Rank #1: 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 #2: 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 #3: 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 #4: 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 #5: 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 #6: 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 #7: 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 #8: 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 #9: 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 #10: Episode 81 - Joe Jackson
Joe Jackson chats with Sodajerker about his latest album Fast Forward and the writing of classic songs from his catalogue like 'Is She Really Going Out With Him?', 'It's Different for Girls', 'Steppin' Out', and 'Be My Number Two'. Joe also reflects on his early career, his work on film scores alongside directors like Francis Ford Coppola, and why not every song needs an origin story.
Rank #11: Episode 1 - Billy Steinberg
In the first episode of Sodajerker On Songwriting, co-hosts Simon Barber and Brian O'Connor introduce the podcast and talk to Grammy winning songwriter Billy Steinberg about the many pop classics he has written including 'Like A Virgin' (Madonna), 'True Colors' (Cyndi Lauper), 'Eternal Flame' (The Bangles) and 'I Drove All Night' (Roy Orbison).
Rank #12: Episode 2 - Todd Rundgren
In the second episode of Sodajerker On Songwriting, Simon and Brian talk with writer/artist/producer Todd Rundgren (Nazz, Utopia, Meat Loaf, XTC) about his approach to the art form and the writing of hit songs like 'Hello it's Me', 'I Saw the Light' and 'It Wouldn't Have Made any Difference'.
Rank #13: 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 #14: 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 #15: 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 #16: Episode 90 - Alicia Keys
Multi Grammy Award-winning artist Alicia Keys sits down in London with Simon and Brian to discuss her new single 'In Common', her forthcoming sixth studio album, and her songwriting on a range of hits including 'Fallin'', 'A Woman's Worth', 'If I Ain't Got You', 'Put It In A Love Song', 'Empire State of Mind' and 'Girl On Fire.' Alicia also describes her relationship with the late, great, Whitney Houston, and the circumstances that led to her co-writing the singer's final hit, 'Million Dollar Bill.'
Rank #17: 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'.
Rank #18: Episode 141 - Gretchen Peters
Country noir superstar Gretchen Peters explains the process she embarks upon when creating the cinematic and socially conscious songs that have become her calling card. In our in-depth conversation, the Nashville stalwart describes the writing of recent albums like Blackbirds and Dancing With The Beast, her classic hits for the likes of Martina McBride, Bonnie Raitt and Trisha Yearwood, and her collaborative partnership with Bryan Adams.
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).