Paul Kedrosky

Music and Innovation and Teams

As seemingly happened with many people, the following tweet after the Grammys got me thinking:

Producers, writers, and teams

Granted, I know zero about music. And I know even less about the Grammys. But the idea that albums up for record of the year had such dramatic differences in the number of people behind them was striking.

Leaving aside the sniping about whether larger producer/writing teams is somehow discrediting – some argued that Beck was a more legitimate winner because he was the auteur, unlike with Beyoncé – I was curious whether this was new. Innovation has become a team activity in many areas of economic and artistic life, so is that also the case with music?

I decided to look at the annual list of top-selling albums back to the 1960s. How many writers & producers were behind them? Sadly, it wasn’t easy to find how many songwriters were involved, but it was fairly straightforward to scrape...

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