Terribly sad news that the writing genius – Rod Temperton has died aged only 66.
Although his name probably isn’t on the tip of most people’s tongues, he wrote some of the most iconic tunes of our time from Heatwave’s, ‘Boogie Nights & Always and Forever’, George Benson’s, ‘Give me the Night’, Michael McDonald’s, ‘Sweet Freedom’ right through to the global smashes for megastar Michael Jackson, ‘Rock with You’, ‘Off the Wall’, ‘The Lady in my life’ and of course, ‘Thriller’.
In complete contrast to today, Rod seems to have been rather a quiet and unassuming man who certainly didn’t boast about his many successes; I’ve only just learned that he also wrote another favourite of mine, Donna Summer’s very Michael-esque tune ‘Love is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)’. Now I’d have been shouting such triumphs from the rooftops!
However the ‘Kardashian’ way of doing things definitely didn’t appeal to Rod and, although he was the brain behind so many hits, he decided to take a back seat and rarely appeared in public or spoke to the media. I suppose he didn’t have to; his work spoke for itself. His music was and will remain the soundtrack to our lives – it is still being played every day, it surrounds us. What a wonderful legacy to leave behind and one can only hope that someday, somewhere out there someone will be inspired by Rod’s incredible gift to us and start to write some truly iconic tunes again and not the throwaway, repetitive, vacuous rubbish that dominates our so called ‘charts’ today.
This is what shows like the X-Factor and The Voice seem to completely forget; ‘stars’ are created on the back of talented writers like Rod Temperton, Prince, Stevie Wonder and (my personal favourite) Babyface. We should be scouring the planet for original writers like them, not for more mediocre karaoke singers.
So, in the words of ABBA, ‘Thank you for the music’ Rod. RIP.