Paul Simon the GOAT?

Guithartic

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 10, 2021
1,898
Jacksonville, FL
one of my guys - an intelligent and thoughtful man, without reports of recent head injuries, stated a sincerely-held conviction and won't recant or even reconsider.

he says that Paul Simon is the greatest American song writer.

not Neil Diamond, not Guy Clark, not Billy Joel, not Jewel.

Paul Simon.

is he so crazy he may be right?
I would put him up in the top 3 with McCartney and Billy Joel.
 

Dadocaster

Dr. Stratster
Mar 15, 2015
28,508
Sachse TX behind the cemetary
I’m cool with the greats, or the prolifics, but not with ranking them.

Maybe I missed it, but it seems like nobody has mentioned Willie Nelson, Joni Mitchell or Tom Petty yet.

And there are some “younger” artists who I think someday could populate the list too — Jack White, Gary Clark Jr, etc.

We’re talking about something pretty specific, but oddly general as a category: song writer. Rivers Cuomo (Weezer) has perhaps been the most prolific American song writer since the year 2000, but few (including himself) would say he’s contending for “greatest”.

I've been writing the last few years and have gotten NO RECOGNITION AT ALL. Soon will debut "What Do You Look At When You're In The Shower" and hopefully will rise in the rankings.
 

Della Street

Strat-O-Master
Platinum Supporting Member
Jan 9, 2022
882
USA
I've been writing the last few years and have gotten NO RECOGNITION AT ALL. Soon will debut "What Do You Look At When You're In The Shower" and hopefully will rise in the rankings.
don't feel bad. songwriting is a tough field to make it in. my '82 single "Come Taste My Love" is now largely forgotten :(
 

RXMoore

Strat-Talker
Nov 29, 2020
137
Michigan USA
Another question with no real answer.

The best songwriters are the ones who write songs that provide guidance, comfort, stimulation, pleasure, insight redemption, and enlightenment to ME. Simon would make that list, but he'd rank under Dylan, Neil Young, Roger Waters, Tom Petty, Springsteen, and Jackson Browne, to name a few. I can respect good songs no matter who wrote them. There's even a couple of Taylor Swift songs that I think are absolutely brilliant.

For reasons defying understanding, we have a collective obsession with ranking things and a need to deify someone/something as THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME. I enjoy reading these conversations, and I even chuckle with self-congratulatory glee when someone mentions a singer/songwriter/musician/artist who sucks. But there is no right answer, or even a wrong one, since we all get to choose our own criteria for selection.
 

Stratafied

Dr. Stratster
Oct 29, 2019
13,807
North of South
J.J. Cale has to be on the list, wrote a whole bunch of stuff for other folks.

Neil Young is Canadian, just sayin'.

Bob Marley would be the one if he was American. Although he lived in Delaware for awhile growing up I'm pretty sure we can't claim him. In fact I'm real sure I would not even try. Bob belongs to the world.

ETA: No diss on Paul, he's good. Very good. And I do more or less agree, a 'the greatest songwriter' probably doesn't really exist.
I second JJ Cale.
 

Dadocaster

Dr. Stratster
Mar 15, 2015
28,508
Sachse TX behind the cemetary
Another question with no real answer.

The best songwriters are the ones who write songs that provide guidance, comfort, stimulation, pleasure, insight redemption, and enlightenment to ME. Simon would make that list, but he'd rank under Dylan, Neil Young, Roger Waters, Tom Petty, Springsteen, and Jackson Browne, to name a few. I can respect good songs no matter who wrote them. There's even a couple of Taylor Swift songs that I think are absolutely brilliant.

For reasons defying understanding, we have a collective obsession with ranking things and a need to deify someone/something as THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME. I enjoy reading these conversations, and I even chuckle with self-congratulatory glee when someone mentions a singer/songwriter/musician/artist who sucks. But there is no right answer, or even a wrong one, since we all get to choose our own criteria for selection.
I don't think "we" have a collective obsession. My feeling is most of us don't feel a need to rank. Given that people that play often have wide ranging tastes it's always apples oranges and pineapples.
 


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