Jim Croce, Carol King, Carly Simon, Todd Rundgren, Gordon Lightfoot and James Taylor were some of my favorites and still are.
I would also include Donald Fagen, Kenny Loggins, John Denver, Bob Welch, Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald, Janis Ian, I could go on and on...
Ditto. Linda Ronstadt too. My house rocks when I play Mellencamp -- wife almost killed me.
I'm a huge Springsteen fan (even though some of his recordings are messy and not considered audio magic.) I also echo Tom6897 with Croce, King, Lightfoot Taylor Donald Fagen. I like Mellencamp, but don't own any of his recordings. I'm indifferent to Seger. The name I would recommend to you as a prolific singer/songwriter and an outstanding guitarist is Bruce Cockburn (pronounced "Co-burn"). A Canadian, he gets covered often by other artists and has been recording since 1970. His biggest hit in the US was "Wondering Where the Lions Are" in 1979 (charted number 21), off the "dancing in the dragon's jaws" album. When I bring this CD with me to try out audio equipment, I'm generally asked who the artist is because the music has made a favorable impression.
Bob Seger. I grew up Michigan used to be able see him perform on a regular basis.
An interesting group. Always liked Seger but listened to him mostly on road trips, his didn't seem like music you played inside the house.
I didn't pay too much attention to Mellencamp all along but his 2008 'Life, Death, Love and Freedom', is an amazing album, one of my favorites of the last five years.
One of my close friends is considered a great poet in her native Spain and was widely published there. She came to the U.S. at age 35 speaking almost no English but quickly mastered the language. She says that she tried for years to make sense of American poetry but couldn't, until she started listening to Springsteen at my house.
Dylan...everyone else is a runner up...even Tom Petty...haha...
Hello Sfar and original OP -I am a fan of all three but I have followed Mellencamp since the beginning and that is NOT taking away from the other two artists who I have most of their recordings and have also seen them live..... but ; "Life, Death, Love and Freedom '' by Mellencamp is a truly as you noted ''an amazing album''....I'm 55 and he writes about what I am thinking and feeling because at this stage we all tend to struggle with our own issues of self worth and our own mortality. John nails it.....this one is my favorite but I also still enjoy - Big Daddy and Scarecrow ......good post about three good song writers
Justin Beiber....hands down. ;)
Since someone brought up Bruce Cockburn, I'll mention here that I had the great pleasure of seeing him a couple of years back in a hall that seats maybe 1,500. I've liked him since way back, but hadn't before seen him live. His voice, lemme tell ya, was as strong as ever. Maybe stronger. He rocked the house and thrilled the crowd. If you get the chance, definitely do check him out.
Man, I'd love to see Cockburn but he rarely tours in my area (Dallas). I've decided I'm just going to have to fly somewhere and see him in concert while he and I are still able to sing/play well and listen well respectively.
I'll second (or third) the props to Bruce Cockburn and throw another troubador to the table. . .Steve Forbert. Known for a single hit, "Romeo's Tune" from '78, he has continued to record and tour to this day. Saw him at a solo performance recently and was impressed by since it was just him, harmonica, and acoustic guitar. If you like somgs that tell the story of ordinary lives check him out.
Neil Young is by far the most prolific Singer/Songwriter. He's still putting out great stuff (latest - "Psychedelic Pill" is great).
Another is Van Morrison - still going strong.
And another is Mark Knopfler - still going strong as well . . .
Bdgregory-Not claiming Mellencamp-Seger-Springsteen are the best all time songwriters. During the late 70's-late 80's these 3 produced some of there best and most popular works. IMO it's a close call which artist was the best during this period. During this time Neil Young was at a low point in his song writing and popularity(record sales). It wasn't until 2000(Silver and Gold)that Neil approached his best work. Van Morrison has not released a great studio recording since Avalon Sunset(89).
There was a Brit trio of singer songwriters that emerged at roughly the same time that was as much or more my speed:
Sort of parallel universes. Different, but connected for me by my memories of that time. Its easy to see how individual preferences could lead to any of the six, but
Of this lot, Graham Parker has probably held up best,....Mellencamp the worst....for me.
But this is definitely a personal chocolate vs vanilla kind of thing
BTW, I just saw GP & The Rumour perform last week. They still got it going on.
Martykl-I'm a fan of Joe Jackson, but never bought into the Elvis Costello hype. Squeezing out Sparks is the only Graham Parker recording I own. From what I can recall(no turntable for many years) it's a great album.
Dayglow - we just disagree - especially in regard to your statement of when they did their best work. Of course my mind set was "most prolific", not limited to just when you "were growing up". I think the difference is also a matter of musical tastes.
On a side note, Seger was rumored to have recorded, written or, practiced in a small studio on Ford Road in Canton Michigan. I wonder if this actually happened?
Might be Pearl studio? I think Ted Nugent recorded Fred Bear there.
JMHO: I don't think Seger or Mellencamp are in the same league as Springsteen.
Not saying Seger and Mellencamp are total lightweights, they're not. But Springsteen is a notch above these guys.
Maybe so ...but I hate to inform Bruce - that he is a 1%....the ones he preaches so much against. He is great artist and musicain and have most of his stuff and have and I will see him in concert when the ticket prices are more in line ..... ''Hey Bruce you still letting Stub Hubb control your ticket prices'' !!!!