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A  Songwriters perspective on American Idol

American Idol Myths

The Kelly Clarkson story

Songwriting Tools and Techniques

 

"Bill Pere embodies the link between music and science" -- The New York Times

A good book challenges the way you think.  A great book changes the way you think.
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--Songcrafters' Coloring Book Home -- Order Your Copy Here    -- Introduction
--Table of Contents -- Recommended Reading -- Songwriter Tools (articles)
-- Anatomy of a Song  (chart) -- Level 3 Critique Sample -- Roles in the Life of a Song
-- The Fundamental Choice  (chart) -- Song Map Sample -- Quotes and Reviews
-- Listener ResponseMatrix (chart) -- About the Author --  Four Fader Song List
-- Asch-Von Restorff Diagram --  Songwriting Retreat -- The Four Fader Paradigm
--Blog:  Songcrafters' Coloring Book

FOUR FADER SONG LIST

( What's an Intentional Three-Fader Song? )

Below is a list of Four-Fader songs as discussed in Chapter 4 of Songcrafters' Coloring Book.  
If you would like to suggest an addition to this list,   please submit your suggestion via e-mail to:  
songs @ ctsongwriting.com.  List the song title and the WRITER(s), not just the artist. 

Please make your suggestions thoughtfully - it's not just enough to really like a song and think it's great - It has to meet all four criteria of the Four-Fader paradigm, particularly in the crafting.   A song can have great production, great performance, a great message, be very popular, but still not show exceptional CRAFT. (e.g. "The Climb" -- great message, popular artist, popular song, but very basic and bland lyrical treatment.  If it were not done by Myley Cyrus and promoted by a major label, it probably would not have achieved the level of mass appeal that it did).   Look for a universal message told in a fresh way,  memorable use of metaphor or cinematic storytelling,  good sonic activity,  macro and micro structure,  and music which balances familiarity and surprise.  Also, it should not matter who the artist is -- the song should stand on its own no matter who performs it.

OUR CURRENT FOUR-FADER LIST AS CONTRIBUTED BY YOU FOLKS (Title/Writer)
(Note: there are many 4-Fader show-tunes, but we're sticking with non-show tunes here to keep the list manageable)

Original List from the initial survey as published in the first edition of the book (alphabetical by title):

Bless the Broken Road (M. Hummon, B.Boyd, J. Hann)
By the Time I Get to Phoenix (Jim Webb)
Christmas in the Trenches (John McCutcheon)
Concrete Angel (Rob Crosby, Stephanie Bentley)
Harder Cards (Craig Wiseman, Michael Hendersen)
Higher Than She's Ever Been Before (Jim Morgan, Dave Sacks)
Independence Day (Gretchen Peters)
Me and Emily (Rachel Proctor)
Mercenaries (Harry Chapin)
Moments (Annie Tate, Sam Tate, Dave Berg)
Only the Good Die Young  (Billy Joel)
Skin [SaraBeth]   (Doug Johnson and Joe Henry)
Sniper (Harry Chapin)
The Good Stuff (Jim Collins, Craig Wiseman)
We Can't Make It Here (James McMurtry)
Grown Men Don't Cry (Tom Douglas & Steve Seskin)
Fallen Angel (Guy Fletcher & Doug Flett)
Millworker (James Taylor)
Snakes and Ladders (G. Ham, Men at Work)
Shiloh (Neil Diamond)

In addition to the above we would include many songs from various Broadway shows,  from Gilbert and Sullivan, to Disney musicals, to the work of Stephen Schwartz, Andrew Lloyd Weber,  Herbert Kretzmer, Steven Sondheim, Rogers and Hammerstein, Rogers and Hart,  and so many more.  Broadway has always been, and remains a rich source of top-notch sonically active, perfectly cadenced, crystal-clear story-telling lyrics.

Additional Contributions from readers and fans:


Along Comes Mary (Tandyn Almer)
Alyssa Lies (Jason Michael Carroll)
Auld Lang Syne (Dan Fogelberg)
Brother Love's Travelin Salvation Show (Neil Diamond)
Come A Little Bit Closer ( ‎Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart‎, ‎Wes Farrell)
Don't Laugh at Me  (Steve Seskin, Allen Shamblin)
From a Distance (Julie Gold)
The Greatest Man I Never Knew (Reba McEntire)
I Saw God Today (Rodney Clawson, Monty Criswell and Wade Kirby)
The House that Built Me (Tom Douglas, Allen Shamblin)
If Tomorrow Never Comes (Garth Brooks, K. Blazy)
If You're Reading This  (Trey Bruce, Max T. Barnes)
Iris Blue {"It Ain't Been All Roses"}  (Johnsmith)
Jesus Take the Wheel (Brett James, Hillary Lindsey, Gordie Sampson)
Longer (Dan Fogrlberg)
Making Friends With Gone  (Shari Ulrich)
Names, Tags, Numbers, Labels (Albert Hammond)
Paris Island {"We All Go Down Together"} (Billy Joel)
Requiem For the Masses (Terry Kirkman)
Seven Years (Lukas Graham)
Shuttin Detroit Down (John Rich and John Anderson)
Spark of Creation (Stephen Schwartz)
Take it Down (David Llewellyn)
The Girl On Her Way  (Maia Sharp)
Thirty Years Old Mom (Randy Edelman)
Wind Beneath My Wings (Larry Henley,  Jeff Silbar)
We Remember Love (Marcy Heisler, Zina Goldrich)
Witchita Lineman (Jimmy Webb)
 

WHAT IS AN INTENTIONAL THREE-FADER SONG ?

A song might be exceptionally well-written, but if it is for a niche-market, the writer is willingly giving up
Fader #3, to more easily achieve Fader #4.  ( more on the Four Faders...)   These are Intentional Three-Fader Songs.  
These include most well-written parodies,  rap/hip-hop,  novelty songs, songs about specific occasions or subjects that may not have broad appeal, songs aimed at a narrowly defined demographic, or songs specific for a musical play.    If the writer does this as a conscious choice,  they are practicing Eyes-Wide-Open songwriting. 

 

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