Rank #1: Episode 31 - Ben Folds Five (audio version)
Ben Folds, Darren Jessee and Robert Sledge, known collectively as Ben Folds Five, sit down in person with Simon and Brian for a special edition of Sodajerker on Songwriting. In this audio version of the video podcast, the band talk about the writing of songs like 'Brick', 'Battle of Who Could Care Less', 'Philosophy', 'Steven's Last Night in Town' and songs from their new album The Sound of the Life of the Mind, such as 'Do it Anyway', 'Sky High' and 'Michael Praytor, Five Years Later'.
Rank #2: Episode 122 - Paul McCartney
In this special episode, legendary songwriter and Beatle Paul McCartney sits down with Simon and Brian at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts to discuss songs from his new album Egypt Station. During the conversation, Paul describes the process of collaborating with Greg Kurstin and Ryan Tedder, how he develops and captures his ideas, his natural flair for melody, and his modular approach to putting different sections together.
Rank #3: Episode 88 - Paul Simon
In this special episode, we meet with Paul Simon to talk about his stunning new album Stranger to Stranger and the writing processes behind songs like 'Wristband', 'Street Angel', 'In A Parade', 'The Riverbank' and 'Cool Papa Bell'. In this interview, the legendary singer-songwriter reveals a profound curiosity for musical experimentation that goes some way to explaining both his incredible influence in popular music, and his timeless catalogue.
Rank #4: Episode 140 - Sting
In this very special episode, the one and only Sting talks about approaching his classic hits from a fresh perspective on his new record, My Songs. With his guitar to hand, the singular artist sits down at home in London with Simon and Brian to reveal the creative processes behind one of pop's most extraordinary catalogues.
Rank #5: Episode 100 - Jason Isbell
Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist Jason Isbell joins Simon and Brian in London to mark the milestone of the 100th Sodajerker podcast. Jason talks about the writing of his incredible new record, The Nashville Sound, classic songs from his solo and Drive-By Truckers periods, how TV's Hoarders impacted upon the new album, and the songwriting significance of the humble weed vape.
Rank #6: Episode 110 - Noel Gallagher
This special episode features a sit down with legendary British songwriter Noel Gallagher who talks about his approach to writing the new High Flying Birds album Who Built The Moon? as well as classic Oasis songs like 'Cigarettes & Alcohol' and 'Don't Look Back in Anger'. In describing his work, Noel likens the discipline of songwriting to fishing, and, in that way only he can, expresses his distaste for artists who rely on songwriting teams.
Rank #7: Episode 22 - "Weird Al" Yankovic
Internationally renowned parodist, singer-songwriter, actor and accordionist "Weird Al" Yankovic takes some time out to chat with Simon and Brian about his approach to writing comedy songs and style parodies. Al discusses the processes behind songs like 'Trapped in the Drive-Thru', 'Hardware Store', 'The Night Santa Went Crazy', 'Pancreas' and 'Skipper Dan'.
Rank #8: Episode 42 - Johnny Marr
Songwriter and guitarist Johnny Marr, loved by pop fans worldwide for his work with The Smiths, The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse and The Cribs, joins Simon and Brian for a conversation about the writing processes behind his fantastic new solo album The Messenger. Johnny also talks in detail about his musical influences, growing up in Manchester, his relationship with the guitar, his songwriting partnership with Morrissey, and his collaborations with artists like Kirsty MacColl ('Walking Down Madison') and Billy Bragg ('Sexuality').
Rank #9: Episode 70 - Adam Duritz
As the frontman and principal songwriter for Counting Crows, Adam Duritz has been captivating audiences worldwide for almost 25 years with his literate, melodic and introspective songs. In this special 70th episode of the podcast, Adam sits down with Sodajerker to talk about the writing of the recent Counting Crows album, Somewhere Under Wonderland, and the methods behind classics from their catalogue such as 'Mr Jones', 'Round Here', 'A Long December' and 'Mrs Potter's Lullaby'.
Rank #10: Episode 4 - Jimmy Webb
Rank #11: Episode 8 - Andy Partridge
Andy Partridge of XTC and The Dukes of Stratosphear joins Simon and Brian for a conversation about the writing of some of his greatest songs, including 'Senses Working Overtime', 'Love on a Farmboy's Wages', 'Ballet for a Rainy Day', 'Scarecrow People' and 'Brainiac's Daughter' among many others. With his guitar at hand, Andy talks Sodajerker through his writing process in a way only he can!
Rank #12: Episode 44 - Neil Finn
Neil Finn of Split Enz, Crowded House, Finn Brothers and Pajama Club chats with Simon and Brian about his songwriting process and the writing of songs like 'Fall At Your Feet', 'Don't Dream It's Over', 'Weather With You', 'Four Seasons In One Day', 'Not The Girl You Think You Are' and 'Edible Flowers'. Neil also talks about his work on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and details the production of his forthcoming solo record, due in early 2014.
Rank #13: Episode 65 - Dan Wilson
From his days as the frontman of alt-rock band Semisonic to his latter-day career as a solo artist and co-writer of songs for some of the world's biggest artists, Dan Wilson has proven himself to be an extraordinary songwriter. In this episode, Dan chats with Simon and Brian of Sodajerker about the songwriting processes behind 'Secret Smile', 'Closing Time', 'Chemistry', 'One True Love', 'Someone Like You' (Adele), 'Not Ready to Make Nice' (Dixie Chicks) and more. Dan also describes the writing of songs from his recent solo album, the excellent Love Without Fear.
Rank #14: Episode 77 - Lamont Dozier
Motown legend Lamont Dozier sits down with Simon and Brian in Liverpool to discuss the writing of songs like 'Where Did Our Love Go', 'Baby Love', 'Stop! In The Name of Love', 'You Can't Hurry Love' (The Supremes); 'Heatwave', 'Nowhere to Run', 'Jimmy Mack' (Martha Reeves & The Vandellas); 'Baby I Need Your Loving', 'I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)', 'It's the Same Old Song', 'Reach Out, I'll Be There', 'Bernadette' (The Four Tops); as well as solo tracks like 'Fish Ain't Bitin'', 'Going Back to My Roots' and the Phil Collins smash 'Two Hearts'.
Rank #15: Episode 106 - Yusuf / Cat Stevens
In this special episode, Yusuf aka Cat Stevens meets with Simon and Brian in London for a chat about the writing of his new record The Laughing Apple and classic songs from his back catalogue. Songs discussed include: 'Matthew & Son', 'The First Cut Is The Deepest', 'Wild World', 'Father and Son', 'Moonshadow', '(Remember The Days Of The) Old Schoolyard', 'Heaven/Where True Love Goes' and 'Mighty Peace'.
Rank #16: Episode 54 - Rufus Wainwright
Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright talks about the writing processes behind such songs as 'Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk', 'The Art Teacher', 'Zebulon', 'Out of the Game', 'Montauk', 'Swings Both Ways', 'Me and Liza' and much more. In addition to describing his collaborations with people like Guy Chambers, Robbie Williams and Mark Ronson, Rufus also provides details about his new album Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright.
Rank #17: Episode 40 - They Might Be Giants
John Flansburgh and John Linnell of They Might Be Giants take an hour out of their busy tour schedule to talk with Simon and Brian about their new album Nanobots; their approach to songwriting; the Dial-A-Song service; writing music for children; their collaborations with production team Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley on songs like 'Birdhouse in Your Soul', and more.
Rank #18: Episode 91 - The Lumineers
Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites of The Lumineers discuss the writing of their stunning album Cleopatra, including songs like 'Ophelia', 'In the Light', 'Angela' and 'Gun Song'. The guys also detail their approach to penning the worldwide smash 'Ho Hey' and their work on 'The Hanging Tree' for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, as performed by Jennifer Lawrence.
Rank #19: Episode 18 - Thomas Dolby
Musician and producer Thomas Dolby is the guest for episode 18 during which he talks about his illustrious career and the writing of songs like 'She Blinded Me With Science', 'Europa and the Pirate Twins', 'Hyperactive!', 'Nothing New Under the Sun', 'Evil Twin Brother' and 'The Toad Lickers'. Thomas also discusses his work as producer on the classic Prefab Sprout album Steve McQueen (aka Two Wheels Good).
Rank #20: Episode 132 - Hozier
Hozier joins Simon and Brian for a chat about the writing of his new album Wasteland, Baby! In addition to discussing songs like 'Movement', 'Almost (Sweet Music)' and his work with the great Mavis Staples on 'Nina Cried Power', the Irish singer-songwriter also revisits the writing of songs from his first album, such as 'In A Week' and the colossal hit, 'Take Me To Church'.