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Masterpieces of Lyric writing

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Aaron, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    What tunes have your favorite stories?

    Off of the top of my head I can think of "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" by Richard Thompson, "Kiss the Children" Ric Grech (Gram Parsons), and Paul Simon "Graceland".
  2. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    CCR's "Bad Moon Rising" sticks out. Maybe not the best but definitely up there.

    And Tool's "46&2" is pretty great for meaningful lyrics (ontop of a sweet bass line).
  3. The Decemberists "Mariner's Revenge Song", hands down winner for a great story! "oh OHHHHHHHH......"
  4. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    anything by Leonard Cohen, but "Famous Blue Raincoat," "Suzanne," "Hallelujah," and "Take this Longing" stand out right now.

    Genesis's "Back in N.Y.C." is some of Peter Gabriel's best, in my opinion.

    also... "Airshow '88" and "Drinker's Peace" by Guided By Voices.
    http://[malware url removed].net/vicious-smiley-1815.gif
  5. jwsamuel


    Apr 26, 2004
    Just about anything on Rodney Crowell's last three CDs (The Houston Kid, Fate's Right Hand an The Outsider).

  6. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Paul Simon's lyrics are the best.

    I'm pretty sure it was his song writing ability that got Princess Leia to agree to marry him. :D
  7. morf

    morf Banned

    Feb 17, 2006
    Anything ever written by Bob Dylan.
  8. "Freedom is just another word for nothin left to lose..."
    - Me and Bobby McGee by Kris Kristofferson

    I don't think I have ever heard so much said in so few words.

    "Oh, I said "I'm so happy, I could die."
    She said "Drop dead," then left with another guy. "

    - The Angels Want to Wear my Red Shoes by Elvis Costello

    I don't know if this rises to the level of a "Masterpiece Lyric" - but every time I hear it I laugh! Nontheless, Elvis (Declan) is a brilliant lyricist, in my opinion.
  9. four2oh


    Mar 29, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    i'm a bassist, who listens to words?! all i listen for is where the one is! :bassist:
  10. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I want to kiss her but...
    She won't let me.

    I want to hold her behind...
    Closed doors and more.

    She's the kinda girl who takes guys hearts and wreck't 'um

    I don't remember who wrote that one,

    The Beat Farmers "Happy Boy" was pretty friggin awesome tooo!
  11. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
  12. Is it this place
    That makes me fall from you?
    Forget the words
    That once rang so true
    And did we expect
    That life was ever fair, my God
    I sowed a field of rose and reaped a whipping rod
    - Dam Would Break, Toad the Wet Sprocket

    There is a silence that comes to a house
    Where no one can sleep
    I guess that's the price of love
    I know it's not cheap
    - Light My Way, U2
  13. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    Neil Peart did a stunning job on "Hold Your Fire". IMO, still the best album I've ever heard.
  14. Phantopeth


    Jan 10, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm a fan of Ben Gibbard's lyrics with Death Cab For Cutie & The Postal Service. The Postal Service's "Nothing Better" gets me every time: to me, it's the saddest song ever written.

    Then there's What Sarah Said, Transatlanticism, New Year, Title and Registration, the list goes on and on
  15. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Bob Dylan - any tune on Blonde on Blonde

    Randy Newman, John Prine, Warren Zevon - no shortage of great lyricists out there.
  16. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    +1 to a lot of what's already been mentioned - Paul Simon, Dylan, Cohen, Elvis Costello. I think his work with Disney has left Newman unappreciated as a great writer of biting sarcasm and satire. And I love "Strange Fruit". Bono has his moments IMO. I like most of Maynard's stuff.

    Some that haven't been mentioned:

    Michael Stipe is hit or miss, but some of his lyrics are amazing.

    Adam Duritz's lyrics on the first Counting Crows album get me every time. I'm a fan, but I don't think they've made another album nearly as good as August and Everything After.

    Jeff Buckley is the best modern torch singer I can think of.

    Another personal favorite is Jackie Greene. I'm still surprised he hasn't broke out bigger nationally. He's got a gift for hooks and clever wordplay to go along with some amazing musical talent and an old soul outlook.

    I'm sure I'll think of others.
  17. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Death may come invisible or in a holy wall of fire
    In the breath between the markers on some black I-80 mile
    From the madness of the governments to the vengeance of the sea
    Everything is eclipsed by the shape of destiny

    So love me now
    Hell is coming
    Kiss my mouth
    Hell is here

    Little soldier, little insect, you know war it has no heart
    It will kill you in the sunshine or happily in the dark
    Where kindness is a card game or a bent-up cigarette
    In the trenches, in the hard rain, with a bullet and a bet

    He says, "help me out"
    Hell is coming
    Could you do it now?
    Hell is here

    See the sterile soil,
    Poisoned sky
    Yellow water,
    Final scraps of life
    Bringing new tears

    Wake, Baby, wake but leave that blanket around you there is no where as safe
    I'm leaving this place but there is nothing I'm planning to take
    Just you
    Just you

    No One Would Riot For Less by Bright Eyes.
  18. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    All good but I particularly like these:
    - I'm so happy I can't stop crying
    - Shape of my heart
    - Anything on the Soul Cages album

    Don Henley:
    Another truly great lyricist. A few examples that I particularly like:
    - Hotel california
    - The end of the innocence
    - The heart of the matter

    Steely Dan:
    Cryptic, mostly quite funny lyrics that are as far from mainstream as you get. Any major dude will tell you that... ;) A few examples:
    - Deacon Blues ;)
    - Doctor Wu
    - Ricki don't lose that number
    - Glamour profession

    Stevie Wonder:
    No-one can write songs like his and sing with the same feel as he does. THE Master of expressing feelings if you ask me.
    - Lately
    - Isn't she lovely
    - Living for the city
    - Pastime Paradise (Later used by Coolio in Gangsta's Paradise)
    - Overjoyed

    These lyricist just knocks me off my feet... ;)

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