🎵Anatomy of a Song

The stories from this week were all from the book Anatomy of a Song by Marc Myers. It’s a collection of interviews subtitled The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits That Changed Rock, R&B, and Pop. I picked my favorites. 

In the pages are the origination stories of so many songs that gave the beat to different eras and reflected in the culture around them. 

If there’s one overarching idea from the book it’s write it down. Many of the artists had moments of inspiration where the backbone to the thing, the spirit, the je ne sais quoi comes to them in a flash. After the flash though there’s a lot of work. The songs are worked out over years. They’re played on the piano. They’re tested in clubs, sampled to bands, and run by friends. The flash is like putting on running shoes, the work is like the run. 

Besides taking notes, there were a few other themes. 

  • The Kinks showed the value in being different. They couldn’t be another version of The Beatles in much the same way Google Docs can’t be another version of Microsoft Word. 

  • Proud Mary demonstrated the importance of actions and unimportance of credentials. There’s no plan here, just the things that people do. 

  • Whole Lotta Love sounded the chord for confluence. Sometimes one thing needs another thing to happen, a certain sequence. Doing the work now prepares someone for change when the time is right. 

  • Midnight Train to Georgia beat the drum of iteration. Nothing is perfect, everything evolves. 

Thanks for reading this week.