Hierdie is die LitNet-argief (2006–2012)
This is the LitNet archive (2006–2012)
We asked a few industry big weights to name their best example of a great song with great lyrics and here's what they came up with ...
Sean Ou Tim - Mr Sakitumi
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.
I don't think anyone will ever come close to this song. Musically speaking, it is brilliantly arranged and flawlessly executed, weaving between genres.
The amazing thing is, it actually has no chorus. That just demonstrates how genius the lyrics are. It's like an epic Lord of the Rings trilogy: each section of the song can stand on its own, but when they are all placed together the way they were, the entire piece becomes a work of art. And good luck to any band trying to cover this!
Tom Manners - Dance, You're On Fire
“Roxanne” by The Police.
Simply because it encapsulates all the things that make a great song – a fantastic groove, a solid rhythm section, inventive yet catchy hooks, and lyrical content which really captures the imagination.
Gertjie Besselsen - Mr Cat & The Jackal
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.
The song takes you through an entire journey. The melodies are immensely layered, and the lyrics are thought through. It’s a brilliant piece of work!
Sasha Righini - The Plastics
“Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles.
Because when you think about how it is put together, with almost no normal band instruments, and the flow and mood it has, it has to be one of the best songs ever written.
Chris van Reenen – The Otherwise
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.
It's got the best intro in the history of songwriting, a classic guitar riff, great melodies, intriguing lyrics, good structure, an explosive chorus and a simple but well-fitting solo. It's poppy enough to be covered by Britney Spears, heavy enough for Metallica or a nu-metal band, and can even be a nice slow jam, like the way Tori Amos covered it. It knocked Michael Jackson off the number 1 spot on the charts, without an insane amount of promotion, and has stood the test of time.
Jaak Erasmus - Musician and writer
“I’m Not Done” by Fever Ray.
A song that is so soft and minimal, but speaks so loudly to the soul.
Gareth Allison – Gravity Wins Again
“Message in a Bottle” by The Police.
There've been so many amazing songwriters over the years (Lennon and McCartney pretty much showed the world how to do it right!), but for me there's always been something special about The Police. Sure, Sting may be better known these days for his solo forays into world music, but back in the ‘70s and early ‘80s he and his band dominated radios everywhere with a string of masterfully written pop/rock songs.
Justin Bergh – Singer/Songwriter
"Paradise City" – Guns ‘n Roses .
Old-school way of song-writing! Great intro which immediately pulls you into the song. Uplifting! Awesome guitar riffs throughout verses and choruses, busting guitar solos, massive choruses, and huge ending chorus.
Jacques Terre'Blanche – Singer/Songwriter
“The Unforgiven II” by Metallica off their Reload album.
All-time favourite of mine. Perfect balance of subtlety and power. Beautiful melody with beautiful lyrics.
Graeme Watkins – The Graeme Watkins Project
"Spies" by Coldplay.
Everything about this song, from the arrangement to the lyrics, is incredible.
Matthew Marinus– The Graeme Watkins Project
"The Script" by For the First Time.
It’s a song that tells a story of repairing a very real relationship in a very current time. Not only is it melodically brilliant, it does change people’s mindsets, and I'm sure this song has saved a few relationships. Music has such power.
Paul Freysen - The New Mustangs
“Help” by The Beatles.
It is simple and short, but still powerful. Less is more.
Ola Kobak - Lead singer, Fulka
“John Wayne Gacy, Jr” by Sufjan Stevens
And in my best behavior, I am really just like him. Look beneath the floorboards for the secrets I have hid.
Adeline Mocke – Idols finalist 2010
Adele – “Someone Like You”
I love Adelle, she is an awesome songwriter and you can relate to all the songs on her album. She had the guts to write it how we all would have wanted to express ourselves sometimes when it comes to love and relationships.
Cameron Bruce – Idols finalist
“Hello” by Lionel Ritchie
Fantastic melody combined with great lyrics and a simple yet effective structure.
Peter Pote – Evolver One
"Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke
The way the emotion was captured in the way the song is sung appeals to me more than the song itself.
Good songwriting is common; there is a formula. There are great songs everywhere (just turn on the radio). But it’s a certain personality and energy of a song and its ability to draw listeners in that make it exceptional in such a way that it has the same effect years later. I heard a quote from a fellow musician saying that a good song is like a good building. You have the design, the foundation, different rooms and doors, and when it’s done it should look good, feel good, and be able to stand the test of time.
When I attended the Music Exchange conference last year, one of the producers who was speaking about recording contracts spoke about what he looks for first in a song. The “hook”, melody, melody, melody. Melody is key. Melody is primary. Then rhythm. Then harmony. But have a strong melody and you can’t go wrong.
There are so many songs out there to choose from. From all different genres. And it’s hard to give you one example out of literally millions.
But one that definitely stands out for me is “Mr Brightside”, by The Killers. Structurally it’s very simple and very straightforward. But the melody of that chorus is just so iconic, and everyone knows it. As soon as people hear those first few guitar notes in the intro the dance floor becomes backed and hundreds of people are singing that chorus to one another. Louder than the club sound systems. It’s a song that characterises my generation, class of 2006 … No one can’t get caught up in that song. It’s so hard not to, the energy and personality just suck you in, make you want to move and sing. And it will still be a great song in ten years’ time. There are so many hooks and melodies in that song. Every part has its own catchy line. It’s brilliant.
Marc de la Querra - lead singer/guitarist/songwriter, Fire Through The Window
My song choice is “Darwin Deez - Radar Detector”.
Amazing hooks. Both lyrically and musically. If the hooks are strong you won't forget the song.
Shannon Connolly – Singer/songwriter
The song I've chosen is “Into the Great Wide Open” by Tom Petty.
Tom Petty is a true craftsman of the song. He knows when to keep things simple and when to make you think. His songs always seem to take you on a journey. When I listen to his albums it feels like I'm taking one long, winding road trip across the USA in a battered muscle car, meeting cool, crazy characters along the way.
Jeremy de Tolly – The Dirty Skirts
“Stimela” by Hugh Masekela
An extraordinary story, told by a master story teller. The song is a journey filled with energy, pathos, drama and urgency. It's one of the greatest South African songs ever written.
Matt – Sergeant Fu
I’d say the best feel-good track ever written is "Escape" by Rupert Holmes.
The story is so classic and the tune just makes you wanna have a cocktail in your hand and a straw hat on your head.