THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
In this version. I would like to continue with what I call complete songwriters, those who write both lyrics and melodies, that originated from some part of the British Empire. At it’s greatest, the British Empire included England, Ireland, India, Australia, parts of the Caribbean and the Asian islands around Indonesia and the Philippines. For argument’s sake, let’s include continental Europe so I have some place to put Mark Knopfler(I guess this would also make ABBA eligible although I won’t be writing that one!!!!) Once again, I’m asking everyone to hold back on songwriters who are primarily collaborators, such as JAGGER/RICHARDS, PINK FLOYD, U2, ELTON JOHN/TAUPIN, etc. as we can cover them in part 3. This should still give us a large amount of songwriters to discuss. Again, I tend to be most knowledgeable in the mainstream rock genre from the mid 60s to the late 80s and will concentrate my writings in that area. Others of you who can fill in the niches I’m less familiar with or who have particular songwriters they feel strongly about please should feel free to extol their virtues as I don’t want my own point of view to dominate this too much. OK, enough rules, let’s try to have some fun.
I have a theory that much of the succcess of the British invasion and their point of view on life and art is the result of growing up in post World War II England. I have seen many interviews/shows on how many of this generation of English kids were fatherless and grew up in bombed out suburban settings that Americans can never duplicate or fully understand. It has to be more than a coincidence that so many significant musical figures come from England and were born between 1938 and 1950, including all of THE BEATLES, THE ROLLING STONES, THE WHO and THE KINKS. These kids didn't have playgrounds, they had remnants of bombed buildings to play in. A large percentage of them attended British art schools as well. Perhaps this required them to develop their creative imaginations at an earlier age, perhaps its all just a fluke. Regardless, this has to be the richest period for producing a new generation of artists that all longed for the paradise they thought America to be compared to their homeland and sought it out in the rhythm and blues of the black musicians of the American south.