feb 13

Dan Wilson: Hit Man

I was surprised to find out last night that Dan Wilson co-wrote Adele's "Someone Like You." If you're from the Upper Midwest, you immediately thought of Trip Shakespeare. Outside of that, the name might not sound familiar, though you definitely know "Closing Time," the 1998 omnipresent hit from his band Semisonic. According to a profile in today's Star-Tribune, Rick Rubin brought him in to write with Adele.

Wilson said the session commenced with Adele playing some YouTube clips of rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson, her latest favorite. "Then I went to the piano and she played guitar and we launched into writing. It was very natural and low-key.

"She told me she had this terrible big breakup and it was all she could think about. She had the first four or five lines [of lyrics] and a melody, and she sang the verse."

Wilson then played the song on piano, embellishing it with big, classical chords. "She said, 'That's way more inspiring.' Things started to move quickly, and by mid-afternoon, we started recording."

Take THAT, science.

1 comment

Good producers and songwriters don't consciously think about the principles they are applying when they create something great, but that does not mean they are not applying those scientific principles. It is one of the reasons it is so difficult to teach such abilities.

posted by Cardinale at 1:10 PM on February 13, 2012

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