John Lennon, Kate Bush, Moz/Marr Are Best British Songwriters

Clearly, The Daily Telegraph continues to get mileage out of its “50 best” series, and today, they are doing the 50 Best British Songwriters. And, by Jove, I think they get it mostly right. Here are their top 10:

1. John Lennon
2. Kate Bush
3. Morrissey/Johnny Marr
4. Paul McCartney
5. Elton John/Bernie Taupin
6. Mick Jagger/Keith Richards
7. Noel Coward
8. Ian Curtis/New Order
9. Van Morrison
10. Joe Strummer/Mick Jones

OK, can you really argue with any of these? Lennon’s a no-brainer. I find Kate Bush‘s No. 2 placement impressive and refreshing: the woman has one of the deepest, most varied catalogs out there, and I’m glad someone noticed, damn it.

Those looking for Bowie can find him at No. 11. Ray Davies, Elvis Costello, and Pete Townshend are Nos. 13, 14, and 15. Bee Gees, Pet Shop Boys, and Pink Floyd are Nos. 17, 18, and 19. All fab. Still, there are some appalling choices. Coldplay at No. 25, ahead of the likes of George Harrison, John Lydon, Richard Thompson, Robert Smith, Nick Drake, Amy Winehouse, Billy Bragg, and Joan Armatrading? Coldplay – let that sink in for a minute – Coldplay! Are y’all fer serious?

When you think of the great Manchester bands, you list The Smiths. New Order. The Stone Roses. Would you think of The Ting Tings? What the hell is a Ting Ting? Well, The Ting Tings currently have the No. 1 song in the UK with the hip-hop electro-punk stomp, “That’s Not My Name.” It’s the kind of disposable pop song that will either have you clapping your hands and chanting along or ready to rip your hair out by the roots. Also: the video for Coldplay’s “Violet Hill” is out, which you can watch below if you’re into that sort of thing.

1. The Ting Tings – That’s Not MyName
Watch the video

2. Rihanna – Take A Bow
Watch the video

3. Madonna ft. Justin Timberlake – 4Minutes
Watch the video

4. Will.I.Am – Heartbreaker
Watch the video

5. Wiley – Wearing My Rolex
Watch the video

6. Sam Sparro – Black & Gold
Watch the video

7. Usher ft. Young Jeezy – Love InThis Club
Watch the video

8. Coldplay – Violet Hill
Watch the video

9. Estelle ft. Kanye West – AmericanBoy
Watch the video

10. September – Cry For You
Watch the video

In other news:

  • Amy Winehouse‘s mother blames son-in-law Blake Fielder-Civil for Amy’s drug abuse. “Don’t get me wrong: I know she dabbled in drugs before. I was aware of her smoking dope in her teens. But she was always adamant that she would never touch the hard stuff, that she didn’t need it. That all changed when she met Blake. She didn’t start self-harming until Blake came along, either.”(Telegraph)
  • Is Lily Allen out-boozing Amy Winehouse?(Daily Mail)
  • Supposedly, Lily’s close to finishing her new album.(Contact Music)
  • The Guardian interviews Aussie pop star Sam Sparro, who is tearing up the UK pop charts but remains an unknown here in the States. “I’ve always thought, ‘This is me, I’m happy with myself,’ and so that’s what I’m here to project. So that gay teenagers don’t have to get the shit kicked out of them in school and think that they’re a horrible person. It’s easier to be an ‘out’ pop star today. Morrissey never came out, and Neil Tennant left it very, very late, whereas Jake Shears was open from the start.”
  • Va, va, VOOM: check Mel B. out in her Ultimo knickers. I just wish someone would have dapped some concealer on that hideous tattoo.(The Sun)
  • Mel B. says she and husband Stephen Belafonte would win “an Olympic gold medal” for “sex.”(The Sun)

    Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller has been named “the most successful British music manager of all-time,” ahead of Led Zeppelin’s Peter Grant and Beatles‘s Brian Epstein. The rankings were based on sales.(Mirror)

  • Joe Queenan pleads with Europe to stop funding Woody Allen‘s latest pieces of crap. “Americans can be blamed for many things, but the perpetuation of Allen’s zombie-like career is one atrocity for which we refuse to be held accountable. It is Europeans who are providing much of the money for these projects, Europeans who are welcoming the director to their communities, Europeans who are marching through the turnstiles in support of Allen’s interchangeably neurasthenic films. Europeans are the ones paying the freight for Allen’s cavalcade of duds.”(Guardian)
  • Take a gander at Kate Moss‘ frillies.(The Sun)
  • Is Ray Winstone really a big softie? The people who knew him “when” tell all.(Mirror)
  • Billie Piper‘s ex-husband has paid an astounding $10 million for a Ferrari owned by James Coburn.(BBC)
  • You’d think Prince Harry of all people would know better: police are investigating claims that he was a passenger in a car that was driving recklessly on the M4 highway.(BBC)
  • Sarah Ferguson to the media: stop calling my daughter Beatrice “fat.”(BBC)
  • Simon Pegg had an “awkward meeting” with his celebrity crush, X-Files star Gillian Anderson.(Digital Spy)
  • So Kelly Brook and Billy Zane are back together again.(The Sun)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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