am 1. Oktober 1998
By MICHAEL TEARSON
Paul Zollo, himself a singer-songwriter , has assembled a mighty and important book here. He has gathered 52 interviews he conducted for SongTalk. The subjects are a virtual who's who of songwriters. Zollo has an obvious love of song and songmaking and a curiosity about the process that won't quit. These qualities are reflected in his interviewing. So, too, is Zollo's uncanny knack for putting his subjects at ease so they will open up to him and candidly reveal more than they might have expected to. He probes intelligently, asking questions that evoke true responses. I often found myself thinking how good his questioning is. He clearly does his homework so that he can display an encyclopedic knowledge of the artist's full career, often asking specifically about the damnedest, most obscure songs. Two pieces juxtaposed early in the book form a kind of core around which this collection revolves. These are lengthy interviews with first Bob Dylan and then Paul Simon. In each of these, Zollo shows how well he listens and responds in his questioning. Both interviews are tremendously revealing and rewarding. This collection is about just what it is singer-songwriters of all stripes do, plus the how, in the way their various processes work, and the why of their drive to create. Essential questions all. This is compelling, don't-you-dare-miss-it stuff for anybody who writes songs, and equally for anybody else who listens to songs and cares about them.
am 24. September 1998
January 1998 By ALLEN FOSTER Songwriter's Monthly As the editor of a magazine that has dealt, so intimately, with songwriting for the past six years, I personally wanted to get a look at Paul's [Zollo] latest, expanded edition of Songwriters On Songwriting. I figured I do this stuff seven days a week so I'm going to go over this book and put it under the microscope and really see just how good it is.... Paul also tackles writers such as Carole King, Burt Bacharach, Bob Dylan, Sammy Cahn, Randy Newman, Janis Ian, Rickie Lee Jones, Dan Fogelberg and dozens more. A songwriter simply should not be without this book. The size of this work (658 pages) necessitates that you have your own copy so you can not only read it at your leisure, but you can go back to it -- again and again and again.
am 30. September 1998
By BARNIE HOSKYNS
Paul Zollo probes 52 pop-rock greats on the small miracles and larger torments of songwriting. As editor of the esteemed periodical SongTalk, Zollo has managed to bag some fairly big cats (Dylan, Young, R.E.M., Madonna) among an assortment of cult heroes and heroines (Webb and Wilson; Cohen and Nyro; Van Dyke Parks and Townes Van Zandt) and songwriters' songwriters (Sammy Cahn, Goffin & King, Bacharach & David). There's a wealth of entertaining, funny and surprising apercus in this 630-page whopper: "It's important to get rid of all them thoughts," opines Bob Dylan. "Don't let the critic become bigger than the creator," urges Randy Newman. "It's kind of disgusting that I'm not spending every single morning writing, come rain or come shine," admits the late Laura Nyro. For insight into what drives Paul Simon or Jackson Browne to strive for that perfectly modulated couplet, then Zollo's songtalk provides a feast. "What I get from these interviews is a sense of courage," says Van Dyke Parks. "This is infectious, and highly contagious... It's as helpful as belonging to some religious sect."
am 24. Oktober 1998
By LAHRI BOND
Paul Zollo has had the good fortune of talking shop with some of the best songwriters from the fields of folk, country, blues, and rock and roll. Collected in this volume are 52 interviews with such early originators as Joan Baez, Paul Simon, Carole King and Gerry Goffin. He also talks with seventies innovators such as Rickie Lee Jones, Van Dyke Parks, Walter Becker and Todd Rundgren as well as modern songsmiths like David Hidalgo and Louie Perez of Los Lobos and Jules Shear. As the title suggests, this book features songwriters exploring their influences, inspirations and craft.
am 12. Oktober 1998
SONGWRITERS ON SONGWRITING is an excellent new book that rips the lid off the composing process via candid and often revelatory interviews with some of Rock's finest tunesmiths. Written by Paul Zollo, the book provides a superb and compelling portrait of such 20th century heavyweights as Brian Wilson, Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and many more. Zollo is an outstanding interviewer and his pointed questions unravel the mysteries and magic behind these acclaimed artists' majestic body of work.
am 27. September 1998
February, 1998 By GAVIN MARTIN From VOX MAGAZINE Formidable tete-a-tetes with a startling range of tunesmiths -- Brian Wilson, Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Michael Stipe. Zollo's approach is both conversational and in depth, so you get Dylan talking about Greek philosophy, Harry Nilsson's sweet memories of life with Lennon, Sammy Cahn on the genius of Frank Sinatra, and much, much more. A veritable goldmine. * * * * Four stars.
am 16. Dezember 2014
Incredible and interesting collection of interviews! I love reading and knowing more about famous songwriters and this book gives me enough to catch my interest for a long time. Recommended read for all who are interested in music industry! :)
am 1. August 2014
amazing book that contains many interviews with some of the greatest songwriters of popular music from the last 6 decades packed with great insights into their minds when they are writing music. Totally recommend.