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8 Bands Where Every Member Writes Songs: Queen, Led Zeppelin, And More

 

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A great number of bands are led by just one or two songwriters, with the rest of the members never really contributing anything compositionally. However, these eight bands moved beyond this dynamic by featuring songwriting contributions from each of their members.

1. The Beatles

What made the Beatles a unique band was the dynamic between members, and how all four were arguably equally famous. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were of course seen as the frontmen, since they wrote most of the music and sang lead vocals most often, but George Harrison made regular and significant songwriting contributions as well, from "Taxman" to "Something," and even Ringo Starr penned two songs of his own towards the end of the band's run.

2. Queen

Much like the Beatles, Queen was made up of two primary songwriters, singer Freddie Mercury and guitarist Brian May, but featured significant contributions from the band's other two members, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor. Perhaps Taylor's most famous song is A Night At The Opera's "I'm In Love With My Car," while Deacon's contributions include the massive hits "You're My Best Friend" and "Another One Bites The Dust," though unlike the other three members, Deacon never sang his own compositions.

3. Led Zeppelin

Though guitarist Jimmy Page had a hand in composing nearly every original Led Zeppelin song, the band's other three members contributed significantly as well. In fact, the entire band would even occasionally compose songs together, including such classics as "Heartbreaker," "Rock & Roll," and "The Ocean."

4. R.E.M.

R.E.M. was a famously democratic band, with no decision being made without the approval of all four members, especially when it came to songwriting. Most of the band's music was composed by guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills, with singer Michael Stipe writing lyrics, but drummer Bill Berry wrote some of the band's most enduring songs, including "Perfect Circle," "Driver 8," "Everybody Hurts," and "Man On The Moon."

5. Sloan

Canadian power pop band Sloan takes R.E.M.'s democratic dynamic to another level. Not only do all four members of the band write songs, they also switch instruments, depending on whose song they're playing. Sloan's next album will reportedly be a double LP, with each member getting their own side of the record for their own songs.

6. Rush

Though Rush drummer Neil Peart rarely contributes musical composition to the band's songs, which are mostly written by bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson, he's been the band's primary lyricist since he joined back in 1974, which means all three members of Rush are consistently collaborating.

7. Cream

One of the original supergroups, Cream was made up of three tremendous performers — Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker — who were all equally admired on their respective instruments. Though Clapton and Bruce wrote most of the band's original music, with frequent contributions from outside lyricists, Baker wrote some original songs for the group as well, such as "Blue Condition" and the instrumental "Toad."

8. Minutemen

Like Rush and Cream, Minutemen were another power trio fueled primarily by the songwriting of the guitarist and bassist, though the contributions of drummer George Hurley can't be understated. In addition to being an incredible drummer, he frequently co-wrote songs with the band, such as the classic "The Anchor."

What other bands featured songwriting from every member? Let us know in the comments section!

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