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Writing credits and shares on GN'R songs


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1 minute ago, Blackstar said:

I realised that BMI (which collects royalties for Buckethead, Brain, Josh Freese and Caram) has its own separate site that gives more information about its own repertory than the combined ASCAP/BMI database. I found Scraped there: it's 52% Axl and 48% Buckethead and Caram. I have updated the OP (I have also updated the information for Chinese Democracy title track and Shackler's Revenge).

That is a nice update, thank you. I think all the released songs are covered by your research now. Again, amazing work!

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Nice work....

I think you can have a fair guess at the Appetite tunes with outside writers since we know that the GNR members started out with equal share and then Steven gave part of his share to Axl, so whatever Axl goes up by, Steven comes down by. You can always work out Slash/Duff & you know Steven + Izzy + outside, so you can figure Axls out. Whatever Axl is over the Slash/Duff/Izzy, Steven is below and the rest is to the outside writer. Hence :

It's So Easy  : Axl 18, Slash/Duff/Izzy 14 , Steve 10, West 30

Chris Weber Tunes : Axl 22.5, Slash/Duff/Izzy 18, Steve 13.5, Weber 10

The work out nice and round for the outside writer, so a good chance it is correct I would say.

 

The new L&L tunes were a bit harder. The best guess I had there was the Slash/Duff/Izzy stay the same (ie 20) and Axl/Steve change, which comes out as : Axl 22.52, Slash/Duff/Izzy 20, Steve 17.48.

These don't look as convincing as the prior ones though, so not a high degree of confidence this is right.

 

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Comments on the CD credits and royalty shares:

The royalty shares are divided per song (and align with the writing credits for each song). This probably happened because there were many writers, most of whom were not in the band/not involved anymore when the album was released; and, of course, because there were no partners, Axl was the sole owner of the band and so the only one who was responsible for dividing the credits and shares (he said that Paul Tobias helped with that).

It seems that Axl reserved a fixed 50% for himself for lyrics, melodies and probably production. Then his percentage might increase depending on the part he had in writing the music. So, for example, it appears that Axl wrote most of the music on Prostitute (since he has 90%) and a big part of the music on I.R.S (since he has 75%). This is new information (to me, at least). And it's a bit surprising that he appears to have written more of I.R.S. than of Street Of Dreams and Catcher in the Rye. That could be either because these were his actual contributions on the music of Street Of Dreams and Catcher or because there were many writers on these songs so he wanted to give them a decent share.

On the other hand, I would expect that Axl would have a bigger share on TWAT and Madagascar, since he has mentioned that he wrote some of the music on TWAT and Pitman said that Axl wrote the chord progression for Madagascar. Maybe, in the case of Madagascar, it is due to having to give a royalty share to the Martin Luther King estate.

Edited by Blackstar
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On 9/6/2021 at 3:23 PM, Blackstar said:

Chinese Democracy: UPDATE: 50% Axl; 27% divided between Josh Freese and Caram; 21% divided between Dizzy, Paul, Robin and Tommy; 2% Eric Caudiex.

Interesting. I wonder about that 21% share. Seems to me that Axl credited not only the ones who wrote the song structure, but also the tidbits like riffs and maybe even the solo, even though he didn't credit Bumblefoot for doing the same with his overdubs.

34 minutes ago, Blackstar said:

So, for example, it appears that Axl wrote most of the music on Prostitute (since he has 90%) and a big part of the music on I.R.S (since he has 75%). This is new information (to me, at least). And it's a bit surprising that he appears to have written more of I.R.S. than of Street Of Dreams and Catcher in the Rye. That could be either because these were his actual contributions on the music of Street Of Dreams and Catcher or because there were many writers on these songs so he wanted to give them a decent share.

On the other hand, I would expect that Axl would have a bigger share on TWAT and Madagascar, since he has mentioned that he wrote some of the music on TWAT and Pitman said that Axl wrote the chord progression for Madagascar. Maybe, in the case of Madagascar, it is due to having to give a royalty share to the Martin Luther King estate.

It is new info for sure. I believe there's an interview where Axl said something about Street of Dreams being born by Dizzy and the guys. 

Pitman said that about Madagascar? The chord progression is the most basic from all the CD songs, and I can't imagine how Pitman came up with that intro and not had already the chord progression figured out.

Edited by Voodoochild
Added the bit about Bumble
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6 minutes ago, Voodoochild said:

Pitman said that about Madagascar? The chord progression is the most basic from all the CD songs, and I can't imagine how Pitman came up with that intro and not had already the chord progression figured out.

Yes, Pitman said that Axl already had the chord progression:

Pitman: The funniest instance of us doing stuff, I was up at [Axl's] house for about a week or two and I was setting up... you know, because I'd worked with a couple of film scores before and they set up, back then, these rack mounted samplers like Kurzweil and EMU and you had your kind of fake orchestra with synthesizers. You know, one would be the strings, one with brass, and so on and so forth. And I was setting that up for him and he came out, I'm just going, "Okay, now this module here we're going to use this for brass instruments and here you have horns," and he was, you know, he was playing while I was switching the sounds. And I switched the sound to a French horn sound and he was playing this chord progression and I went to another sound he goes, "Oh, go back to that one," and we went back into French horn sound. And he kept playing his progression and it sounded really cool. And I turned around, turned on the tape machine and that ended up being, and you can hear it today, the very intro of the song called Madagascar. [...] And that's just how that evolved and he just had this chord progression and all of a sudden it married with the French horn and it was a super moody song and that was the start of that song. And actually we recorded it really quickly up there in his house. And he just sang unbelievably on that. Great song.

https://www.a-4-d.com/t5843-2008-11-08-talking-metal-podcast-interview-with-chris-pitman

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I

5 minutes ago, Blackstar said:

Yes, Pitman said that Axl already had the chord progression:

Pitman: The funniest instance of us doing stuff, I was up at [Axl's] house for about a week or two and I was setting up... you know, because I'd worked with a couple of film scores before and they set up, back then, these rack mounted samplers like Kurzweil and EMU and you had your kind of fake orchestra with synthesizers. You know, one would be the strings, one with brass, and so on and so forth. And I was setting that up for him and he came out, I'm just going, "Okay, now this module here we're going to use this for brass instruments and here you have horns," and he was, you know, he was playing while I was switching the sounds. And I switched the sound to a French horn sound and he was playing this chord progression and I went to another sound he goes, "Oh, go back to that one," and we went back into French horn sound. And he kept playing his progression and it sounded really cool. And I turned around, turned on the tape machine and that ended up being, and you can hear it today, the very intro of the song called Madagascar. [...] And that's just how that evolved and he just had this chord progression and all of a sudden it married with the French horn and it was a super moody song and that was the start of that song. And actually we recorded it really quickly up there in his house. And he just sang unbelievably on that. Great song.

https://www.a-4-d.com/t5843-2008-11-08-talking-metal-podcast-interview-with-chris-pitman

It is one of the most common chord progressions out there, but it is a good one. It is the same for Stairway to Heaven's bridge and many, many others. Works well for Madagascar

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I wonder how much the outside writers made from these credits, e.g Chris Weber, West Arkeen. Obviously the albums sold millions and millions but I still wouldn't have imagined that much, but I remember reading an interview with Timo Kaltio where he said he went from being almost destitute to being able to buy a place in Highgate (a very posh area) in London literally overnight. 

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7 hours ago, Blackstar said:

Yes, Pitman said that Axl already had the chord progression:

Pitman: The funniest instance of us doing stuff, I was up at [Axl's] house for about a week or two and I was setting up... you know, because I'd worked with a couple of film scores before and they set up, back then, these rack mounted samplers like Kurzweil and EMU and you had your kind of fake orchestra with synthesizers. You know, one would be the strings, one with brass, and so on and so forth. And I was setting that up for him and he came out, I'm just going, "Okay, now this module here we're going to use this for brass instruments and here you have horns," and he was, you know, he was playing while I was switching the sounds. And I switched the sound to a French horn sound and he was playing this chord progression and I went to another sound he goes, "Oh, go back to that one," and we went back into French horn sound. And he kept playing his progression and it sounded really cool. And I turned around, turned on the tape machine and that ended up being, and you can hear it today, the very intro of the song called Madagascar. [...] And that's just how that evolved and he just had this chord progression and all of a sudden it married with the French horn and it was a super moody song and that was the start of that song. And actually we recorded it really quickly up there in his house. And he just sang unbelievably on that. Great song.

https://www.a-4-d.com/t5843-2008-11-08-talking-metal-podcast-interview-with-chris-pitman

Thanks. To me it sounded like Axl was the one who came up with the intro. I've always thought it was Pitman's work. 

7 hours ago, ZoSoRose said:

It is one of the most common chord progressions out there, but it is a good one. It is the same for Stairway to Heaven's bridge and many, many others. Works well for Madagascar

It is, I have no problems with it. It's just that I thought Axl only came up with the basic chords, and Pitman did the "lead" on that intro.

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8 hours ago, Blackstar said:

.And it's a bit surprising that he appears to have written more of I.R.S. than of Street Of Dreams and Catcher in the Rye. That could be either because these were his actual contributions on the music of Street Of Dreams and Catcher or because there were many writers on these songs so he wanted to give them a decent share.

 

Didn't Axl said in a interview something to the effect that Tommy had written the Bridge of Street Of Dreams?

 

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8 hours ago, Beto 22 said:

Didn't Axl said in a interview something to the effect that Tommy had written the Bridge of Street Of Dreams?

I can't recall Axl saying it. Dizzy and Tommy said:

Dizzy: With “Street Of Dreams” we were just playing around with it and one day I sat down and developed the bridge part and the intro and that became part of the finished song. There was a lot of work to put it together but I think the material worked out really well. [Metal Express Radio, May 2012].

Tommy: That’s definitely one of the places where I tried to play melodically. Axl [Rose] had the majority of that song written, and I brought in the bridge bass line and progression. [Bass Player, June 2009].

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6 hours ago, Blackstar said:

 

Tommy: That’s definitely one of the places where I tried to play melodically. Axl [Rose] had the majority of that song written, and I brought in the bridge bass line and progression. [Bass Player, June 2009].

That`s the quote... It was Tommy not Axl

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Regarding the Chinese Democracy credits:

I made the mistake to assume that the credits listed on wikipedia are based on the album's liner notes, so I didn't bother to look at the booklet itself (which I hadn't looked at for a long time) to crosscheck them. But then I realised that they're based on the credits listed on ASCAP, so there are some differences between the liner notes and the repertories: on the title track, Street Of Dreams, Riad and Prostitute, Axl has given royalty shares to people although they're not credited as co-writers on the album's liner notes. I have updated the OP with this information.

I have also updated the OP with what we know so far about Hard Skool.

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