- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Allworth Press; 1 edition (May 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1581150938
- ISBN-13: 978-1581150933
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 6.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Art of Writing Great Lyrics 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Cruelly dumped, the songwriter storms into his or her studio, slams the door and writes a heartbreaking platinum hit. According to Pamela Phillips Oland, one of the most prolific songwriters in the nation, this is no melodramatic fantasy. Oland's songs have been recorded by Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Selena and Frank Sinatra and featured on Xena: Warrior Princess and The Sopranos. She has worked in nearly every popular genre: rock, country, gospel, R & B, theater, alternative rock, blues and jazz, and she shares dozens of the tricks of her much-envied trade in The Art of Writing Great Lyrics, a revised version of her 1989 book You Can Write Great Lyrics. She even has the honesty to include an exegesis of a failed attempt: the first song she ever wrote.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
A prolific songwriter whose lyrics have been recorded by such notables as Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and Frank Sinatra, Oland speaks from 20 years of experience when she stresses the importance of song titles, dissects catchy lyrics, and warns of rejection by publishers. Her latest guide for emerging songwriters examines the profession from all angles, focusing in-depth on the craft of song. Oland prefers to think of her book as a "recipe for success" and, in fact, she provides a solid foundation for anyone interested in the industry. The author shares a wealth of knowledge about many of the more ambiguous aspects of the field, particularly on how to discriminate lyrics from poetry and how to become an adept miner of everyday conversation. Oland's perspective will intrigue not only followers of the songwriting field but anyone captivated by the art of the written word. This book nicely complements Paul McCartney's recent book of lyrics and poetry, Blackbird Singing (Norton, 2001). Suitable for all public and academic libraries. Caroline Dadas, Univ. of Ilinois, Urbana-Champaign
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
If you’re looking for advanced writing tips and exercises you can use to make your songwriting more powerful, this book isn’t the best choice for you. The discussions on structure, word choice, and work habits are very basic and best suited for someone new to songwriting.
Also, Ms. Orland’s focus is writing for commercial appeal, not artistic expression. She stresses keeping within accepted song structures and not getting too poetic or clever. The sample lyrics she gives have achieved commercial success, and following her example will likely help you write songs of similar quality. However, I found her lyrics clichéd and uninspiring, not great. I also question whether poetic lyrics or an unorthodox song structure would truly stop a song from achieving commercial success.
The most useful part of the book is the second half, which covers marketing, dealing with criticism, and building relationships within the music industry. Ms. Orland’s advice about which types of criticism to take seriously is spot-on, and the sample cover letters and lyric sheets could help anyone planning to submit songs to producers. However, the advice in these chapters is dated. The section about demos, for example, discusses the merits of cassettes vs. CDs with no mention of digital demos.
Overall, I would only recommend this book to someone new to songwriting who is more interested in writing for the commercial market than creating great art.
Many months ago I ordered your book, The Art of Writing Great Lyrics, and you so kindly
sent me an autographed copy (very exciting). I started reading it right away and not only reading,
but studying it intently. Your information on artistic expression excited me, but your detailed instructions
on the technical aspects of writing a song put me to work.
I have always wanted to write a song and I have written song-like material before, but I never understood
the discipline behind songwriting until I read your book. It was a lot harder than I expected. I could not adapt
previously written material into a song. It just didn't fit. So I decided that I would have to start from scratch.
So I did. A subject presented itself that touched my heart intensely and following your instructions
and with a lot of hard work I produced something that was really satisfying to me. Not knowing quite what
to do with my song, I entered a songwriting contest. I received an Honorable Mention
and that was very nice to hear.
I wanted to say a very special thank you to you for providing me with the information and the inspiration to
go ahead and do something that I have always wanted to do. This entire process has been very exciting for me.
I will feel thrilled about it for a very long time. The Art of Writing Great Lyrics is really true to its title. Thank you for
sharing your expertise and your passion.
Later chapters deal with the challenges posed by collaboration, strategies to deal with criticism, and the music business.
This book is primarily for the commercial lyricist, not the musician or the artist who writes for self-expression. Ms. Oland is of the opinion that a lyricist shouldn't write too much from personal experience, and that a commercial song should make the audience feel good because "no one wants a loser." But some of the most sincere music, which ended up being "commercial," was written out of angst (Alanis, Nirvana). Oland's term for this kind of music is "living room hits." (In her defense, she does state that when an artist writes this type of song for himself, the song may become a hit.)
Ms. Oland also mentions that she is a much stronger lyricist than melodist, and although she does mention using "dummy melodies," musician-lyricists might find a different method than Ms. Oland's.
However, this book does include much wisdom and helpful information culled from years of experience.