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  1. #151

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    A conversation about co-writing by two guys who have many hit songs to their credit.

    "Great songs are not written; they're co-written." (<<<<I'm not buying that whole hog--- Dylan and Cohen write alone--- but there have been a lot of songwriting duos: Arlen / Koehler, George and Ira Gerswhin, Rodgers & Hart, Lennon and McCartney, Jagger and Richards, Goffin and King, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Ashford & Simpson, Bacharach and David, Page & Plant...)

    https://songtown-on-songwriting.simp...d5189540b69330

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  3. #152

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    As we all know there are multiple types of collaboration related to the music and the lyrics. It is fairy rare to see multiple people write the music, with the typical collaboration being one person writing the music and another the lyrics. John and Paul could be viewed as unique in that for certain songs each would write parts of the music and parts of the lyrics (e.g. A Day in the Life).

    Then there are lyricist like Johnny Mercer that were able to supply wonderful lyrics to many different composers with an excellent final product (song). Of course how much collaboration goes on in cases like this is debatable since one could say none: Mercer was supplied the music and wrote lyrics for that music. I.e. the composer didn't "adjust" the music to help make a lyric "fit" or work better, as far as I can tell.

    This make me wonder how much actual collaboration other famous music\lyrics duos, like George and Ira Gerswhin, John\Taubin, etc. actual did.

  4. #153
    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    Then there are lyricists like Johnny Mercer that were able to supply wonderful lyrics to many different composers with an excellent final product (song)
    Dorothy Fields was another---very adaptable and I'm guessing easy to get along with.

    One couldn't say the same (easy to get along with) about Richard Rodgers---who, BTW, wrote some pretty spiffy lyrics himself. Witness The Sweetest Sounds or, IMO even better b/c of the humor, Loads of Love. After Hart turned down Green are the Lilacs )which became Oklahoma!) Rodgers of course had great success with Oscar Hammerstein, Jr., from that show on.

    But after Hammerstein died he sort of fell apart. There was a so-so collaboration with Stephen Sondheim on Do I Hear a Waltz (of which Sondheim said should never have been produced). Irascible beyond recall and old besides by then, he not only rejected some SS lyrics but inveighed in front of the cast 'You expect my singers to sing this s$$t?!' (Sondheim made a note of 'my' singers in his collected lyrics and reflections tome Finishing the Hat).

    Harold Arlen Wrote with Ted Koehler and Yip Harburg. Alec Wilder had 2 or 3 lyricists and did his own lyrics, notably on I'll Be Around. Jimmy Van Heusen; Jule Styne----the list is long, the reasons various but business at least as much as temperament related. It's good to mix it up---makes a writer think differently.

    Stiff and formulaic, echh...

  5. #154

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    Very nice talk.

  6. #155

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    Harold Arlen Wrote with Ted Koehler and Yip Harburg..
    Joel, I know you know this but for those who do not, Harold Arlen also collaborated with Johnny Mercer on several great songs: "Blues in the Night," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "One For My Baby (And One More For the Road)", "That Old Black Magic," and "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive"

    Mercer is one of my favorite lyricists. His mix of sophistication (-he wrote the lyric for "Satin Doll"--wish he had written more for Ellington!) and folksiness ("Folks around these parts get the time of day / From the Atchison, Topeka & the Santa Fe") have had a profound influence on me because some of his lines strike me as being as good as it gets.

  7. #156
    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    This make me wonder how much actual collaboration other famous music\lyrics duos, like George and Ira Gerswhin, John\Taubin, etc. actual did.
    I also wonder about one of the realities of the biz: climbing to make it, and how far climbers are willing to go for the smell of success---and money.

    This has many times led to composers seeking out 'connected' lyricists to set their songs and then help sell them. I always felt Bacharach deserved a better lyricist than David, who could be very good, as in Alfie, and other times glossy and candy-apple and sort of cashing in on certain '60s trends and affectations. Or Legrand with the Bergmans---pros, but to me too Hallmark card-like: no real bite and also over-reliant on rhyme and alliteration over substance. In fairness they DID do some terrific work (Nice and Easy) that had real edge. And in fairness to Legrand, he was tremendously successful, didn't need coattails.

    But compare the lyric for Once Upon a Summertime to What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life ('All the nickels and the dimes of your days---anything for a rhyme no matter how lame).

    The biz is the biz...