Writing and composing, and credit

Author:The Shrike
Date:2017-07-07 12:11:20
Hi. I have been doing a comprehensive listening of my favorite albums by my favorite prog rock bands, and I got to thinking about composition and writing credits. I am very into composition, and am a fan of classical music, and that is easy for me to understand from a writing and credit perspective. But with modern music, I am confused as to how a song gets credit when the author in many cases has very little to do with the overall success of the piece.

Take a band like Pink Floyd for example, and the tunes Money, and Sheep. Money is credited to Waters, yet IMHO it is Gilmour who makes the song work. His guitar parts are integral to the song, or it would fail. That solo is iconic. And then with Sheep, Gilmour teases and restrains with his guitar until the end when he finally lets it open up all the way. Also, Wright's contributions shine through.

Even though Waters is credited as writer, I don't think Sheep works without the unique sound of Gilmour and Wright.

(BTW, even though I like Waters, and think he is brilliant in his own way, he has been a dickhead to his band mates, and seems to think they were session musicians. Waters would have not had such success without the amazing work from Gilmour, Mason and Wright.)

So, a question for those who have written and perhaps published. What is deciding factor on composer credit? If I write some lyrics, and a melody, and then hire some stellar musicians, and say they add a iconic part or solo that makes the song work, why wouldn't they also get credit?

The Shrike has been built by the machine god
in the distant future ...
Main Page