Jun 132016

As I mentioned in the When Band Members Go Solo thread, I saw Ian Hunter Saturday night. It was a fantastic show. No surprise there as every one of the half dozen or so times I’ve seen him was great but this may have been the best. He gets better with age. And he rocks hard! I’m not quite sure how he can do it; he turned 77 last week.

As I watched his inevitable encore – “All The Young Dudes” – I was reminded of a thread opportunity that I’ve thought of periodically over the years but never acted on. Better late than never.

Hunter is a great, great songwriter, responsible for a slew of fantastic songs in his solo career and all the Mott songs you know and love. All that is, except for the most famous Mott song, the David Bowie-penned “All The Young Dudes.”

I’ve always thought it “unfair” or “sad” or some other not-quite-exactly-right adjective that a band/artist who primarily write their own songs should have their most well-known song be the product of another songwriter.

And at the times in the past when I have thought about this thread, I thought of 2 other acts which fit this category. Of course, as I write this I can’t remember one of them.

Can you identify the one I do remember? Or the one I can’t? Or another?-


  23 Responses to “I Write The Songs, Well, Most of Them”

  1. How about Harry Nilsson, probably best known for Everybody’s Talking at Me?

  2. On a similar note, aren’t Badfinger’s best and third-best songs written by others?

  3. tonyola

    His biggest hit, “Without You”, was written by a guy in Badfinger.

  4. misterioso

    Umm, “Come and Get It” (McCartney) and what?

  5. I don’t care for him but does Jeff Buckley fit into this category?

  6. I knew I could count on the Hall! Great examples all (although I’m taking Jeff Buckley on faith as I’m totally unfamiliar with him except to know he did Cohen’s Hallelujah; did he write most of his material?).

    None of the offerings so far are the one I remember nor are the one I can’t remember.

    Keep at it!

  7. After seeing tonyola’s reply to geo’s note, above, I must have confused a Badfinger-Nilsson scenario with the other direction. I thought Nilsson wrote “Without You.”

  8. Speaking of Jeff Buckley, isn’t Pops Tim’s biggest song that “Dolphins” song, which was written by Fred Neil, the same guy who wrote “Everybody’s Talking” – or did Pete Hamm write “Dolphins”? 🙂

  9. Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U

  10. The other band that had me thinking about this topic is Squeeze. Given that practically every article written about them referenced Difford & Tilbrook as the new Lennon & McCartney it always struck me that far and away Squeeze’s most well known song, Tempted, was written by Paul Carrack. Carrack was a member of the band – briefly – but Difford & Tillbrook probably wrote a greater percentage of Squeeze songs than Lenmac wrote for the Beatles.

  11. No way, Difford and Tilbrook wrote that song. Carrack’s only the singer. I declare this entire thread null and void!

  12. Wow, you are right! For 30+ years I’ve thought it was Carrack who wrote it as well. What is the 180 degree extreme of a pince nez for such an egregious error?

    Another reason to rue the passing of RTH. Although after this error I’d probably be drummed out!

    But the thread can live on…

  13. Somewhat related, but not really, has anybody been following this Terry Reid revival? Evidently he was asked to join Led Zep and one his most well known songs is Superlungs My Supergirl, written by Donovan.

    I’ve been stream his compilation from 2004 and it’s not bad. It’s classic rock you haven’t heard a million times, and sort of enjoyable in the way the Gene Clark albums are — well made, somewhat dated, but comforting in a way.

    Plus this album cover absolutely r-o-c-k rocks! http://highfidelityla.com/covers/big/R-1773714-1248439258.jpeg

  14. I was surprised and amused by a story in the recent Replacements bio, Trouble Boys. They were recording in L.A. and wanted to try some new guitars. The producer mentioned he had a friend nearby who had the kind they were looking for–a Gibson ES, maybe?–and they should go over and check it out. So they do, and are stunned to find out the guy with the guitars is Terry Reid, of whom they were all big fans. They spend the rest of the day getting drunk with him and making him play and tell them stories.

  15. He was also asked to join Deep Purple and declined. His interview on Marc Maron’s podcast is great. He denies being asked to join both those bands but doesn’t sound particularly convincing. But when Page asked him, he was on tour with the Stones so it’s easy to see why he wouldn’t be so eager to throw away his solo career on a project that not a lot of people thought was going to be successful anyway. Overall, he has some cool stories and comes off like a really nice guy.

  16. cherguevara

    Hello again, team, been a while…

    The biggest injustice has got to be Los Lobos. Great band, great songs, some with a good amount of gravitas to them. Yet their only true hit is a cover of f-ing La Bamba.

  17. That was a good interview, so much so that at the end, when he was set to perform a song I thought I might finally like his music. The song and performance were as underwhelming as I recall his “amazing” solo albums being. Terry Reid’s singing and songwriting make me appreciate Robert Plant as much as Plant’s version of “Little Sister” on the Concert for Kampuchea soundtrack first helped me appreciate Plant.

  18. I like Terry Reid’s voice. I think it’s kind of soulful and really well suited for the best kind of Classic Rock. But his album underwhelmed me too when I first heard it.

    I should give it another try to see if it clicks. Very often I’m slow to pick up on hidden charms, the most notable case being the decade and a half it took me to work my way into Raw Power.

  19. Yes! I saw them in Cape Cod a few years ago and they were playing some cool off kilter stuff to a summertime vacation crowd that seemed to be waiting for La Bamba. About halfway through, they started playing La Bamba, Let’s Go, and some other oldies that I can’t remember, and the crowd went nuts.

    I admire the fact that they musically sussed out the crowd with some of their more idiosyncratic songs and then were totally comfortable with delivering a bland, well executed set of oldies when they realized it wasn’t going anywhere.

  20. ladymisskirroyale

    Well, there is always The Monkees…

  21. saturnismine

    Steve Miller didn’t write “Big Ol’ Jet Airliner,” but he’s got enough hits of his own writing for us to not feel sorry for him.

    Joan Jett didn’t write “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” either. But there again, she’s got enough hits that she wrote for us not to cry for her.

  22. Elvis Costello’s “What’s so Funny about Peace, Love and Understanding.” Written by Nick Lowe, right?

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