There is an ongoing debate as to who should be considered the best lyricist of all times. Within the pop music scene – and remember pop really just refers to popular – there are several contenders. Even the best towing raleigh nc had a challenging time pulling in artists from great granddad’s day until present as there is a vast variety of music and style to take into consideration. With lots of feedback to rely on though, the numbers don’t lie.
Coming in as a constant and reliable first place winner is Bob Dylan. Not too much dispute in this case. Even if you can’t stand his voice or are a hard core rapper, or country music, or heavy metal freak, no one can deny that Dylan’s lyrics are genius from the beginning. When I was kid and heard The Times They Area A Changin’, and A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall for the first time, I knew that this guy was special.
He went on to show his brilliance with indisputable lyrics from songs like Desolation Row, Like a Rolling Stone, Lay Lady Lay, Blowin’ in the Wind, Positively 4th Street, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, and the list goes on for the next five decades. What makes Dylan an enduring standout in such a competitive field his his natural use of wordplay and allusions, innovative nuance as well as the beauty he conveys even when shrouded in hardcore truth.
Whatever Gets You Thru The Night, the holiday front runner Happy Christmas and my personal favorite Imagine as some of his most poignant pieces. Lennon was a poet, he wore his heart on his sleeve and because of the exposure and later propellant of being the co-founder of the Beatles he never went unnoticed. He was inconsistent however, and that accounts for why some might disagree with his placement as number number 2 in the best lyricist of all time.
In a poll of 2000 people Marshall Bruce Mathers III, aka Eminem came in third as the best lyricist of modern pop music. Eminem is a stand out rap artist. While different and definitely unique in his own right, he shares the common thread of a poet with other greats. A “white” kid entering into a mostly “black” dominated field, Eminem took the lead with his first Grammy in 1999 for best breakout rap music. His techniques were honed after listening to Kool G Rap, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Ice-T, Esham and others.
He studied their styles and formulated his own. He took the best of what he heard, liked and put his original, signature style on the music he produced. His fans give him kudos for his ability to write and rhyme – sometimes manipulating words to keep the rhyme flowing and straightforward. Hits like; I Love the Way You Lie, Not Afraid, Guts Over Fear, Lose Yourself and Mockingbird have brought Marshall Bruce Mathers to the top of a long list of creative songwriters, and lined his walls with platinum disks.
There are lyricists from all corners of the music industry – not just pop, who deserve to be mentioned. These are just the top three from a recent poll of the pop music culture. There are other categories that include Broadway musicals, show tunes, movie scores, romantic, cultural, folk and childrens’ music, but those will be saved for another article in Music For Songwriters.
Who do you think deserves to be in the top three of most talented modern day songwriters? Leave a comment and let me know your favorite.