I don’t have to fear it and I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And magnificently we will flow into the mystic
—Into the Mystic, Van Morrison
In an earlier post, I mentioned my top three favorite songwriters of the rock, folk and blues era. I wanted to do a top ten but could not get it to less than eleven. I then thought, well let me list all the remaining ones here. But the list was too long!
So this is part two, part three next.
John Fogerty – Creedence did one great song after another.
Glenn Frey/Don Henley – I’m not the biggest Eagles fan. But what I like of theirs I really like.
Joni Mitchell – Jimmy Page said, “I have to do a lot of hard work before I can get anywhere near those stages of consistent, total brilliance. I don’t think there are too many people who are capable of it. Maybe one. Joni Mitchell.”
Chuck Berry – The man, the king, the legend. Nothing more need be said.
Neil Young – My favorites aren’t necessarily the big ones but songs like “The Loner,” “Helpless,” “I’ve Been Waiting for You.”
Laura Nyro – “And When I Die,” “Stone Soul Picnic,” “Stoney End,” “Wedding Bell Blues.”
Smokey Robinson – Early R&B, Motown – “Shop Around,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “My Guy.” John Lennon wanted to BE Smokey.
King/Goffin – Carole King and Gerry Goffin (pictured above) wrote “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Chains,” “One Fine Day,” “Up On the Roof.” And Carole King wrote or co-wrote much of Tapestry.
Jagger/Richards – I don’t think I realized just how extensive and great their considerable output was till I did a post on them.
Becker/Fagen – Have there ever been two sicker more twisted fucks writing great tunes? I ask you.
George Harrison – Even back when John was disparaging of his output, George was writing good stuff.
Brian Wilson – I didn’t really “get” the Beach Boys for a long time. “Good Vibrations” changed that. Paul McCartney says “God Only Knows” is his favorite song of all time. High praise indeed.
Bob Marley – Every time I hear the live version of “No Woman, No Cry,” I’m back in the Seventies.
Buddy Holly – Lennon/McCartney worshiped Elvis as a pop star. But they really loved Buddy because he wrote great stuff.
Billy Joel – Sure, Billy does some schmaltzy stuff. But his songbook is terrific. Have to see him at Madison Square Garden someday.
John/Taupin – Bernie Taupin writes lyrics, drops them on Elton who then makes up music. To this day. Awesome!
Van Morrison – Van inhabits a space all his own. No one approaches it quite like he does.