I have been viewing online music videos during the past few days, and it started me wondering what happened to all the great songwriters.
I have been accused of being too “old school” so I am making an attempt to listen to some of today’s music. Although I have been able to find a few good songs, overall I think most of today’s music really stinks. Since I am not familiar with most of today’s music artists, I don’t know who the current songwriters are. But one thing I do know and that is the songwriters today are not as talented as the songwriters I remember.
I was greatly influenced by the music of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, because the songs were well written and there were messages in those songs. During the 1960’s there were some great songs written by the legendary songwriting team, Holland-Dozier-Holland. The three men that made up this team were Brian and Eddie Holland, and Lamont Dozier. These guys wrote a lot of hit songs for Motown, which included “How Sweet it Is To Be Loved By You” by Marvin Gaye, “Stop in the Name of Love” by Diana Ross & the Supremes, and “It’s the Same Old Song” by the Four Tops.
The 1960’s was a great time for music, and I believe that the Holland-Dozier-Holland writing team had a lot to do with it.
Another great songwriter from back in the day was Thom Bell. This is the man that wrote songs for many artists during that 1970’s that included “I’ll Be Around” and “Mighty Love” by the Spinners, and “You Make Me Feel Brand New” and “Stop, Look, Listen” by the Stylistics. These were beautiful songs that made you feel good. I can remember listening to the Spinners early in the mornings while I was getting ready for school. The positive lyrics uplifted my spirits and the beat of the song put me in a good mood.
During the 1970’s there was a talented songwriting team called “Gamble and Huff“. The two men that made up this team were Leon Huff and Kenny Gamble. In 1972 they launched a record label called Philadelphia International. Some of the songs they wrote included “Wake up Everybody”, “I’ll See When I Get There”, “Family Reunion”, and “Love is the Message”. One of the reasons I enjoyed the songs written by Gamble and Huff, is because all their songs had a message that most of us could relate to. The music they produced also contained messages that inspired people across all color lines.
I truly hope that the songwriters today take a look back in music history, and learn what elements make a great song. If they do they will learn that positive lyrics are what the music industry truly needs.