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Author Topic: Songs by unusual songwriters  (Read 354 times)

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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Songs by unusual songwriters
« on: March 16, 2015, 01:57:53 AM »

Recently I was listening to a singles collection by the Zombies, and I paid special attention to two B-sides from 1966 written by singer Colin Blunstone. As far as I know, those were the only two official Zombies' songs written by Blunstone, while keyboardist Rod Argent and bassist Chris White wrote almost every original song of the band. I had already listened to those two songs several times before, but I'm still surprised because I really like both tracks by this unusual songwriter. These are the songs:

The Zombies - Just Out Of Reach


How We Were Before - The Zombies


Maybe the good performances also helped a lot.

I can't think of many other examples of good quality songs written by unusual songwriters to be included in a record by the band they were part of. "Octopus's Garden" is an obvious example. Then we have "In Another Land" by bassist Bill Wyman, included in the Rolling Stones' album Their Satanic Majesties Request (they even put an asterisk on the song in the back cover, indicating The Rolling Stones except *Bill Wyman). The song is not a big triumph anyway, just a decent psychedelic track.

The Rolling Stones - In Another Land


It has been much worse in other cases. This was one of the very few contributions by singer Roger Daltrey to the Who catalog, and it's pretty poor:

The Who - See My Way (Embedding disabled, limit reached)

As another example, Jefferson Airplane's drummer Spencer Dryden wrote this weak country-rock tune:

Jefferson Airplane - A Song For All Seasons (Embedding disabled, limit reached)

Can you mention other songs by unusual songwriters?
« Last Edit: March 16, 2015, 01:59:25 AM by Hombre_de_ningun_lugar »
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Songs by unusual songwriters
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2015, 11:27:02 AM »

The High Numbers/Who's run of singles from '64 to '69 had some great songs by John Entwistle on the b-sides.
'Someone's Coming', 'Doctor, Doctor', 'In The City', 'I've Been Away', 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'.....terrific records.....like having two different groups on each 45.

As and Bs comp. from 'Zoot Suit' to 'Pinball Wizard' please!
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ibanez_ax

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Re: Songs by unusual songwriters
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2015, 12:36:19 PM »

Mardi Gras, the final Creedence Clearwater Revival album, had several songs written by bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford.

Cook - "Take It Like A Friend", "Sail Away" and "Door to Door"

Clifford - "Tearin' Up The Country" and "What Are You Gonna Do?"

Cook/Clifford - "Need Someone To Hold"

This was the worst, by far, of the 7 studio Creedence albums.
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Songs by unusual songwriters
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2015, 04:35:14 PM »

The High Numbers/Who's run of singles from '64 to '69 had some great songs by John Entwistle on the b-sides.
'Someone's Coming', 'Doctor, Doctor', 'In The City', 'I've Been Away', 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'.....terrific records.....like having two different groups on each 45.

Yes, but I wouldn't say that John Entwistle was an unusual songwriter. Obviously, he didn't write as much as Pete Townshend, but most albums by the Who had at least one or two songs by the Ox.

The spirit of the theme is talking about the Ringos of different bands: musicians that weren't songwriters but had the opportunity to write and record one or two songs.
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Songs by unusual songwriters
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2015, 04:38:02 PM »

Mardi Gras, the final Creedence Clearwater Revival album, had several songs written by bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford.

Cook - "Take It Like A Friend", "Sail Away" and "Door to Door"

Clifford - "Tearin' Up The Country" and "What Are You Gonna Do?"

Cook/Clifford - "Need Someone To Hold"

This was the worst, by far, of the 7 studio Creedence albums.

Yes, this is a good example. Another similar case was the album Wings At The Speed Of Sound.
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Songs by unusual songwriters
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2015, 06:21:59 PM »

Entwistle wrote no more than about 10 Who songs in the 60s.
I call that quite a small number.

George, hardly a prolific writer, made two solo LPs and wrote 22 songs for The Beatles.
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Songs by unusual songwriters
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2015, 07:36:49 PM »

Entwistle wrote no more than about 10 Who songs in the 60s.
I call that quite a small number.

George, hardly a prolific writer, made two solo LPs and wrote 22 songs for The Beatles.

I agree, it's a relatively small number, but he still was a songwriter. Dave Davies from the Kinks is a similar case. They didn't write many songs, but they were much more prolific than, say, Ringo Starr, Colin Blunstone, Bill Wyman, Roger Daltrey or Spencer Dryden; people who wrote just one or two songs for the bands they were part of.
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Moogmodule

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Re: Songs by unusual songwriters
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2015, 09:14:22 PM »

In more recent times Crowded House's late drummer Paul Hester wrote only the one song I think for the band. Italian Plastic off Woodface.

I wonder if there's many examples of a band having a song written by an unusual songwriter that ends up being their only or biggest hit. Something tells me it's happened but can't put my finger on which ones. Obviously it'd likely be one hit wonder bands.
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Klang

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Re: Songs by unusual songwriters
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2015, 10:51:51 PM »


I was going to suggest Dennis Edmonton (Mars Bonfire), who penned 'Born To Be Wild' (arguably their biggest hit) as a member of Steppenwolf. Turns out, though, he wrote a good half dozen songs for the band before departing. Great stage name, Mars Bonfire.

 :)
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Mr Mustard

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Re: Songs by unusual songwriters
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2015, 01:59:51 AM »

Slade's catalogue is almost entirely written by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea. But on the earliest albums, drummer Don Powell would get co-writing credits on a few tracks, and perhaps most notably he co-penned their 1972 number 4 hit "Look Wot You Dun".
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stevie

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Re: Songs by unusual songwriters
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2015, 06:30:24 AM »

George wrote 'He's So Fine' for the Chiffons, didn't he?

 ;sorry :P
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