Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Making Musical Magic

A wonderful post by Rosanne Cash on her recent songwriting collaboration with Joe Henry.

I've thought a lot about music in my 48 years, but not a lot about the songwriting process. It would be fascinating to read a book (maybe one has already been written; if so, I haven't read it) in which famous artists write about how they come up with their songs. In particular, some that I'd love to read about are:

Bruce Springsteen
Bob Dylan
Elvis Costello
Bacharach & David
John & Taupin
Becker & Fagen
Rosanne Cash
Jagger & Richards
Stevie Wonder

Where does the inspiration come from? What comes first - the lyrics, or the music? How do the famous teams work together?

In other words, all of the little mysterious things that lead to magic.


Undercover Black Man said...

I have wondered the same thing! I have this very romanticized idea about the songwriters who worked at hot hit factories... say Holland, Dozier, Holland.

This was they're job. They showed up to work and wrote "Jimmy Mack." I mean... damn!

And the friendly (or not-so-friendly) competition of other writers in the factory.

Jeff said...


HDH is another great example - I'd LOVE to read about how their stuff came about. Especially since they were on a roll at one point where they batted .1000 for about 2 years straight.