*** Songwriters on Songwriting, Paul Zollo, 2003
At 700+ pages with interviews with 60+ songwriters, this book approaches the rat-killing category. I've been gnawing on it for six months and finally got free of it. It covers interviews from 1987 to 2000. There are some amazing interviews in this book, the Leonard Cohen interview being one of my favorites.
Subjects include icons in the field (Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Randy Newman, John Hiatt), quirky songwriters (Tom Lehrer, Frank Zappa), old school guys (Pete Seeger, Willie Dixon, Burt Bacharach, Hal David), folks you don't think of as songwriters (Madonna, Yoko Ono) and folks you've never heard of (Meshell NdegeOcello). Also there are folks you would expect to be in there who aren't (James Taylor, Marc Cohn, Cat Stevens, Bonnie Raitt).
I'd say 4 stars for songwriters and 3 stars for the general populace.
While reading this book, I was trying to think of a great songwriter under 30 who is a significant force in the market. Who would be the James Taylor, etc. for this generation? The closest I could come to was John Mayer, but he's over 30, now. Any ideas?