Posted by Newson 05/18/2012 at 11:53 AM
It’s generally pretty promising reading about Adele behind the scenes, because Adele’s generally a pretty awesome person behind the scenes. That’s by far the biggest treat in this PopMatters interview with Semisonic’s Dan Wilson, who co-wrote and played piano on 21‘s “Someone Like You.” The whole thing’s well worth reading–it goesw into his other collaborations, which include country artists and Josh Groban, but we are here for Adele.
Specifically, we’re here for things like Adele apparently spending 45 minutes flipping through Wanda Jackson clips on YouTube. We’re here for finding out that “Someone Like You,” which got a little bit of press when it became the first Billboard No. 1 consisting only of piano and vocals, was that way because it was the original demo; producer Rick Rubin did absolutely nothing to it. This is probably why:
I remember it didn’t have the bridge, it was missing some if not all of the second verse, and the choruses were a little bit different. But when we came back the next morning I said to her very openly, “What do you think of our song?” She said, “I played it for my manager and me Mum.”
I was a little worried, because I really hate playing works in progress for people. It’s kind of unfair—people don’t really get the picture and they end up forming opinions before it’s created almost. I said, “Oh wow, well what did they think of it?” And she said, “Well my manager loved it and me Mum cried.”
Sounds about right. Kind of cool that even a demo can work so well that it goes No. 1. You might say it’s the sort of thing certain slapdash songwriters could learn from.
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