Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Songs About Making Songs

I have asserted to my musicologist wife that at least in Rock n' Roll (my bailiwick), I had noticed that whenever a band - which regularly wrote (the de rigueur) love songs - had a breakup song, the latter would be above average for their quality.

Recently, I think I can expand on that to suggest three more genres to add to (1) breakup songs: (2)  songs about the creative process, (3) the sequela of that, songs of insomnia, and (4) songs about the struggles of fame.  The latter is not as interesting as the others, but all four have in common the theme of anger.  And maybe anger is actually a great artistic muse (either that or it's frustration, same thing in this context).

Here's a current list of these types of songs, starting with #2, songs of the creative process.
  1. The Who "Guitar and Pen"
  2. Eagles "Certain Kind of Fool
  3. (arguably): Foreigner "Juke Box Hero"

Just for fun, some (#3) insomnia songs:
  1. Chicago "25 or 6 to 4"
  2. Green Day "Brain Stew"
  3. Beatles "I'm So Tired"

The breakup songs (#1) that I have in my own catalog: [roughly defined]
  1. The Beatles "For No One"
  2. Billy Joel "And So It Goes"
  3. Bob Seger "Still the Same"*
  4. The Commodores "Sail On"
  5. The Commodores "Still"*
  6. Elton John "I'm Still Standing"* 
  7. Elton John "Empty Garden"**
  8. Elton John "Sad Songs (Say So Much)"**
  9. Elton John "Candle in the Wind"**
  10. Jay & the Americans "She Cried" ***
  11. The Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
  12. U2 "One"
  13. U2 "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
  14. U2 "With or Without You" ****
* = do all songs with "Still" in the title count as breakup songs?  Discuss.
** = Elton John has cornered the market with eulogy songs, which are a subset.
*** = This possibly ruins my thesis because this band barely makes decent music.
**** = I'm stopping at 3.  Did U2 even write a love song?

Please add some if you know of any favorites.  Sure, there are lists on the internet, but these are songs I've heard first and then categorized.