Podcast

Interviews with some of the world’s most successful songwriters.

Rufus Wainwright Episode 54 – Rufus Wainwright

Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright talks about the writing processes behind such songs as ‘Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk’, ‘The Art Teacher’, ‘Zebulon’, ‘Out of the Game’, ‘Montauk’, ‘Swings Both Ways’, ‘Me and Liza’ and much more. In addition to describing his collaborations with people like Guy Chambers, Robbie Williams and Mark Ronson, Rufus also provides details about his new album Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright.

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Paddy McAloon Episode 53 – Paddy McAloon

Singer-songwriter Paddy McAloon of Prefab Sprout joins Simon and Brian for a chat about his songwriting process. Beginning with his latest release Crimson/Red, Paddy talks about the writing of songs like ‘The Best Jewel Thief in the World’, ‘Billy’, Devil Came A Calling’ and ‘The Songs of Danny Galway’ before moving on to the processes behind such classic Prefab Sprout songs as ‘Faron Young’, When Love Breaks Down’, The King of Rock ‘N’ Roll’, ‘Hey Manhattan’ and much more. Paddy also discusses songs that he contributed to the Jimmy Nail television show Crocodile Shoes.

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Billy Bragg Episode 52 – Billy Bragg

Singer-songwriter and activist Billy Bragg shares his thoughts on the songwriting process and details the writing of songs like ‘A New England’, ‘The Milkman of Human Kindness’, Greetings to the New Brunette’, ‘Levi Stubbs’ Tears’, ‘Sexuality’, ‘Tank Park Salute’ and ‘Never Buy The Sun’. Billy also talks in detail about his guitar playing and songs from his most recent album, Tooth & Nail.

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Van Dyke Parks Episode 51 – Van Dyke Parks

Songwriter, composer, arranger and producer Van Dyke Parks chats with Simon and Brian about his solo career and his work with other artists. In this interview, Van Dyke illustrates the writing processes behind his recent album Songs Cycled, as well as pieces like ‘High Coin’, ‘Hominy Grove’, ‘Tokyo Rose’, ‘Trade War’ and ‘Orange Crate Art’. He also gives insight into his seminal work with The Beach Boys on SMiLE-era compositions like ‘Heroes and Villains’, ‘Surf’s Up’ and later collaborations such as ‘Sail On, Sailor’.

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Nick Lowe Episode 50 – Nick Lowe

Songwriter and producer Nick Lowe, whose credits over more than four decades include hit songs like ‘(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding’, ‘Cruel to be Kind’ and ‘I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass’, joins Simon and Brian for a special 50th episode chat about the writing of those beloved classics as well as later works like ‘You Inspire Me’, ‘The Beast in Me’ and ‘All Men Are Liars’. Nick also discusses his new Christmas album, Quality Street, which includes original songs like ‘Christmas at the Airport’ and ‘I Was Born in Bethlehem’.

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Suzanne Vega Episode 49 – Suzanne Vega

Suzanne Vega illustrates her approach to songwriting by talking about the processes behind songs like ‘Marlene On The Wall’, ‘Tom’s Diner’, ‘Luka’, ‘Men In A War’, ‘Book of Dreams’ and ‘In Liverpool’. Suzanne also discusses her early history as a dancer and musician, attending the Greenwich Village Songwriter’s Exchange, the thinking behind the recent Close-Up series of releases, and her plans for a new album of original material.

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Rickie Lee Jones Episode 48 – Rickie Lee Jones

Singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones chats with Simon and Brian about the writing of songs like ‘Chuck E’s in Love’, ‘The Last Chance Texaco’, ‘Coolsville’, ‘Weasel and the White Boys Cool’, ‘Skeletons’ and ‘The Evening of My Best Day’. Rickie talks in detail about her approach to constructing lyrical flow, her recent covers album The Devil You Know, and her plans for a new album of original material, which you can now pledge to support.

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Linda Thompson Episode 47 – Linda Thompson

British folk singer Linda Thompson joins Simon and Brian to talk about the writing of her new solo album Won’t Be Long Now. Linda talks about songs like ‘Love’s for Babies and Fools’, ‘If I Were a Bluebird’ (written with Ron Sexsmith), ‘Paddy’s Lamentation’ and the maritime themes of songs like ‘Never Put to Sea Boys’ and ‘Never the Bride’. Linda describes what it’s like working with family members, especially her son Teddy Thompson, and the vocal condition that silenced her live performance career. The new album also marks the first recording with Richard Thompson in over a decade.

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Ron Sexsmith Episode 46 – Ron Sexsmith

Singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith discusses his approach to the art and craft of songwriting by detailing the processes behind songs like ‘Secret Heart’, ‘Speaking With The Angel’, ‘Words We Never Use’, ‘Strawberry Blonde’, ‘Gold in Them Hills’, ‘Imaginary Friends’, ‘The Grim Trucker’, ‘Brandy Alexander’, ‘Believe it When I See It’ and ‘Life After A Broken Heart’. Ron talks in depth about his love for artists like Bill Withers, his collaborations with producers like Mitchell Froom and Bob Rock, his work with songwriters like Don Black, and his ongoing pursuit of ‘hit’ records.

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Chip Taylor Episode 45 – Chip Taylor

Singer-songwriter Chip Taylor picks up his guitar to talk Simon and Brian through the writing of songs like ‘Wild Thing’ (The Troggs/Jimi Hendrix), ‘Angel of the Morning’ (Merrilee Rush/Dusty Springfield/Chrissie Hynde), ‘I Can’t Let Go’ (Evie Sands), ‘Welcome Home’ (Walter Jackson), ‘Storybook Children’ (Billy Vera and Judy Clay), ‘Try’ (Janice Joplin), and selections from his recent solo albums like ‘F**k All The Perfect People’, ‘Dance With a Hole in Your Shoe’ and ‘Phoned in Dead’. Chip also talks in detail about the Brill Building days, his alternate career as a professional gambler and the writing processes behind his latest release Block Out The Sirens of This Lonely World.

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Neil Finn Episode 44 – Neil Finn

Neil Finn of Split Enz, Crowded House, Finn Brothers and Pajama Club chats with Simon and Brian about his songwriting process and the writing of songs like ‘Fall At Your Feet’, ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’, ‘Weather With You’, ‘Four Seasons In One Day’, ‘Not The Girl You Think You Are’ and ‘Edible Flowers’. Neil also talks about his work on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and details the production of his forthcoming solo record, due in early 2014.

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Rumer Episode 43 – Rumer

Singer-songwriter Rumer talks with Sodajerker about her approach to writing songs like ‘Slow’, ‘Aretha’, ‘Come To Me High’, ‘Blackbird’ and others from her debut album Seasons Of My Soul. Rumer also talks in detail about how events in her life have influenced her creative work, paying respect to great songwriters on her second album, Boys Don’t Cry, and her plans for the future.

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