Watercolor Day

Seth Swirsky -  Composer

 

For many years I was a staff songwriter with the music publishers Chappell Music, Warner-Chappell Music and EMI Music. Below are some songs I wrote for different recording artists during that time.

I also record my own songs. My 2nd solo album, Watercolor Day (2010) has just been released. It's my most ambitious album with 18 songs in 43 minutes. Check it out if old school, 2 1/2 minute pop songs is your thing (as it is mine!).  

My first solo record, Instant Pleasure (2004), was named Best Pop Album at the 2005 Los Angeles Music Awards.

The Red Button is my "band" with fellow singer-songwriter, Mike Ruekberg. We do very retro-y 60s - type songs. Real jangly stuff. Our first album was  called She's About to Cross My Mind (2007). It won a number of "Year End" polls as Best Pop record. Our second Red Button record, As Far As Yesterday Goes, was released in June, 2011.

In the Unrecorded section, are some of my favorite of my own songs that I wrote for other artists when I was a staff songwriter, but never got recorded (yet!). They are my beloved orphans.

In the Discoveries section are some songs, written and recorded by my singer-songwriter friends over the years, that I just think are so great!

Discography

   

Tell It to My Heart

Taylor Dayne / Tell It to My Heart

I wrote this song with Ernie Gold in 1987. It was #7 on the Billboard Pop charts in January, 1988. It stayed on the charts for 26 weeks. It was number #3 on the Billboard Dance charts, #3 on the British charts, #1 in Sweden, #1 in Germany for 5 weeks and generally in the “Top 5” around the world. The song was re-mixed and re-released by Taylor in 1996 and went to #23 in Britian. In 2002, Kelly Llorenna’s version of the song went to #9 on the British charts. The song was among the most played on radio in 1987-1988 earning an ASCAP award.

Music Video

Original Demo

Awards

Prove Your Love

Taylor Dayne / Tell It to My Heart

This song went to #7 on the Billboard Pop charts in March of 1988 and #1 on the Billboard Dance chart. It was the follow-up single to Tell It to My Heart. Around the world it went to #4 in Germany, #1 in Switzerland, #8 in the UK and generally Top 5 around the world.

Music Video


Club Mix

Awards

Love is a Beautiful Thing

Al Green / Your Heart's in Good Hands

Originally written for Charles & Eddie, Al Green recorded the song for his 1994 album Your Heart's in Good Hands with Arthur Baker producing. It was chosen as one of the best songs of the year in 1994 Rolling Stone Magazine Artists Poll. The song is now featured on many Al Green "Greatest Hits" compilations.

Al's version (the song has been recorded by numerous artists) has been featured in the movies Two Weeks Notice (2002), Sorority Boys (2002), and The Pallbearer (1996). Krystal Harris's version of the song was featured in the movie Legally Blond (2000). In 2004 the song was used by cosmetics company, Almay, for their worldwide television campaign.

Al's version is my favorite version of the song. A real thrill for me is at the end of the song when Al sings the titles of all of his greatest hits over the music. He sings: "Let's Stay Together cause I'm Still in Love With You. Call Me, For the Good Times and Tired of Being Alone". To hear him sing those songs at the end of Love is a Beautiful Thing is a was one of the biggest honors I've had as a songwriter.

Music Video

Hear Al's version of the song

Hear the Club Instrumental Mix

Love is a Beautiful Thing

Tina Turner / Princess Diana Tribute

This version of Love is a Beautiful Thing was recorded by Tina Turner for the Diana, Princess of Wales tribute record which came out following her death in August, 1997. The record has 36 songs on it by artists ranging from Sir Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton, to Sting and the Bee Gees. It was quite a surprise (and an honor) to have a song on this record.

Tina's version of the song

Awards

Love is a Beautiful Thing

Charles and Eddie

I originally wrote Love is a Beautiful Thing for them on a gorgeous downtown New York City afternoon in the May of 1991. Below you can listen to the original demo we recorded that afternoon.

Original Demo

Album Version

Awards

I Can't Find the Words

Charles and Eddie / Chocolate Milk

I wrote this song with Charles. It's on their second album, Chocolate Milk (Elektra Records, 1995). I always liked this song–straight-ahead, old fashioned Delfonics-like R & B.

Hear the song


 

Your Love

Charles and Eddie / Chocolate Milk

A song I wrote with Eddie for their second album, Chocolate Milk. Eddie sings lead vocal.

Hear the song

After All

Air Supply

After All was my first "cover". Air Supply was a big group at the time, so it felt great.

Hear the song


Awards

Photograph of Mary

Trey Lorenz

Trey was Mariah Carey's main background singer. I wrote this song for his debut album. It was produced by Mariah and Walter Afanasieff. I always liked the demo more than version that ended up on record.

Music Video

Original Demo

Instant Pleasure

Rufus Wainwright / Big Daddy Soundtrack

I wrote this in 1999. It was featured in the Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy. I think Rufus's version rocks and it's not easy to find (it's not on Itunes), yet, to a lot of college-age people, it's a song about "hooking up". Funny. Maybe it is. Here's an article that speaks to that.

Hear the song

Original Demo

Did You Give Enough Love?

Celine Dion / Celine Dion

This song from Celine’s second album, Celine Dion (1992), was a #1 single Canada.

Music Video

Awards

Tear It Up

Michael McDonald

I grew up listening to Michael McDonald when he was the soulful lead singer of The Doobie Brothers –- one of the great voices in rock history. I wrote this song for him with Gardner Cole. It was always fun to write songs for artists that you really liked growing up.

#27 Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts (1990)



Music Video

Original Demo

Not Gonna Be the One

Olivia Newton-John / Greatest Hits

This song was on Olivia’s Greatest Hits album in 1992. I was doodling with this melody in the living room of my apartment in NYC, when my then-girlfriend, now wife, Jody, yelled from the bedroom: "I like that tune!". To a songwriter, the smallest endorsement means everything -- so I finished it and it ended up on Olivia's Greatest Hits record. The lesson here is to try and finish what you start: you never know which song is going to make it. Thanks Jody!

Hear the song

Original Demo

After You

Eric Carmen

I wrote this ballad with Eric in the early 80s.
See Eric's comment on After You in his biography Marathon Man. When I was a music publisher, straight out of college, I called Eric and told him what a major fan of his music I was. He invited me to Cleveland where he lived and became an early mentor in my songwriting career. Great guy. This photo of Eric, I took at his apartment in Cleveland, in 1983.I wrote this ballad with Eric in the early 80s.

Hear the song


The High Cost of Loving

Eric Carmen

Another song I wrote with Eric. I sent him the lyrics and he wrote the music. Kind of a "country" type song.

Hear the song

One of Those Love Songs

Xscape

I wrote One of Those Love Songs with Warryn Campbell. A simple song that wrote itself naturally. Producer Jermaine Dupri asked us to write it for Xscape. It was on their record, Traces of My Lipstick (1999).

Hear the song

Awards

We Got a Good Thing

Smokey Robinson

I love Smokey Robinson, so when he recorded this early song of mine (1986), I was particularly thrilled. I met Smokey around the time he recorded this song and someone took a picture –not my best hair-period, but hey, it's with Smokey Robinson!

Hear the song

A Christmas Lullaby

Faith Evans

I wrote this for Jermaine Dupri's 12 Soulful Nights of Christmas album in 1999. I love Faith's rendition of it. I played the piano, arranged strings on the track, and co-produced it with Jermaine. Funny story: Alicia Keys was in the studio at the same time I was writing and recording this song. This is before she was ALICIA KEYS. I remember her loving it and saying someday she might record it.

Hear the song

By Heart

Brenda K. Starr

I wrote this in '89 or '90. I thought it was a total smash. I still do. But with no support from Epic at the time, it wasn't going anywhere. I love Ric Wake's production: simple song, simple melody, simple sentiment.

Hear the song

Hard On Me

Bonfire

I always liked this headbanger I wrote with Jack Ponti for the German heavy metal band, Bonfire. I think it came out in 1989.

Hear the song

That's What We'll Do

The Poppies

The Poppies were a cool New York band, circa 1992. The girl singer was the Goddaughter of Penthouse Magazine founder, Bob Guccione. Roger Greenawalt and I wrote this song. It was The Poppies first single on Warner Bros. Records and made some noise in England.

Music Video

 

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