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"Talented" singer-songwriters who can't write their own music.


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Old 28-09-2011, 14:44
Middleotroad
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Record companies are deliberately conning people in to believing artists have songwriting talents they don't have.

Recently Britney Spears cowriter complained about stars taking credit for songs they hadn't written. But I'm not concerned about her or Beyonce and the like, they're entertainers.

Nor am I bothered about singers like Lily Allen or Adele, it's acknowledged they cowrite. I'm talking about deliberate image-making, where the star is portrayed as having a special talent. They are continually pictured with a guitair or at a piano and hyped as being a songwriter, when in fact they are reliant on cowriters for their music. Prime examples: Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys, Delta Goodrem.

To be known as a songwriter, surely an artist should be able to write at least one hit single on their own? If they are unable to do this, they should be promoted as a co-writer, like Madonna is. (Ironically she managed two hit singles written entirely on her own early in her career).

Are there any recent singer-songwriters who are genuinely able to write their own music? I can think of but one - Amy MacDonald, with only one cowriting credit from two albums. There must be some others, who are they? And who are the fakes?
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Old 28-09-2011, 15:06
little-monster
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Gavin Degraw is one. He wrote and produced all three of his albums by himself. Just solely him.
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Old 28-09-2011, 15:26
_BollyKnickers_
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Taylor Swift wrote all of the tracks on Speak Now alone?
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Old 28-09-2011, 15:40
Coen
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There are many singer-songwriters who genuinely do write their own music. Some might collaborate with others sometimes, but I still think they can be described as songwriters in their own right.

A few recent ones I can think of just off the top of my head - Elvis Costello, Damon Gough (Badly Drawn Boy), Laura Marling, Imogen Heap, Kate Nash, Joseph Arthur, Tom McRea, Ed Harcourt, Ed Sheeran, David Ford, Aimee Mann, Liz Phair, Tommy Reilly, Tanya Donelly, Kristen Hersh, Tess, Ben Christophers, Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes), Nick Lowe, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Joan Wasser (Joan As Police Woman), Sufjan Stevens, Conor Oberst, David Gray, Ray LaMontagne, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver)....

Of course most of these don't really produce pop music, so don't tend to feature in the singles charts. I guess in general singer-songwriters don't tend to be associated with pop music that much. But that doesn't mean they're not still out there producing other sorts of music.
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Old 28-09-2011, 15:46
Middleotroad
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Gavin Degraw is one. He wrote and produced all three of his albums by himself. Just solely him.
That's impressive! And sets the bar high!
On the much maligned James Blunt's first album is a song "No Bravery", written on his own which could have been released as a single. Maybe he just about cuts it as a songwriter.

Taylor Swift wrote all of the tracks on Speak Now alone?
Then I beg your pardon for including Ms Swift as an example then!
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Old 28-09-2011, 15:50
Carly_Thompson
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As far as I'm aware, Taylor Swift writes most of her songs on her own...
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Old 28-09-2011, 15:53
Slojo
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Lady Gaga ------ writes some co writes on others
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Old 28-09-2011, 16:10
shelleyj89
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Surely if you write a song, you write a song? Co-writer, or solo writer? Delta Goodrem writes on pretty much every single one of her songs. I think it's harsh to say she's not a song-writer just because she writes with other song-writers.
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Old 28-09-2011, 16:21
starsailor
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Surely if you write a song, you write a song? Co-writer, or solo writer? Delta Goodrem writes on pretty much every single one of her songs. I think it's harsh to say she's not a song-writer just because she writes with other song-writers.
Depends how much they actually do write. If they create the song, or half of it with someone elese, then fair enough. If it's adding a 'ooh' or an 'ahh' and they do credit for the tiniest addition (if that), or if it's just a credit to boost 'credibility' then thats something else.
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Old 28-09-2011, 16:22
Slojo
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Surely if you write a song, you write a song? Co-writer, or solo writer? Delta Goodrem writes on pretty much every single one of her songs. I think it's harsh to say she's not a song-writer just because she writes with other song-writers.
There is also the question of what is meant by "co writes" ------- If you write all the words but someone else writes the music (maybe because you can't play an instrument) are you a songwriter or a co writer ??????

Just a thought
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Old 28-09-2011, 16:29
Boobob
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Well Madonna writes lyrics, she dosen't write music but comes up with amazing melodies for alot of her songs. As stated by people who have worked with her, (Tony shimkin being one of the sources). Madonna creates the melodies over the music soundtrack, so does that make her a lesser songwriter? I don't think so IMO, afterall it's the melody that we all sing along to in songs isn't it. Just my two cents.
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Old 28-09-2011, 16:34
Middleotroad
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Surely if you write a song, you write a song? Co-writer, or solo writer? Delta Goodrem writes on pretty much every single one of her songs. I think it's harsh to say she's not a song-writer just because she writes with other song-writers.
I don't hink it's harsh. I'm not saying she's not talented either. The important thing is the way the artist is promoted. What's sold to the fans is that this person is writing their own music, and that may not be true. Lady Gaga is marketed as an entertainer, a performer. It's not pushed on the public that she write (some of) her own songs.

I'm afraid I'd not heard of Taylor Swifts recent album where she wrote her own songs. I have heard Delta Goodrem's first album. On it she wrote one song on her own. It was of a noticably poor quality. She should not have been so heavily promoted as a songwriter when she is so obviously reliant on co writing for her hit songs.
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Old 28-09-2011, 16:34
Vanilla101
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Beyonce is known to take credits for songs when she literally only adds small words/phrases. Rihanna does a bit of that too I think.

You will only find genuine singer/song writers in the rock genre. Alex Turner, Sergio Pizzorno etc etc....

I don't think there are many mainstream pop artists who write the majority of their lyrics.
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Old 28-09-2011, 16:40
toanythingtaboo
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I think it's worth mentioning that when it comes to things like this, the type of music is a factor.

If you're a singer/songwriter who makes primarily 'small scale' music with basic instruments (piano, guitar, band) and minimal production...generally less people will be involved and you can be pretty self-sufficient.

But, on the other end of the scale, you have singer/songwriters on a 'large scale' with extensive production...it will naturally involve more people and be incredibly hard to remain self-suffient unless you're also a producer.

I think the epitome of this now is Gaga. She makes production-heavy dance/pop, so even if she writes all the lyrics and melody herself...because she isn't a producer, she will still need to involve producers within the creative process. It's not a coincidence that the only songs that she's the sole writer of are non-dance, and therefore do not require producers input within the writing process. I think she's in a grey area, because it's rare to have sole singer/songwriters/producers credits in pop, but she's no less involved than a non-pop conventional singer/songwriter.
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Old 28-09-2011, 16:49
shelleyj89
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I'm afraid I'd not heard of Taylor Swifts recent album where she wrote her own songs. I have heard Delta Goodrem's first album. On it she wrote one song on her own. It was of a noticably poor quality. She should not have been so heavily promoted as a songwriter when she is so obviously reliant on co writing for her hit songs.
She wrote two, and I wouldn't say they were poorer. Will You Fall For Me is one of my favourite Delta songs.
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Old 28-09-2011, 16:56
gpk
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george michael solely wrote a lot of his own material.
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Old 28-09-2011, 17:06
Middleotroad
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She wrote two, and I wouldn't say they were poorer. Will You Fall For Me is one of my favourite Delta songs.
I still feel that an artist who's only written two album tracks would have better been promoted as a co writer, especially if they didn't write their hit songs or their most well known songs.
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Old 28-09-2011, 17:13
shelleyj89
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I still feel that an artist who's only written two album tracks would have better been promoted as a co writer, especially if they didn't write their hit songs or their most well known songs.
But she wrote on them. So she did write them.

That's my point. Co-write, or write on your own, if you write a song, you're a song-writer.
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Old 28-09-2011, 17:40
little-monster
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Kate Bush is another. She has the odd person co writing with her but she does all her music herself. She has pretty much produced the majority of her albums bar 2/3 albums.. She's even got her own label now so everything you hear from her is 100 per cent from her.
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Old 28-09-2011, 17:49
starsailor
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But she wrote on them. So she did write them.

That's my point. Co-write, or write on your own, if you write a song, you're a song-writer.
That assuming that co-writing is an equal partnership, 50/50.

What if the input is more 99%/1%. Is that still song-writing for the one which does 1%?
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Old 28-09-2011, 17:53
gertrude
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Will Young is credited as co-writing 12 of his songs on his latest album "Echoes", and I believe he had a lot of input in each one, and not just an Oooh or an Ahhh I believe he wrote the words for a start.
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Old 28-09-2011, 17:54
little-monster
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I think several singers have never been given the chance to write which is a shame really

A few artists seem to not write but seem to be more of an exective produce. Britney and Rihanna seem to do that. Rihanna executive produced her last two albums. Britney has exective produced all her albums since In The Zone. She was heavily involved for In The Zone.
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Old 28-09-2011, 17:57
O.Michel
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WAIT...Did you just diss Delta Goodrem?? http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lm...kyr2o1_400.gif But she has written all of her hits apart from 'Lost Without You' And being a co-writer STILL means you're a songwriter...Hmm...
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Old 28-09-2011, 17:59
CLL Dodge
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Dolores O'Riordan wrote her 2 solo albums and wrote or co-wrote all of the Cranberries albums too.
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Old 28-09-2011, 18:04
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Katy Perry!
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