Rock bands that never/rarely wrote their own songs

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Cryptical17, Nov 5, 2021.

  1. Cryptical17

    Cryptical17 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    Whereas solo singers frequently got away with performing songs by outside writers, rock bands of the late 60s-present usually wrote their own words and music. Can you name any bands of the rock era that relied solely on cover tunes or outside songwriters?

    (As suggested above, I’d like to focus on bands of the rock era and exclude Motown and vocal groups who usually relied on the likes of Lieber/Stoller, Goffin/King, Holland-Dozier-Holland etc. If you understand what I mean)
     
  2. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show
     
  3. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    The Buckinghams wrote some album songs but they had five top 20 twenty singles, none of them written by band members.
     
  4. barryalan

    barryalan Cat in Space

    Location:
    Santa Ana
    The Three Dog Night
    :angel:
     
    dreambear, jmpatrick, sddoug and 19 others like this.
  5. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    The Grass Roots.
     
  6. NorthSidePark

    NorthSidePark Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
  7. Cryptical17

    Cryptical17 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    She definitely didn’t write music but she isn’t a band;)
     
  8. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    The Animals had many hit singles, but most of their early ones before 1966 were written by others.
     
  9. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    Three Dog Night.

    Though they did have their own b side.
     
  10. Dandelion1967

    Dandelion1967 My Favourite Parks Are Car Parks

    The Sweet

    Their hits were written by the songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman.
     
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  11. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    Herman's Hermits
     
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  12. Hagstrom

    Hagstrom I hate Billy Joel, Rush and Queen.

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    The Beatles.

    Just kidding folks.
     
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  13. tomd

    tomd Senior Member

    Location:
    Brighton,Colorado
    The Grateful Dead (well Robert Hunter wrote most of the lyrics)
     
  14. jimmydean

    jimmydean Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    most of their hits... fox on the run and love is like oxygen were written by band members
     
  15. Cryptical17

    Cryptical17 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    Garcia, Weir (and sometimes Mydland, Lesh Hart) did write the music so I don’t think the Dead really apply. And don’t forget that Hunter did get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the band.

    Lyricists like Hunter and Keith Reid of Procol Harum are frequent collaborators of bands so they really can’t be considered outsiders if you know what I mean
     
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  16. DPK

    DPK Forum Resident

    Me First & the Gimme Gimmes
     
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  17. WisFish

    WisFish Dig Them Grooves

    Location:
    Wisconsin
  18. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    Well, I just looked At Wikipedia, and according to that out of their first twelve singles (through January 1965), the Rolling Stones only wrote two of them .

    It’s interesting to me then, that once Mick and Keith got writing, they ended up writing a streak of ten or twelve of my favorite singles by anyone .

    As I mentioned in a different thread, it’s a good thing they got going writing, because doing just blues or R&B covers would have only taken them so far.
     
  19. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Senior Member

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    The Monkees - at least they did not write any of their significant hits, and only Nez was the sole writer of a significant number of songs they did at all
     
  20. craymcla

    craymcla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Nobody's said The Monkees yet?

    Edit: You Beat me to it by about 30 seconds, Rfreeman
     
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  21. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    The Searchers specialized in finding and covering obscure and/or unsuccessful American singles.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Senior Member

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Pentangle wrote some, but probably a majority of their non-instrumentals were arrangements of traditional songs. Not sure they could be called a rock band.
     
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  23. NorthSidePark

    NorthSidePark Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
  24. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    ... was waiting for that one.
     
  25. KDubATX

    KDubATX A Darby Man Never Says When

    Location:
    Austin
    That’s what I was going to say lol
     

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