Hipgnosis has a collection of proven hit Songs of culturally importance by some of the most talented and important Songwriters globally. Through Hipgnosis Songs Group, it is also the home for our Song Creation activities.
Born in Brooklyn, Manilow studied Musical Theatre at the Juilliard School of Performing Arts and by his early 20s was fully immersed in producing, piano playing and arranging. He excelled at creating commercial jingles for some major league brands as well as operating as the musical director for TV shows on the big networks.
He was then spotted by Bette Midler who utilized his skills ultimately resulting in Manilow being nominated for his work on Midler’s 1973 release The Divine Miss M in the Album of the Year category at the Grammys. Two years later he was in the spotlight himself, in the Record of the Year category for his song Mandy under the guidance of Clive Davis and his Bell and Arista label. This song achieved a Number 1 position in the US and was taken from his Manilow II album. The following year he was there again, for Record of the Year and Song Of The Year with I Write The Songs a Number 1 single in the US again in January 1976. A year later he hit Number 1 again with Looks Like We Made It off his album This One’s For You.
Manilow’s star continued to rise, he released his album Even Now in 1978 and from this came Copocabana, Can’t Smile Without You and the title track. This album really helped propel Manilow to greater global success, especially in the UK. He was one of the first artists also to really benefit from the TV special format for which he became a multiple Emmy winner. The Even Now album was nominated for Album of the Year but the song Copacabana )At The Copa) won the prize for Best Male Pop Vocal.
Manilow’s touring base became enormous, multiple nights at some of the largest and most prestigious venues on both sides of the Atlantic. Manilow is one of the ultimate songwriters, performers and full showman.
His accolades continued throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, being nominated for his track Blue with Sarah Vaughan in 1985 for Best Jazz Vocal Performance and then for Best Traditional Pop Vocal for his Manilow Sings Sinatra album in 1999. Not stopping there, two more nominations came Manilow’s way for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for both his In The Swing Of Christmas album in 2008 and also for his Greatest Love Songs Of All Time album in 2010.
Benny Blanco has set the highest watermark for songwriting over the last decade. Both as a producer and as a songwriter, and more recently as an artist himself, he has repeatedly delivered songs that have taken the some of the biggest artists to their own creative and commercial peaks.
Originally working with producer Dr Luke, he delivered smashes for Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry and Britney Spears before branching out alone and amassing consecutive hits that have tallied up to 29 Number 1 songs. He is multiple Grammy nominated and won the Hal David Starlight Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013.
There are great songwriters and then there are musicians who define an era and that’s exactly what Edwards, along with his writing and band partner Nile Rodgers managed to achieve. From the mid 70’s through the 1980’s, Edward’s disco oriented songs for his own band, Chic, for Sister Sledge, Norma Jean Wright, Diana Ross, Fonzi Thornton and Debbie Harry gave both energy to the dance floor and enthused the world with a good times philosophy.
Not only did he write hugely successful songs, the musicianship of Bernard, and ultimately his prowess as a bass player inspired generations to come, especially the next generation of New York artists. His Good Times bass line was a fully cited influence on Queen Another One Bites The Dust, but it was directly used on the Sugarhill Gangs 1979 song Rappers Delight which is widely acknowledged as the first rap song to become a mainstream hit and a key starting point for the Hip Hop genre.
Other great work exists for Edwards, with productions for Duran Duran, Robert Palmer, Rod Stewart, Jody Watley and his own supergroup Power Station.
Posthumously Edwards was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame, but within his life he was nominated for 4 Grammy Awards, for Best Rhythm & Blues Song three years running, for Chic Dance, Dance, Dance in 1978, for Sister Sledge We Are Family in 1979, and for Diana Ross Upside Down in 1980. Following this he was nominated for his production work on the legendary Robert Palmer song Addicted To Love in 1986.
Biffy Clyro came together in Kilmarnock near Glasgow in the late 90’s. A line up fronted by throaty lead vocalist and guitarist Simon Neil along with drummer Ben Johnston and bass player James Johnston. They deliver exceptionally hooky, loud anthemic rock music.
They are a major live force, cultivated through their extensive touring and growing into their breakout Only Revolutions album in 2009 which secured a Mercury Prize nomination. The subsequent albums Opposites and Ellipsis achieved the Number 1 spots on the UK charts.
Birdy began composing songs from a very early age and by the age of 15 had released her first single, a cover of the Bon Iver’s Skinny Love. She very quickly evolved from an acoustic covers singer to confident and powerful artist. Her debut album released in 2011 performed well globally and reached Number 1 in France. Her follow up album included primarily Birdy’s own work was a top 10 UK success and her third album Beautiful Lies reached the Top 5.
In June 2012 she received her first Grammy nomination for her song Learn Me Right with Mumford & Sons which was created for the Pixar film Brave. Further film and television work continued including major successes for the Hunger Games soundtrack with the song Just A Game (2012), three songs for the movie Fault In Our Stars (2014) and then music for Beyond The Lights (2014) and The Edge Of Seventeen (2016).
No nonsense southern rock specialists, Black Stone Cherry came together as school friends because they wanted something better to do and ended up delivering back to basics honky tonk blues. Band members Chris Robertson, Ben Wells and John Frey Young have delivered a succession of hard rock albums and have undertaken a serious live touring schedule including supports with Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Nickelback, Lynryd Skynyrd, Bad Company And Alter Bridge.
Blondie is the iconic American rock band co-founded by singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein that was a pioneer in the American new wave scene of the mid-1970s in New York. Blondie was regarded as an underground band in the United States until the release of Parallel Lines in 1978. Over the next five years, the band achieved several hit singles including Heart of Glass, Call Me, Atomic, The Tide Is High, and Rapture. The band became noted for its eclectic mix of musical styles, incorporating elements of disco, pop, reggae, and early rap music.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, Blondie has sold 40 million records worldwide and continues to be one of the most iconic bands of all time.
Bob Rock is a Canadian musician, sound engineer, and record producer, best known for producing rock bands and music artists such as Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi, and Aerosmith.
In 1990, Rock was chosen to produce Metallica’s Diamond-certified (16x Platinum) self-titled album (commonly referred to as The Black Album). He would subsequently produce Load (1996), ReLoad (1997), the new material for the band’s cover album, Garage Inc. (1998), and St. Anger (2003).