Tuesday, November 24, 2009

047 Cowell Factor: Who’s writing today’s anthemic rock songs?

America has spoken, you will boycott Idol. Back in London, Mariah Carey’s on the X factor - with SuBo.And coming up: Who’s writing today’s anthemic rock songs? I find out!

But first, it’s time to check in down at the Fame Games talent Bank. I’ve found Courtney Dickinson. Just love your song Falter. You are a little Taylor Swift - but how bad’s that? More songs please Courtney. And someone else whom I’m desperate to hear more from is Nashville’s Michael Estok. I’m soooo impressed with your song Burning Bridges. Brilliant vocal - love this song. Very, very impressive.

So what’s been going on in CowellWorld?

The battle hots up as Idol winner Kris Allen goes head-to-head with runner-up Adam Lambert. Kris's album hit the stores on Tuesday, six days before Lambert's. Who will win the chart battle? Well…different audiences I think - but hey you know what? - I’ll forgive the Script cover - because at least Kris has written most of the tracks himself. And I’ve got tell you…I really like what I’ve heard. I genuinely hope he does well.

So…it’s official - you will boycott Idol. Your emails prove it.

Ann says:
Yes, I will boycott American Idol. The show is nothing without Paula. Randy is a great guy, but let’s face it, without Paula & Simon, he’s nothing. And Kara who?? She has no personality, no charm and isn't even remotely interesting. Ellen has absolutely no business being on this show she is simply not qualified. BTW, that picture of Simon and Paula is so adorable! :) Tony ... I think they were always in love and always will be.

Ann - you’re breaking my heart!

So here’s the thing…John Lennon said, Song writing is about getting the demon out. It's like being possessed. You try to go to sleep, but the song won't let you.

While Lennon was indeed responsible for writing some of the greatest songs ever, I couldn’t help but wonder…who is writing the big anthemic rock songs of today?

There are no rules for writing great songs. But what you do need is inspiration. And…so I’m told…the only two inspirations for great song writing are Love and Death. Mmmm.

The term "anthemic" means music with an emotive connotation to it. Huge, euphoric stand alone tracks that make you hold your lighter in the air and go all dewy-eyed.

These are the songs that if you only wrote one - it becomes so huge you could live off the royalties forever.

In the past it would mean songs like Hey Jude, The Who’s My Generation, Bowie’s Starman, U2’s One, Lynard Skinard’s Freebird maybe. But this is all rock history. Rich history I admit. But who’s writing today’s rock anthems? And will they stand the test of time?

Well…I guess Oasis need a mention for Wonderwall.

But for me…Snow Patrol leads the way when it comes to contemporary rock anthems. Chasing Cars is an s good as it gets - though the song may well prove to be a ball and chain around the feet of the band. And what about Coldplay? Is Yellow a rock anthem? Probably yes. But I don’t know what it is about this band - but I don’t like them.

Still, a band that I’m convinced will stand the test of time are The Killers. My god…don’t you wish you’d written a song like… All These Things that I’ve Done. ‘Cause you do. And you can. Just remember the other John Lennon quote about song writing. Where he says…“One night I spent 5 hours trying to write a song that was meaningful and good, and I finally gave up and lay down. Then, 'Nowhere Man ' came to me, words and music, the whole damn thing, all in one go.”

Now there’s inspiration for you.

I’m Tony Cowell - and you’ve just heard the Cowell Factor

Email me and tell me who do YOU think is writing today's anthemic rock songs: Tony@famegamesradio.com

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!


  1. Idol is ALL about Simon and Ryan! Their chemistry is enough to keep the show going and lets not forget, the main focus should be on the contestants.

    Tony, i listened to your interview with Simon and could barely tell you apart. Interviews on radio between you two do not work!

  2. OMG, Tony your obsession with Paula is getting old and a tad bit creepy.

    What a "shock" that the disgruntled Paula fans you court on this blog are going to boycott Idol. Who could have seen that coming?

    And I agree with the fact that Idol is NOT all about Simon and Paula. I also love Simon and RYAN.(Hmmm.. wonder if you'll post these e-mails about Simon and Ryan?) I watch for those two. I've personally never really cared about Paula. I love Ellen DeGeneres, and I also love Randy in his "dawgish" way.

    Simon wants to bring X-factor to America, but last I heard it was to be in a deal to stay with Idol. How silly of you to seemingly encourage the death of Idol while your brother may well still be on it. Is HE himself not important to the show? Is it ALLLL about Paula? How sad for Simon if that's the case. Guess he's not that important afterall...

    I think we know better. And I think you can promote X-factor without trashing Idol.

  3. Upon reflection, I take back my comment about it being "creepy". But the rest of my post still stands.

  4. Agree with the last post, less Paula focus on this blog would be nice! I do not believe Idol will suffer without her. Paula pulled in the viewers full all the wrong reasons - forgetting contestants songs, crazy long critiques and over praising poor performances because she didn't want to be seen as 'mean', when in fact she was being dishonest. This is not how artists are judged in the real world.

    Tony, if you would kindly make a suggestion to Simon on my behalf, please ask him to do another show with Ryan, maybe in the UK. Would love to see them work together outside of Idol. They are very funny and have a natural chemistry together - unlike Simon and Dermot.

  5. I think the real problem with Idol started last year when they added Kara. The fact that they tried to fix something that wasn't broken will be the fall of Idol. Yes, shows get stale sometimes and you need to change things up but the ratings had not dropped from number ONE so why mess with the top show in the country? Adding Kara, Ellen, and losing Paula takes away chemistry that can't be replaced. Randy, Paula, Simon, and Ryan were the combination that made it number ONE. The four of them made magic and the show was actually fun, even if the format was getting old. When Kara came it was like throwing cold water on the fun. The show might be OK with Ellen, but in my opinion, the magic is gone forever.

  6. ^ Yes. The problems totally started when Kara was added. Such an unnecessary attempt to fix a show that wasn't broken. And now that Paula's gone, the chemistry is gone too in my opinion. Simon and Ryan definitely do not make Idol in my opinion. Same old stupid banter anyways... Idol can only go downhill in my opinion...
    I still hope that the X Factor is brought to the US. It is a much better show in my opinion. And I would love Paula to be on it as a judge and mentor. That would suit her better than being a judge on Idol and I think she would really thrive in that role.

  7. Would Simon actually be a judge/mentor on the American X Factor? I think he should be anyway. Will he end up stepping down from one of his other shows when X Factor comes to the US?

  8. I can't wait for he X Factor to come to the US! Idol is seriously getting old! Especially with Paula gone!

  9. I agree the problems started when they added Kara. And now that Paula is done the chemistry is gone. Simon and Ryan definitely do not make idol in my opinion. Ryan always tries to hard to one up Simon which is annoying. Ryan is much more likeable when Simon is not around.

  10. Simon and Ryan are awesome together. BTW, Tony. You do know that your blog is directly linked to a Simon and Paula fan board right? It's not just random Idol fans wandering in here.

  11. Now I don't know what most Simon fans think, but I like the X Factor as a show much more than American Idol, so I just want it to come to the states in any way that it can! lol

  12. American idol is getting old. It is time for something new American X factor will be great.

  13. Yes, X-factor needs to get here soon. Please just leave Louis, Cheryl, and that host in England. American x-factor should be AMERICAN (except for Simon of course). Lots of people think Simon will not be a judge on AXF but he would be crazy not to use the power of him and Paula TOGETHER. And I am not going to boycott Idol because Paula's gone. I adore Paula but I think she left because she wanted to (or it was all part of the plan). And judging by how glowing and happy she looks, she should have left a long time ago. We'll see her again I'm sure.