Elton John Thinks Modern Songwriters Are “Pretty Awful”

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Does Elton John read American Songwriter? If he did, he’d know that when it comes to great songwriters, our talent pool is pretty stocked. But the usually shy and reserved Englishman had this to say about the current generation of tunesmiths –“Songwriters today are pretty awful, which is why everything sounds the same. Contemporary pop isn’t very inspiring.”

To be fair, he was probably talking more about John Mayer and Taylor Swift than say, Justin Townes Earle and Conor Oberst. John, in an interview with the Radio Times, went on to say that he approved of artists like Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga. “It’s important they write their own songs, so they’re not at the mercy of anyone,” he opined.

Elton John and Leon Russell’s new album The Union, which was produced by T Bone Burnett and features unimpeachable songwriters like Neil Young and Brian Wilson, hits stores today.


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  1. I guess you didn’t read the extensive interview Elton John did of John Mayer in 2002 where Elton makes very clear that he greatly admires Mayer’s musicianship. And that’s why Elton chose Mayer for the interview. Do your homework.

  2. I love when allegedly reliable sources decide to bash John Mayer just because he doesn’t fight back and has made mistakes in the past. Very classy.

    And going off of what Bill has said, Mayer’s skills as a songwriter have only improved since 2002, and if Elton John admired him in 2002, I’d say he’s not not the one who dislikes him now.

    Excellent journalism. Quit your job.

  3. Evan Schlansky are you serious? John Mayer an awful songwriter? John is nowhere near an awful songwriter… in fact he’s a great one. “Go back and listen to ‘Daughters’ b*tches!”

  4. I doubt he was talking about Taylor or john, hes most likely talking about those songwriters who supply their songs to the various different singers. It doesnt make any sense when he may meant about those two, but praised the artists who wrote their own songs.

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