Amy Mantis
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On Co-Writing

January 7, 2013 Round One (since yesterday’s was lost in the tumblr abyss)

I recently listened to John Mayer on NPR, and he said that two autonomous writers don’t need each other to write.  Or something like that.  While that is true, I think two autonomous writers can work together to create something really great.  It can be a struggle because we writers are generally very opinionated and defensive about our work. Especially songwriters.

I’m all for co-writing.  It can be scary because you’re really opening up to someone, but that’s exactly why I (should) do it (more often).  When it works, it’s brilliant.  To state the obvious: Lennon and McCartney, Jagger and Richards, Led Zeppelin, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Holland/Dozier/Holland, the Everly Brothers, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Hall and Oates, Simon and Garfunkel.  I could go on.  But you get the point.

Yes, those duos (and trio) were still good separate, but how many solo Mick Jagger songs can you name?  Or Keith Richards songs?  I can’t name any non-Led Zeppelin songs by Led Zeppelin members (unless you count Alison Krauss and Robert Plant’s Raising Sand album, but that was a covers album).  I’m sure some people can, but I can’t - except for Them Crooked Vultures.  I know those songs.

Lennon and McCartney both had some fantastic songs separate, but were they better than Help! or Ticket To Ride or just about any Beatles song?  That’s debatable.  I love both separate, but together, they were indescribable.

Often times, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  It’s just one of those things.

Top Five:

The Rolling Stones (I’m still tallying up the bridges!)
Fleetwood Mac
The Allman Brothers
Led Zeppelin (if you’re a fan and don’t have Celebration Day, go buy it immediately)
The Foo Fighters