You can have a legitimate debate on who you may feel the “GREATEST” songwriters of all time are. Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Paul Simon, John Lennon, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, are just of few of many that come to mind that arguably could be called the Greatest songwriters ever.
But the two most “SUCCESSFUL” (remember greatest and successful are two different words,) songwriters of all time as “INDIVIDUALS” are Sir Paul McCartney, and Sir Barry Gibb. And that isn’t up for the debate since the numbers and data prove it to be true.
No other artists or songwriters come close to their overall sales, billboard hit songs, and the success of those songs. Hundreds of millions albums sold. (Both men can claim that they have held the top five songs on the billboard Hot 100 charts at different times. Paul in the 1960s with The Beatles, and Barry in the late 1970s as a songwriter for The Bee Gees, and others.)
The body of musical work these two songwriters have given us is staggering. Songs that are a indelible part of our lives. As familiar to us as the back of our hand.
There isn’t one minute that goes by in the world that one song either of these men wrote isn’t playing somewhere, or even being performed by a cover band.
What’s even more impressive is that Paul is now 81 years old, and Barry now 76 years old are still far from finished. As we speak both are writing and recording new music that will continue to touch our souls for years to come.
This news is definitely something to celebrate especially since the past 25 years both Paul and Barry have had to endure some of their darkest days. (The deaths of Linda McCartney and George Harrison for Paul. The deaths of Maurice, and Robin Gibb, along with his mother for Barry.)
Both men have absolutely nothing left to prove. As two of the wealthiest musicians on planet they certainly don’t need the money. They also certainly don’t need any more recognition. What’s also beyond impressive is that both men have proven that their songs can be successful covered from artists with a broad scope of multiple genres, both male and female. Proving the power and legacy that those songs have to stand on their own even if Barry or Paul aren’t performing them.
But most of all it proves that Barry and Paul do what they do because they love it. It’s natural to them. A God given talent neither man has put to waste.
For that we should all thank them both. Not only for the music that has brought so much joy to our lives, but also for the work ethic that each man has shown to us for the past 50 to 60 years.
It’s a shining example to all of us.
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