When it comes to music sometimes I don’t even care of the voice of the singer, if the songs he writes inspires me. For me it’s a real talent, to be able to write songs, they can be fun or they can have deep lyrics. My favorites are varied but I find real poetry behind their songs. Some of them I know it is more craft than writing what they feel, but still, I admire the ability. Not necessarily in order.
- Lennon/McCartney – if you follow my blog, this one is obvious. Even though before them artist like Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry wrote their own songs, the Beatles made this a new “obligation” for an artist. I even heard Elvis say that this trend made it hard for him to find songs because writers would sing their owns songs. In The Beatles, both were equal and wrote beautiful songs. I believe Lennon was more creative and McCartney was a bit more standard, looking for the hits and he frequently found that no doubt. Lennon was always a more personal writer and deeper. As solo artists, they really went different ways. Lennon used his music for expression rather than hit-making, Paul achieved great success and kept writing hit songs. Both of them great songwriters. With songs like Yesterday, Hey Jude, Let it Be, Nowhere Man, Strawberry Fields, Across the Universe, is hard to argue the greatness of John and Paul.
- Bob Dylan – My first three choices will be the obvious ones because I think I’ve said it before, but here I go. Dylan is a great poet and has written many classics from protest songs to poetic stories to Christian music. His influence is undeniable because he wrote songs about anything not just love songs like many in the era, and that opened the door for another artist to expand their songwriting’s. He is a mythical character almost, for the success he has he is a private man, rarely does interviews. But his talent for writing songs is undeniable.
- Paul Simon – he achieved fame while being a part of the duo Simon and Garfunkel, he was the writer of the songs and I think of Simon as a true poet. He could write pop songs but he also could write beautiful lyrics. I consider Bridge over troubled water to be one of the most beautiful songs written. And he has a unique musical style also, he does not stay in familiar territory. For me, his best work came in the ’60s and ’70s and early ’80s, but he remains making music to this day.
- Bjorn Ulvaeus/Benny Andersson – I can’t really explain much except that their songs are really catchy and their love songs are beautiful. Maybe the movie Mamma Mia! Enhanced them a bit, but I have discovered that I like the melodies and the lyrics they write and the girls can sing!
- Eddie Vedder – A little more from my time as a young dude in school. Pearl Jam was part of the Seatle grunge band invasion led by Nirvana. I always liked them better and it is because of Eddie Vedder’s voice and lyrics.
- George Harrison – the third main writer in The Beatles, at least after 1965, he is often overlooked because he was in the shadows of the great Lennon and McCartney, but his songwriting ability can’t be denied. He wrote heartfelt lyrics and lovely melodies.
- Joan Manuel Serrat – A true poet, I think he just got the idea that if he added music to the poetry it would be better and he was right. He is truly a great writer and he writes in two languages.
- Billy Joel – one thing that amazes me about him is the fact that he decided to stop writing, the last song named Famous Last words. I think he might have written more songs, he just decides not to release them.
- Bernie Taupin/Elton John – these two are truly a collaborative duo, Bernie writes the words and Elton the music. They have been able to work together for decades and have produced beautiful music.
10. Bruce Springsteen – I have to add him to my list as I am slowly discovering his songs beyond the hits. Thanks to the film Blinded by the light I decided to go deeper into his music and found a true poet and a voice that spoke to me at this point in my life.
11. The Bee Gees – I have to add them, after seeing the new documentary film I was reminded of the great body of work that this band has. I am not a big fan of their disco era and the falsetto voice that they used so much, but from the start they proved to be great songwriters.
Feel like sharing yours, write them in the comments!