Yesterday the new Entertainment Weekly arrived in the mail, with the lovely Taylor Swift on the cover, designated the “Entertainer of the Year” with another headline suggesting world domination The article inside made note (as all of her CD reviews of her new album also do) that at the age of 20 SHE WROTE ALL THE SONGS HERSELF!!!
Question: has the bar been set that low that that is newsworthy? I know there are plenty of professional songwriters churning out hits for all the young talent out there. But is it news when someone of that age group actually has the talent to write a group of songs?
I decided to do a little research:
Smokey Robinson– Born in 1940. Formed his first band at the age of 15 and started writing songs. Formed the Miracles in 1958 at the age of 18- signed with Motown (As their first artist). Released their first album in 1960 (Smokey was 20) containing songs written and co-written by Smokey, including “Shop Around” to this day one of the classic soul songs of all time.
The Beatles– Pretty good little band. John and Ringo born in 1940, Paul in 1942, George in 1943. Formed the band in 1960. In 1963, they released two albums “Please Please Me” and “With the Beatles.” Paul was 21, George was 20, John and Ringo 23. Songs included on these two albums include: “I Saw Her Standing There” “Ask Me Why” “Please Please Me” “Love Me Do” “P.S. I Love You” “Do You Want to Know a Secret” “There’s a Place” “It Won’t Be Long” “All I’ve Got to Do” and “All My Loving”
Not bad for a bunch of 20 and 21 year olds!
The Rolling Stones– The Stones were formed in 1962. Brian Jones was 20, Mick and Keith were 21. In 1964, they released “England’s Newest Hitmakers.” And “Out of Our Heads.” Songs include: “Tell Me” and “Heart of Stone.” They were a year away from “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” arguably the greatest rock and roll song ever recorded (My pick at least). More songs from that year include: “The Last Time”, “Play With Fire”, “Get Off of My Cloud” and “As Tears Go By”
So I went out in the snow this morning and bought Taylor Swift’s new album (need to make an informed decision! As she is one of those divas who only lets people shoot 30 seconds of her show from the soundboard, I will probably never see her live, this would be the only way I could hear her stuff.) Went home, put it in the CD player and proceeded to listen. YIKES!! This is one bitter 20 year old! All the songs (or as many as I could get through) were about her getting screwed over by guys. She seems to have been pretty busy- seems to have picked a whole series of jerks. I would have to suggest that all the guys of America stay as far away from her as possible, or risk getting immortalized in a song, for all the wrong reasons. Songs are pretty nice, couple of steps above mediocre, but I would doubt that any of them will last 40 or 50 years, like all the songs above. Let’s see what she comes up with when she turns 21!