Tom Petty wrote Sam Smith song w/ Disclosure’s friend Tourist, but not the War on Drugs LP w/ Mark Knopfler (or Kozelek)
Philly band The War on Drugs had the biggest year ever thanks to their amazing album Lost in the Dream which topped a bunch of year end lists and landed on countless others, including our own.
If you're a fan of Lost in the Dream, but not of Tom Petty and Dire Straits, maybe now's a good time to start digging back into the catalogs of those classic rockers. As the Guardian points out:
This Philadelphian longhair and his band have dusted off the smug 80s chug of Dire Straits, the percolations of Tom Petty and the more over-produced corners of Springsteen and made a startlingly clubbable record out of them.
That's right. Thanks to The War on Drugs, Tom Petty and Dire Straits are cool again.
Another reason Petty is cool right now? It recently came to light that the Traveling Wilburys member co-wrote the Grammy-nominated hit "Stay With Me" by Disclosure collaborator Sam Smith! Okay, maybe he didn't do it on purpose, but he is now officially one of the song's co-writers.
Many people noticed that "Stay With Me" sounded a lot like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 1989 classic "I Won't Back Down", and recently people noticed that it now says "Tom Petty" in the online credits for the song. Sam Smith's people released this statement:
"Recently the publishers for the song 'I Won't Back Down,' written by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, contacted the publishers for 'Stay With Me,' written by Sam Smith, James Napier and William Phillips, about similarities heard in the melodies of the choruses of the two compositions. Not previously familiar with the 1989 Petty/Lynne song, the writers of 'Stay With Me' listened to 'I Won't Back Down' and acknowledged the similarity.
"Although the likeness was a complete coincidence, all involved came to an immediate and amicable agreement in which Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne are now credited as co-writers of 'Stay With Me' along with Sam Smith, James Napier and William Phillips."
Tom Petty then added this gracious statement yesterday:
"About the Sam Smith thing. Let me say I have never had any hard feelings toward Sam. All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen. Most times you catch it before it gets out the studio door but in this case it got by. Sam's people were very understanding of our predicament and we easily came to an agreement. The word lawsuit was never even said and was never my intention. And no more was to be said about it. How it got out to the press is beyond Sam or myself. Sam did the right thing and I have thought no more about this. A musical accident no more no less. In these times we live in this is hardly news. I wish Sam all the best for his ongoing career. Peace and love to all."
Meanwhile, the Sam Smith song that he co-wrote is nominated in three Grammy categories, not counting its appearance on the Sam Smith album which is nominated for "Album of the Year" (Sam is also nominated for "Best New Artist"). But, the Recording Academy's Bill Freimuth told CNN that because Petty didn't add anything new to the song, he's not one of its Grammy nominees. Tom is up for a Grammy of his own though. He was nominated for "Best Rock Album".
William Phillips aka Tourist
Fun Fact: Disclosure affiliate Tourist aka William Phillips ALSO co-wrote that song (thief! JUST KIDDING). He is up for the Grammy along with Sam. He also has three Tourist EPs out already, and his own debut album is due this summer. You can catch him at Coachella, and today he released a Little Loud remix of his song "Illuminate" (which features Years & Years who are one of the many artists whose NYC shows were just affected by Juno). Listen to that at FADER who also interviewed him:
"It's very strange. Because I never had the intention of being a songwriter. I know the Disclosure guys, I know their management--they publish my music--and one of the people they also manage is Sam [Smith]. So they said to me, do you want to go and write a song with this guy Sam? So I did. It was half an hour. We had a Pizza Express in between. That was it. It was not a big deal, it was just a raw distillation of an idea. I just played the piano."
Fun Fact 2: Years and Years who appear on that Tourist track were recently awarded "Sound of 2015" by the BBC. In 2014 the award went to Sam Smith. May "Tourist" have the same luck as all the award-winning projects he is currently associated with!
Meanwhile, Dire Straits, who were up for the "Best New Artist" Grammy in 1980, are not a band anymore, but their guitarist Mark Knopfler is very busy being a solo artist. He's got a new album called Tracker due March 17 on Verve Records, and he'll be touring in support. This week he added a 2nd Beacon Theater show which just went on sale today. Tickets for the both NYC shows (10/20 and 10/21) are at Ticketmaster. All of his dates are listed, along with a stream of his new single "Beryl", below...
Mark Knopfler -- 2015 Tour DAtes
September 10 Vancouver, BC Queen Elizabeth Theatre
September 11-12 Woodinville, WA Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery*
September 13 Portland, OR Keller Auditorium
September 16 Las Vegas, NV The Colosseum at Caesars Palace
September 18 Berkeley, CA The Greek Theatre
September 19 Los Angeles, CA The Dolby Theatre
September 20 Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Bowl*
September 21 San Diego, CA Humphrey's Concerts By the Bay
September 23 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheater
September 25 Austin, TX Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater
September 26 Dallas, TX The Majestic Theatre
September 28 Kansas City, MO Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
September 29 Minneapolis, MN Orpheum Theatre
September 30 Milwaukee, WI Riverside Theater
October 2 Chicago, IL Chicago Theatre
October 3 Indianapolis, IN Old National Centre--Murat Theatre
October 4 Ann Arbor, MI Michigan Theater
October 6 Toronto, ON Massey Hall
October 7 Montreal, QC Place Des Arts--Wilfrid Pelletier Theatre
October 9 Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre
October 10 Mashantucket, CT Foxwoods Resort Casino--Grand Theater
October 11 Albany, NY Palace Theater
October 13 Pittsburgh, PA Heinz Hall
October 14 Niagara Falls, ON Fallsview Casino Resort*
October 16 Red Bank, NJ Count Basie Theatre
October 17 Philadelphia, PA Academy of Music
October 18 Washington, DC Warner Theatre
October 20 New York, NY Beacon Theatre
October 21 New York, NY Beacon Theatre
October 22 Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts Center
October 24 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheater*
October 25 North Charleston, SC North Charleston Performing Arts Center
October 27 St. Augustine, FL St. Augustine Amphitheatre
October 28 Melbourne, FL King Center for the Performing Arts
October 30 Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
October 31 Fort Lauderdale, FL Broward Center for the Performing Arts