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Your Song – Singer/Songwriters, Songwriter/singers!

March 3, 2018

sswriterpst2

Your Song
A community event hosted by Danica @ livingabeautifullife

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“You consider me the best actor slash model…and not the other way around.”
– Fabio, from the movie Zoolander

One doesn’t often look to Derek Zoolander for thought-provoking statements.

But surprisingly, this Fabio Slashie award acceptance speech has left me wondering.

Does the order matter?

In math, you bet it does, B.E.D.M.A.S. or bust!

But what about determining the Slashie award for best actor/model? If the order was inverted, perhaps Fabio wouldn’t have been the best model/actor?

Or of more relevance for today: is the best singer/songwriter also the best songwriter/singer?

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The Best Singer/Songwriter
(and not the other way around)

In my books, to be in the running for The Best Singer/Songwriter (and not the other way around), there’s really only one criterion.

Or at most, two criteria.

I have to think of the artist as a performer first and as a composer (preferably of songs performed by others) second.

And I’m sure there would be many worthy candidates.

But there was one artist that jumped to mind for me.

Fittingly, at one point in his career, he even referred to himself as “The Artist.”

Although he would eventually write solid tunes that would be performed by the likes of The Bangles, Sinead O’Connor, and Morris Day & The Time, I think of Mr. Rogers Nelson first and foremost as a performer (and what a performer he was).

Therefore, the 2018 Slashie award for best Singer/Songwriter (and not the other way around), goes to Prince.

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The Best Songwriter/Singer
(and not the other way around)

For the best Songwriter/Singer, similar idea, opposite order: I think of these folks as composers first, performers second.

And as luck would have it, this year’s winner has a career path mirroring that order.

She wrote dozens of hits for other artists in the ’60s before she began to release her own solo albums in the ’70s.

Her second solo album, Tapestry, is right where it belongs on the 1001 list.

So without any further adieu, congratulations to Carole King, this year’s Slashie award winner for Best Songwriter/Singer, and not the other way around!

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Verbalize the Positive

Cheers to Danica (and Hank the Hedgehog) for hosting this community event!

 

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53 Comments
  1. Is this called ‘having a bet each way’?

  2. What a creative approach to featuring noteworthy artists! Prince was also in the running out my way.

  3. I like to think in terms of singer/songwriter/instrumentalist.

    Some examples:
    Elvis Costello – marginal singer, great songwriter, marginal guitarist
    Richard Thompson – marginal singer, great songwriter, great guitarist
    Joni Mitchell – great singer, great songwriter, great guitarist
    Prince – great singer, great songwriter, great guitarist

  4. Splendid, Geoff. Good shout with both categories. Aside from Tapestry, I’m not familiar with much of Carole King’s stuff… though I don’t expect I’m alone there.

  5. Splendid stuff Geoff… I find it easier to think of songwriter/singers that singer/songwriters though… why is that? Maybe cause most the people I like are shite singers ahaha? Might have to chew on it.

    Fuck it… PAUL STANLEY. The complete package (oo-er)

    • I miss the artist formerly known as Prince.
      My friend and I discussed driving to New York to see him live. Next time we said. Sadly there would be no next time.
      Any one who assumes he was just a pop singer should watch a video of him shred the guitar. Such an underrated guitarist.

      I have some Carole King vinyl I bought used but have never played. I think I’ll rectify that.

      • I’m sad I never got to see Prince either.
        Though tribute acts are likely hit and miss, the Prince tribute act in Vegas (Purple Reign) that Wendy and I saw last year was amazing!

      • Bop do you still have the link to that SNL performance where he just killed it on guitar and then walked offstage like he knew he was hot stuff?

      • a brilliant performance!

      • The video was at the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame when George Harrison was posthumously inducted. The look of George’s son at around the 4:50 mark while watching Prince shred says it all for me.

      • Was that the one? Well no wonder I couldn’t find it, it wasn’t even SNL!

      • I know I’d posted his performance of ‘fury’ from SNL in 2006 – and he definitely gave that look at the end too!
        The trouble is SNL always removes stuff from youtube, so it can be hit and miss finding it, but whenever it temporarily resurfaces on the tubes, it’s a fantastic performance!

      • A cool red

    • I believe he even sang as the phantom of the opera in Toronto, so that would definitely qualify him asthe complete package- cheers HMO!

  6. Always can count on you to deviate from the norm! Great read!

  7. jprobichaud permalink

    Interesting idea. I’ve always just said singer/songwriter, never considering that you could have it the other way around.

  8. Like some commenters above, a lot of singer-songwriters would probably prefer the term being the other way round. Weirdly, the first name in my mind is Leonard Cohen. You mentioned this a while ago, and I wasn’t aware of it either, but Michael Jackson I believe did much of the writing and producing, and so I’ll put him in the singer-moonwalker-popstarer-songwriter category.

  9. BEDMAS! Oh man thanks for the memories! I never had problems with BEDMAS, fortunately!

    • Or for ourFrench Canadian friends, PEDMAS(parentheses!)

      • All I could think of was Dan Baird’s I Love You Period, “… I wanna hold you in parentheses…”) haha man, BEDMAS. Bad as I was in math class, I remember that much!

      • Math students often ask, ‘when am I ever going to use this?’ – it appears memories of BEDMAS won’t hurt when reading music blog posts!

      • I call ’em parentheses most of the time too 🙂

      • No wonder we get along so well!

      • The fact that you are a generous, great person must have nothing to do with it! 😉

      • What’s the old playground saying, takes one to know one/I’m rubber you’re glue?!

      • LOL! Yes very true. Much better than “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’m going outside to eat worms…”

  10. The best slash is still Slash IMHO.

  11. Prince yes, King not so much, for me. But there again my development got arrested at 13 and hasn’t been at large since.

    • It was only when you dropped ‘Carole’ from her name that I realized they both had Regal associations!

      • I thought you’d done that on purpose – all it was missing was Queen Latifah.

      • And she’s on the 1001 too (as are Duke Ellington & Count Basie), so we’re close to the complete set!

  12. Solid choices. The Prince video is blocked in the U.S. I’m sure it’s brilliant.

  13. This old timer thinks of two sixties guys. Paul McCartney was a pretty good singer and his “Yesterday ” is one of the most covered songs of all time. Bob Dylan had some success as a performer. I have a hard time with the word “singer”. But when other people covered his songs they took on a new life. The two terms are so closely intertwined.

    • Agreed D – I quite liked Leonard Cohen’s self-deprecation about his ‘singing’ too, I think at a Juno’s speech he said, “only in Canada could I win the best singer award!”

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