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Did you know some of the biggest hits in rock and metal featured outside songwriters?
Way back in the formative years of rock ‘n’ roll, when Elvis, Chuck Berry and Little Richard were ripping up the rulebook and laying down the foundations of modern popular music, professional song-writers provided many of the hits for the stars. Even Berry, a prolific writer himself, made use of the rich back-catalogue of material by blues and country artists. Presley, of course, could pick and choose from the top composers of the day. In the late ’50s and early ’60s, both Motown and Stax employed crack in-house writing teams, and the famous Brill Building churned out songs by the hundreds.
Then along came Bob Dylan and The Beatles, ushering in the golden age of the singer-songwriter. From that time onward, the business of composing has shifted dramatically, especially in the rock world. In the pop sphere, the number of artists who do not write their own material is high. In fact, an increasingly small number of writers provide the songs for a growing number of stars.
In the rock realm, the overwhelming majority of bands are responsible for their own material. This is not always the case, however. Even the very best make use of a fresh injection of outside talent from time to time, and you may be surprised to learn that some of rock’s biggest hits were penned in collaboration with outside writers.