom. Jackson's collaborators and co-writers marvel at the way his dance-floor classics sprang full-formed from their creator's head. Prev Page 1 of 57 Next Prev Page 1 of 57 Next (Image credit: Steve Azzara/Corbis) Nick Ashford/Valerie Simpson. "He showed his pain, but in the end he wanted to make people feel good. .I had discovered what all writers discover, whether they're told or not, that you could do anything." Musically, his stylistic breadth seems limitless: He learned early on to lace a heavy funky jam with an unforgettable pop hook, then mastered every form of rock song — from three-chord bangers ("Let's Go Crazy") to straight-up power ballads ("Purple Rain") — before introducing melodic and harmonic complexities that pushed his increasingly jazzy and experimental compositions beyond ordinary pop constraints. Best Known For: “Diamond Girl,” “How It Was Supposed to Be,” Cassie’s “Me & U” Best Known For: Usher’s “Yeah,” Chris Brown’s “Run It,” Beyoncé ("Check On It," "Get Me Bodied,” “Ring the Alarm," "Upgrade U”) It's not for everybody. "And trying to hold onto what's worthwhile, what makes it a place that's special, because I still believe that it is. Guthrie's music, Bob Dylan wrote in Chronicles, "had the infinite sweep of humanity. Johnta Austin Recent highpoints like the Kanye West collaboration "Otis" and 2013's "Picasso Baby" show that no number of lunches with Warren Buffet or late-night diaper-duty emergency calls can slow down his de Vinci flow and Sinatra roll. "I went, 'Oh my God, a lot of people are listening to me. Best Known Songs: Usher’s “There Goes My Baby,” Beyoncé’s “Sweet Dreams,” Pleasure P.’s “Boyfriend No. ", No one better rendered the complexity of personal life or global politics, or better connected the two, than Lennon during his solo career in universal songs like "Watching the Wheels" and "Imagine." It sounds like they were written a hundred years ago." "But the American people appear to have developed an incredible fascination with the one image of the cake out in the rain. Tom Pinnock. Yet, in that brief career, he created an amazing body of work. While it’s true the icon uses a skilled team of scribes, she does deserve credit for co-writing the bulk of Destiny’s Child’s Survivor and co-writing many of her own hits. Parliament was born as a doo-wop group in the Fifties led by Clinton, a young Leiber and Stoller fan who worked briefly in the Brill Building and later spent time as a Motown songwriter. They scored their first big hit with the Soul Survivors' "Expressway to Your Heart" in 1967, but by then the team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff had already been working together for five years, and over the following 15, they'd define the sound of Philadelphia soul and help invent disco. A look at the The Best Singer-Songwriter Albums of the 2010s by User Score. But any music industry creative will tell you there’s more to it than just penning the words—it’s the adlibs, the structure, the meticulous re-writing and editing. 4 on the Billboard 200. Best Known For: “Rock wit U (Aww Baby),” “Breakup 2 Makeup” McCartney has always had a much broader range than silly love songs. So yeah, I gave her writer’s credit because that counts. The way he could mix the deep grooves of church music and blues with lighter pop melodies electrified his music, but there was nothing light about his greatest work, "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man." "I've always prided myself as a songwriter more than anything else" she once said, adding "nothing is more sacred and more precious to me than when I really can get in that zone where it's just God and me. A lifelong friendship with John Lennon — who produced Nilsson's Pussy Cats during his Lost Weekend period — followed. He wrote for Mario, Beyonce, Usher, Natasha Bedingfield, Pleasure P, Dirty Money and more, with some standout songs being Keri’s “Energy,” Bey’s “Sweet Dreams” and Diddy and Co.’s “Hello Good Morning” to name a few. Check out the very best rap, pop, rock, R&B, hip hop, dance and indie tunes from the 2000s… After the split, Barry continued to write songs for acts including the Archies and Olivia Newton–John; Greenwich developed Leader of the Pack, a musical about her career. Elton John has called them "a huge influence on me as a songwriter"; Bono has said their catalog makes him "ill with envy." The result was "A Change Is Gonna Come," a soaring encapsulation of the African-American struggle. Ne-Yo put it best, explaining how Bey lays her signature on every song she belts: “When I write a song for an artist I want that artist to take that song and make it their [own]. Mitchell came out of the coffee-shop folk culture of the Sixties, and she became the standard bearing star of L.A.'s Laurel Canyon scene. Their work was at once primal and complex, charged by conflict, desire and anger, and unafraid to be explicit about it musically or lyrically. Let's see if they can take it. "You wave your hand and they scatter like crows," he sang in his rusted plow-blade voice to a Brooklyn girl about her suitors. Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds rose to fame for his work with Antonio "L.A." Reid on Bobby Brown's Don't Be Cruel, reinforcing taut R&B songwriting with hard hip-hop beats to help create New Jack Swing. ", "My only weapon is my pen/And the frame of mind I'm in," Sly Stone muttered on "Poet," his clearest public statement on the art of songwriting. "I don't think anyone's got his wit or insight or originality or obsession or overall dedication." The crucible of her collaboration with Timbaland was the Swing Mob, a loose constellation of performers and producers who worked with Jodeci's DeVante Swing in the early Nineties. Still, Al Green's best original material isn't just a showcase for his voice. Top 20 Hot 100 Songwriters, 2000-2011. "My theory of writing is to write a song that has a complete idea and tells a story in the time allotted for a record," he told Rolling Stone in 1968. Through it all, her songs have been consistently stamped with her own sensibility and inflected with autobiographical detail. "The sadness came from. . And the selections are only getting tougher. Why He’s Dope: Schaffer Smith knows how to write from multiple perspectives and with a range of emotions. But then, banging on her acoustic guitar in startling ways or playing modernist melodies at the piano, she unfurled starkly personal lyrics that pushed beyond "confessional" songwriting towards an almost confrontational intimacy and rawness. Songs like "Yesterday" and "Let It Be" became modern standards, and post-Beatles, McCartney led Wings to six Number One hits, among them "Band on the Run" and "Listen to What the Man Said." Best Known For: “Fallin’,” “A Woman’s Worth,” “No One” Because he's got you looking both ways, it's bigger, it hits harder. In "Redemption Song," released a year before cancer took his life in 1981, he gave us a protest anthem that still carries the universal power of a true global call to arms. The Greenwich/Barry team only lasted a few years. Few songwriters use repetition as skillfully as Williams: on 1988's "I Just Wanted to See You So Bad," she ramped up the song's sexual obsession by restating the title after every other line, and the title track from her 1998 masterpiece Car Wheels on a Gravel Road captures the peculiar rhythms of childhood memory by restating the song's title at the end of each stanza. We hope you like it! Share. But Gaye's greatest gift might've been at raising the bedroom come-on into an art form — whether making a straightforward, playful proposition on 1973's "Let's Get It On" or admitting his desperate, almost metaphysical need on 1982's "Sexual Healing.". The adaptable scribe has covered everything from pop (Kelly Clarkson’s “Mr. I had someone to write my words for me. In addition to winning a whopping nine Grammys, Legend – a singer, pianist, actor and songwriter – received the special Starlight award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007. Ester Dean Most songwriters are inspired by an inner voice and spirit." A look at the The Best Singer-Songwriter Albums of the 2000s by User Score. I can't. His signature song, "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant," is an epic seven-minute tale of suburban dreams biting the dust down at the Parkway Diner. After his exposure to Hendrix, Vanilla Fudge and copious amounts of psychedelics, Clinton's pop-wise sense of puns and wordplay helped drive home his interstellar philosophizing. Bob Dylan based the meter of "Subterranean Homesick Blues" on "Too Much Monkey Business," Mick Jagger and Keith Richards soaked up the idea of no satisfaction from "30 Days," and John Lennon once summed up his immeasurable impact by saying, "If you gave rock & roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry. "I carried 'Redemption Song' to every meeting I had with a politician, prime minister or president," Bono said. ", Dixon was a fine performer and bass player, but he made his greatest contribution as house songwriter at Chess Records in the 1950s. "When I realized how popular I was becoming, it was right before Blue," she recalled, in reference to her 1971 masterpiece. .We take longer to get to the future than anywhere else in America. And if lines like "I feel stupid and contagious/here we are now, entertain us" became generational epigrams, it's in their cryptic ability to nail inarticulate pain. By Billboard Staff. Singer Thom Yorke, guitarist/electronics whiz/orchestral composer Johnny Greenwood and their Radiohead mates, always credited collectively, have produced some the modern era's most glorious songs. So I wrote Blue, which horrified a lot of people, you know." As leader of the Impressions, Mayfield's low-key demeanor matched his lithe tenor and restrained, spacious guitar playing that influenced fellow chitlin' circuit veteran Jimi Hendrix' "Little Wing." Best Known For: Tyrese’s “Sweet Lady,” Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together,” Mary J. Blige’s “Be Without You” "But that's what I choose to do." I write these little songs and go and sing them. Missy hasn't released a new album for 10 years, but she and Timbaland have dropped hints that they've got something brewing. Known for her powerful ballads with a pop flair, DioGuardi has also written hits for Enrique Iglesias and Hilary Duff. Why He’s Dope: John Legend has a penchant for performing swoon-worthy singles time and time again, many of which are all his own. His output slowed down considerably by the mid-1980s and he's released a scant two albums in the past three decades. And voila: there they are. "I had to have a real reason to write a song," Lynn said. Starting in the Nineties with the Backstreet Boy's "I Want It That Way" and Britney Spears' "…Baby One More Time," among others, Martin helped create the whooshing, hyper-energized sound of modern pop — a talent that has extended to a mind-boggling list of recent collaborations that include Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night" and "Teenage Dream," Ariana Grande's "Problem," Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" and Adam Lambert's "Whataya Want from Me." But her restless brilliance couldn't be confined to one moment or movement. "I'm interested in something that means something for everyone," he told Rolling Stone in 1970, "not just for a few kids listening to wallpaper.". Oddly, Blackwell and Presley never met. "There is no filler in a three-and-a-half-minute song.") "He felt everything he wanted to feel, and he would use us to 'write it down,'" says Bootsy Collins, Brown's bassist in the early Seventies. I'm doing good.". ", Waits began as a throwback, a beatnik jazzbo singing the praises of old cars and barflies and looking for the heart of Saturday night. Best Known For: "You Remind Me Of Something," "I Believe I Can Fly," Maxwell's "Fortunate," Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” Arguably one of the best songwriters for female hip-hop music, Missy Elliott has been churning out hits for years. Creating these catchy tunes has earned him two ASCAP awards as well as two Grammy nominations. and Celine Dion. ", No hip-hop artist has reached the Billboard Top Ten more times than Jay Z, and none has done more to shape both the culture and music around him. .It seems like an odd way to gain an inner sense of acceptance of the self. "When things were working, and you're really connecting, what could be better?," Greenwich recalled. November 27, 2012 - 6:11 pm It's not a particularly generous mystery, but other people have that experience with matrimony anyway." "I didn't dig it. His work on Ashanti even led to his earning the title Songwriter of the Year at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards in 2003. Chart Article. "I had almost like a theater workshop," he said, "where you're casting people in these parts, and that's what my job was then." Their songs were hits for other artists, too: Richard Carpenter of the Carpenters, who went to Number One with "Close to You," called Bacharach "one of the most gifted composers who ever drew a breath. After the Beatles split, he let his creative impulses run free on the 1970 triple-album solo debut, All Things Must Pass, and enjoyed a strong Eighties comeback with the pop success of 1987's Cloud Nine as well his stint with the Traveling Wilburys. "I can write something that, even someone who hates me the most will have to respect and love the song," he has said. Best Known Songs: Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River,” Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous” "There are a lot of things I say that are really commonplace. Initially, though, it took him years before he was allowed to explore his sacred vision. And so he did. Know It All”) to up-tempo tracks like Usher's "Lil Freak” and Beyoncé’s "Countdown.”. But she's really hit her stride with the pop mastery of Red and 1989, especially on confessional ballads like "Clean" and "All Too Well." Elle Varner She always took more pride in her writing than in her perky singing, and much of the lyrical material in her 16 country chart-toppers was drawn from her difficult marriage to Oliver "Doolittle" Lynn, whose alcoholism and infidelities inspired domestic dramedies like "Don't Come Home a-Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)." He was one of rock's first inheritors, and certainly its greatest, because from the start he saw rock & roll as more than music. At 80, he's still our greatest living late-night poet. by On songs like "That'll Be the Day," "Rave On," "Everyday," "Oh Boy," "Peggy Sue" and "Not Fade Away," his buoyant, hiccupping vocals and wiry, exuberant guitar playing drove home lyrics that seemed to sum up the hopes, aspirations and fears of the kids buying his records. Besides their own hits (including a string of six consecutive Number Ones), the brothers wrote the title song for Grease, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's "Islands in the Stream," Barbra Streisand's "Guilty," and Destiny's Child's "Emotion." It’s not surprising that many of my choices came from the early 1970s, but great new singer-songwriters have continued to emerge. The pair's songs usually emerged from improvisatory writing sessions that began with just a handful of Leiber's lyrics. No one except Dylan has embraced the endless highway with more artistic success — as explained by Nelson in "On the Road Again," a Top 20 Grammy-winning hit in 1980 — and his studio career is just as endless, ranging from Texas swing to reggae to standards with strings. But the same organic give-and-take governed their later albums as well. Why She’s Dope: The same feisty attitude Solo has in real life transfers seamlessly into her music and those on the receiving end of her penmanship. ", It isn't a stretch to call Joe Strummer and Mick Jones the Lennon and McCartney of the U.K. punk explosion. The Bryants' breakthrough came when the Everlys seized on a composition that had been turned down more than 30 times, "Bye Bye Love," and hit Number Two. In 2008, he scored an ASCAP Songwriter of the Year award. . The storytelling was always a delight, but it was Hunter's way with a homey-cosmic aphorism that made Dead lyrics so tattoo-able, bobbing and bouncing on Garcia's sweet, sad melody lines like glinting revelations. A Brooklynite who was equally entranced by R&B and country (claiming his favorite singer was C&W mainstay Tex Ritter), Otis Blackwell began his career with 1953's "Daddy Rollin' Stone," which has been covered repeatedly. "You want to say something about strange things that have happened to you, strange things you have seen." ("It's like you're getting beamed it," Yorke has said, "like with a ouija board"). Keith has steadfastly claimed that manager Andrew Loog Oldham locked them in a kitchen until they emerged with "As Tears Go By," while Jagger says the pressure was merely verbal: "He did mentally lock us in a room, but he didn't literally lock us in." It's hard to imagine anyone but Whitney Houston giving shape to "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)," anyone but Mary J. Blige taking a stand with "Not Gon' Cry," anyone but Toni Braxton lending the necessary sultry edge to the many songs he's written for her over the past quarter-century. Best Of The '90s: Jeff Buckley - Grace; Jeff Buckley - Lilac Wine; Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah; Elliott Smith - Roman Candle; Elliott Smith - No Name #2 (from Roman Candle) Elliott Smith - Tomorrow Tomorrow; Indie Singer-Songwriters In The 2000s. 'To me, country, as opposed to Tin Pan Alley, was white man's soul music," he once said. Copied to clipboard. Copied to clipboard. Best Known For: Rihanna's "Rude Boy," "Katy Perry's "Firework," Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass” These songs embody the spirit of the 2000s. Happy 50th anniversary, Brenda and Eddie. But when they took a stab at disco with 1975's "Jive Talkin'," their career kicked into an even higher gear. Beyoncé Knowles "Everything we get is just a gift we can borrow for awhile. The scope of his music is almost unparalleled: Guthrie wrote children's songs and Hanukkah songs, songs supporting unions and World War II and the construction of several dams, songs that celebrated Jesus as an outlaw and criticized Charles Lindbergh as a Nazi sympathizer, even a song about a flying saucer. "They were doing things nobody was doing," Bob Dylan once remembered of a drive through Colorado when the Beatles ruled the radio. As the band's charismatic frontman, Bono may soak up a lot of the credit, but he's the first to admit how important the Edge is to their songwriting. "I liked the effect of a lot of images passing by quickly"), Elvis Costello evolved into a songwriter of profoundly American sensibilities and almost unparalleled versatility. Music, Film, TV and Political News Coverage. In 1995, Cohen appeared to reject the worldliness reflected in songs like "The Future" and "Democracy" by putting his career on hold and becoming an ordained Buddhist monk. Their songs of struggle and triumph brought class consciousness to Brill Building pop, with hits like "On Broadway" for the Drifters, "Uptown" for the Crystals, and "We Gotta Get Out of the Place" for the Animals, but they are best known for the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." A three-and-a-half-minute song. '' ), displayed a mastery of styles from throughout &! Clear and true composition with French composer Darius Milhaud and was part of avant-garde John. 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