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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Music is the Doctor #32 My Favourite Songwriters

Haven't posted for a few days, apologies if you've been stopping by to check out anything new.

Thought I'd rectify that with a new Music is the Doctor post.

The 32nd Music is the Doctor Playlist turns its attention toward the Songwriter and in particular some of my favourite songwriters. It's a very eclectic mix of folk.

On the Playlist
Bruce Springsteen
So many brilliant songs down through the years and 'No Surrender' is just one of many that I could have posted. I love this acoustic version of the song.

Bob Dylan
Have to say whilst not a huge fan of everything that he's done I've always admired his ability to write some amazing tunes. 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' being just one of many.

Neil Young
Like with Mr Dylan I wouldn't say I was the biggest Neil Young fan but there's been enough songs of his over the years that I have loved (and still do). His 'Rust Never Sleeps' album is one of my absolute favourites and in particular 'Hey, Hey, My, My (Into the Blue and Into the Black)'. The version I've included is the live version from the Live Rust movie.

Buddy Holly
Actually this one, 'That'll Be The Day', is a co-write with Jerry Allison (and Norman Petty gets a credit though I'm fairly sure all he did was produce it!).

Roddy Frame
One of my favourite Scottish Songwriters, he's been writing brilliant songs since he was a young lad and this one, 'Killermont Street' was written for Aztec Camera's massive hit album 'Love'.

Natalie Merchant
Throughout her time with 10,000 Maniacs and of course her Solo Career Natalie has written some outstanding songs. 'Wonder' from her debut album 'Carnival' is one of her best and most popular songs.

Eric Church
One of the modern country superstars who has made a real impression on me over the years with some of his fine tunes. I love this live version of 'That's Damn Rock 'n' Roll'

Buddy & Julie Miller
Whilst individually Buddy and Julie write songs they also team up from time to time as a songwriting partnership and there are many beautiful songs that have stemmed from this including 'Wide River To Cross' which was included on Buddy's 'Universal United House of Prayer' album from 2004.

Elvis Costello
Take your pick when it comes to the songs of Elvis Costello because there are so many that are just fantastic and could easily have been included here on the playlist. I've gone for a live version of 'Watching the Detectives' filmed in 1978.

Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook
   Some of the finest pop tunes between 1977 and to the present day have been performed by Squeeze and penned by Difford & Tilbrook. This tale of teenage pregnancy, 'Up the Junction' is by far one of their best collaborations.

Tim "TV" Smith
He wrote some of the best Punk tunes with The Adverts and has continued with a solo career to write songs that have something to say like 'Only One Flavour' that I've chosen for the Playlist. He is in my mind one of the most underrated British songwriters.

Kirsty MacColl
Kirsty is one person I could not leave off the list. She may not have had the massive hits that others had but she could write a brilliant song or two. I chose 'Freeworld' because I thought it showed off a side of her we don't often think of. This was on her second album 'Kite'.

Billy Bragg
I always like how Mr Bragg is able to keep his songs relevant as this version 'Waiting For the Great Leap Forwards', performed on The Henry Rollins Show testifies.

Paul Weller
As the main songwriter for The Jam Weller cemented his reputation as one of best and whilst he rarely continued that with The Style Council it is as a solo artist that he has truly found such success and since 1992 he has been releasing album after album of mesmerizing tunes. I've chosen one that was from his debut solo album, 'Into Tomorrow' peformed live on Later with Jools Holland for BBC TV.

Dion DiMucci
I've loved him since I was a kid and to this day I still love what he does. I've chosen one of his most brilliant tunes, 'King of the New York Streets' which appeared on his excellent 'Yo Frankie' album released in 1989, and was a co-write with his friend Bill Tuohy (who had been writing with Dion since the early 1970's).

Joe Strummer & Mick Jones
As it's was the anniversary of the release of 'London Calling' album yesterday I thought I'd include one of my favourites from the album, 'Clampdown'. Version I chose is from US TV Show Fridays filmed in 1981 I think. So many epic songs of my teenage years that I scarcely know where to begin, so what better way than to include them on this list.

Jason Isbell
His latest album, 'Something More Than Free' is absolutely stunning lyrically and Isbell seems to be getting better at his craft. The track I chose for the Playlist is a song from the latest album, 'Speed Trap Town'.

Dee Dee Ramone
One of the chief songwriters for the Ramones and even after his departure he still penned songs for the band. 'Something To Believe In', which was released as a single and features on the 'Animal Boy' album is actually a co-write with producer Jean Beauvoir. It is probably my favourite of Dee Dee's songs followed closely by Poison Heart (which was another co-write with Daniel Rey).

Holly Williams
It must be in the genes because Holly Williams continues the family tradition of writing vivid, picturesque songs. Here's the title track of her album 'The Highway' performed live a The Grand Ole Opry.

Mike Peters
As one of the principal songwriters of The Alarm and then as a solo artist Mike Peters has written stacks of really great songs. For the Playlist I chose the song 'Down the Road' which was first released on  'Best of Mike Peters and The Alarm' back in 1998.
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