Top British Songwriters

By musicalreview

British Song Writers

ELTON JOHN

Top British Songwriters

Born Reginald Dwight on 25th March 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex, England. Elton John’s position as one of the world’s biggest stars is confirmed by the fact that he is amongst the top five performers on both sides of The Atlantic.

As a songwriter he has few equals and along with his lyricist Bernie Taupin, they have created some of pop music’s finest moments, including Candle In The Wind. This emotional song was rewritten for the funeral of Diana Princess Of Wales became the biggest selling single in history.

Occasionally he has written with others but few could disagree, it is with Taupin that his finest moments have been achieved.

 

PAUL MCCARTNEY

paul Mccartney

Born on 18th June 1942 in Liverpool, England. Along with fellow Beatle and song writing partner John Lennon, Paul McCartney changed popular music forever.

Before The Beatles professional writers wrote the top artists songs. After The Beatles, if you wanted credibility you had to write your own.

He and Lennon are by far the most successful writing partnership in chart history, with McCartney attaining the top spot because of a more successful solo career and Lennon’s untimely death.

It is highly doubtful that anyone will ever catch him; such is the rate that artists still choose to cover his work with Lennon. In April 1997 his wife and sometime writing partner Linda lost her battle with cancer, also that year he was knighted.

McCartney has continued recording and touring through the 1990’s and in 2000’s, but it’s his personal life that has come under scrutiny as the decade drew on, with an acrimonious split from his new wife.

JOHN LENNON

John Lennon

Born on 9th September 1940 in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. Died on 8th December 1980 in New York City, USA after being shot dead.

When John Lennon was shot dead by a crazed fan the, world was robbed of one of its most iconic figures.

During the 60’s along with fellow Beatle Paul McCartney they were to change music and above all the way it was written forever. Before Lennon and McCartney very few artists wrote they’re own material, after it became a prerequisite for credibility.

When the Beatles split in 1969/70 Lennon began a solo career, but by the mid 70’s he was becoming equally known for his political views. Upon his death his solo material was re-released and now is rightly regarded as highly as his work with McCartney.

PETER WATERMAN

PeteWaterman

Born on 15th January 1951 in Coventry, Warwickshire, England.

Pete Waterman was a member of the hit-making machine Stock, Aitken and Waterman, who dominated the British charts during the 1980’s.

He had previously been a well-known DJ and was more known as a producer. SAW modelled themselves on the Motown hit factory, and in the 80’s they met with unparrelled success in the charts, although never popular with the critics.

This is not to say they didn’t have their perfect pop moments and occasional gems, sung mainly by Kylie, since those heady days Waterman has worked with Steps and enhanced his TV career.

MIKE STOCK

Mike Stock

Born on 3rd December 1951 in Margate, Kent, England.

Along with Pete Waterman and Matt Aitken, Mike Stock made up the Hit Factory trio that were to dominate the charts from the mid 80’s until the early 90’s. They did this in such a manner that had not been seen since Lennon and McCartney in the 60’s.

They had started out writing Hi-Energy records for the gay dance market and when these started to cross over, they hit upon the idea of having unknowns or soap stars to front their songs.

This was particularly successful with Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Rick Astley. When the trio went their own way’s in the early 90’s, Mike Stock still carried on writing and producing hits, although nowhere near the amount than in his SAW heyday of the 80’S. In 2005 SAW announced they were to write together again.

BARRY GIBB

Barry Gibb

Born on 1st September 1946 on the Isle of Man, U.K.

With his two brothers Maurice and Robin they formed The Bee Gees, who were child stars in Australia, where the family had moved to when the boys were young.

Jealous of the success The Beatles were attaining the band moved back to their native country and soon the hits arrived. By the early 70’s the hits dried up, but then they found disco and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack made them one of the world’s biggest selling acts.

Unfortunately they were caught in the disco sucks backlash of the early 80’s and it wasn’t until the middle of that decade that they rediscovered favour. In early 2003 Maurice died whilst in hospital and this may well spell the end of The Bee Gees, although Barry was to produce the new Barbara Streisand album in 2005.

ROBIN GIBB

Robin Gibb

Born on 22nd December 1949 on the Isle of Man, U.K.

Along with twin Maurice and elder brother Barry they formed the Bee Gees who were to become one of the most successful acts in chart history.

Robin was the singer with the falsetto voice that epitomised nearly all Bee Gees releases, he also enjoyed moderate success as solo performer after he left the band for a short while in the early 70’s.

He has recorded solo material sporadically ever since. In early 2003 tragedy struck when Maurice died in a Miami hospital this was the second brother to die after the youngest brother Andy sadly passed away in 1988 aged only 30.

MATT AITKEN

Matt Aitken

Born on 25th August 1956. He was one third of the writing and production team of Stock, Aitken and Waterman who dominated the U.K. charts throughout much of the 80’s and early 90’s.

Although they were never the critics favourite, they certainly were the public’s for a long time, and it’s probably fair to say that few of the songs will be remembered as classics.

‘Better the devil you know’ by Kylie Minogue being an exception, although their amazing commercial success cannot be ignored. During late 2005 after years of claims and counter claims, SAW reformed whether the public will be as welcoming to their song writing formula in the 21st century remains to be seen.

 

LAMONT DOZIER

Lamont Dozier

 

Born on 16th of June 1941 in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Best known for his writing partnership with the Eddie and Brian Holland, they were Motown’s top writers and were really the lynchpin for what Motown achieved in the 1960’s.

By the 70’s they had moved onto form their own label, but after early success the partnership was dissolved, after this Dozier had success writing for others up until the late 80’s, and he continued a solo career, that although brought him few hits, did bring him more critical acclaim.

His work carries on hitting the chart due to its popularity with artists who wish to sample it.

STEVIE WONDER

Stevie Wonder

 

Born Steveland Judkins on 13th May 1959 in Saginal, Michigan, U.S.A. He later was to change his surname to Morris when his mother re-married.

The word genius can be over used and quite often be bestowed on artists not worthy of such praise, but there is surely no argument when talking about Stevie Wonder.

His blindness was caused by being given too much oxygen at birth although an undoubted tragedy it never affected his musical prowess, arguably it enhanced it. Originally a child prodigy, aboutpianolessons he soon took control of his own direction.

Throughout the 70’s he was at the pinnacle of his powers, with every new release containing more thought provoking and ambitious work.

Even his most ardent fan would be hard pushed to say that his output since the early 80’s could match earlier efforts, but in 2005 a new release seemed to point to a return of form.

 Category: British Songwriters