I spoke with the inimitable Billy Steinberg, a man in a rare class of songwriters that composed hits for over 30 years.
Fascinating interview and post, Chris! Love the inclusion of "like a surgeon" on the playlist.
Not a big Roy Orbison fan in general, but Holy Crap...wow, just wow. Can't recall the last time a song hit me like that. Thanks.
Great interview, thank you - I love many of the songs he wrote, and most especially, Falling into you.
Sister Cristina’s version of ‘Like a Virgin’ is so beautiful! Better than the Madonna version by a very long way in my opinion.
Thanks for this. The song inclusions were over-the-top.
Your appreciation and curiosity for creativity made this interesting piece riveting.
Fab article. I am a poet. I am all about words, therefore lyrics are vital to my enjoyment of popular music.
But the reason that poetry is not universally treasured as is popular music is that there is no attending ambience. The lyrics work with the music to create a synesthetic gestalt. I even put my poetry on audio visual form for my own personal enjoyment.
Lyrics are trees but not the forest
That being said I read the whole article which is amazing and appreciated by someone with adhd. You really held my attention.
Very interesting interview, Chris though, as a musician myself, I fight the common idea that a song is its lyrics and what they are about. Tom Kelly' "melody and chords" ARE the song to any listener who doesn't understand the lyrycs.
I think songwriting is a form of art where lyrics don't survive without music. Many pathetic love songs are masterpieces because of the melody but their lyrics wouldn't make it in a poetry book. And yet an instrumental rendition of a song is still that particular song.
By the way, Sister Cristina is no longer a nun, though she says she still feels "close to God" :-)
Fascinating interview my jaw dropped with each announcement of songs he had written. I have felt the same as Billy Steinberg when putting the needle to the record. Thanks to the likes of him for making the records possible.
This interview is fortuitous for me as I'm just starting to dabble in songwriting as a hobby.
It's fascinating to read how differently people approach the process. Bach is said to have started with the bass line. Rush started with melody and added lyrics near-last, as did Pink Floyd. To start with lyrics would be a whole other dynamic. In Billy's & Tom's success, it's evident they made that kind of process work well.
The '80s was a wonderful era for music, with my grandkids preferring it's tunes over current releases. Given the breadth of creative ideas within this artist's playlist, one can understand a reason why.
Thanks for sharing the huge list of references:) not sure if it's comparable but they want to fix my bots like I want to fix their gods - all professional but too early to true ☧
Sister Cristina! Thank for introducing her.
This was so interesting and I loved Sister Cristina’s version of Like. a Virgin. Very poignant.
Great interview and gorgeously packed in the playing list ♥️💫
Wonderful interview, Chris!
Beautiful ‘Falling into You’ have heard it but not for a long time.