Yesterday I heard that Rolling Stone released their list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time, so naturally I read it just to see who made the list.
I have to say, I actually disagree with Rolling Stone on this one.
You can go check out the complete list for yourself, but here’s a brief rundown of some of the folks who made the list:
100. Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson
80. R. Kelly
70. Dan Penn
60. Willie Nelson
50. Willie Dixon
40. John Fogerty
30. Dolly Parton
20. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
10. Stevie Wonder
1. Bob Dylan
I know Rolling Stone isn’t the god of music so I shouldn’t take it to heart, but I really did have issue with this list. Don’t get me wrong, Bob Dylan is an excellent musician and I respect his work, but I really don’t think that he should have been #1 on the list.
The way I look at it, a great songwriter is someone who writes songs that can surpass genre, time, and race just to name a few. A great songwriter could have written a song in 412 B.C. and it still be a relevant and catchy song that people play at proms, weddings, and various other events. I don’t believe Bob Dylan fits that category.
What also struck me as odd was that legends like Michael Jackson (#34), James Brown (#26), Ashford and Simpson (#83) were not closer to, if not in the number 1 spot. Not only that, but they put Issac Hayes (#75), Fats Domino (#72), and Bono and the Edge (#35) too low on the list for comfort. And where is Donny Hathaway?! He wrote all kinds of stuff!
….wait a second….Biggie (#52) is on the list, but where is Tupac?! They know better!
Carole King (#7) was pretty much the only one I agreed with.
Well needless to say, I’m a bit disappointed. This list needs to be redone. Or better yet, I just need to make my own list. Maybe I’ll do that….