Thursday, April 02, 2020

Yes, you knew who Adam Schlesinger was even if you don't recognize his name, and you are definitely going to miss him.

News broke late yesterday that Adam Schlesinger had died from complications from COVID-19. Trust me when I say you absolutely know who Adam Schlesinger is, even if you don't immediately recognize the name. He was one of the most gifted power-pop songwriters of my—or any generation.

Oh, you don't listen to power pop? Yes you do.

It would be impossible to list Schlesinger's contributions to the music you probably lay already love, but here are a few nuggets.

  • He was half of Fountains Of Wayne.
  • He wrote that song from That Thing You Do you have never been able to get out of your head.
  • He wrote "Pretend to Be Nice" from one of the greatest soundtracks of all time, Music from the Motion Picture Josie and the Pussycats.
  • He was in Tinted Windows, a band with a Hanson sibling I initially made fun of and then fell in love with because the music is just so fan-fucking-tastic.
  • The music of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend you probably loved the most came from his participation in the series.
  • He co-wrote most of the songs in the greatest holiday special of the last 20 years, A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!

That's just the smallest smattering of his credits including some of my personal faves. You could get pleasantly lost in all the avenues and auxiliary paths his influence has taken over the years. And you really should.

So if you're scrolling through Twitter or Facebook today and don't understand why some friends seem so broken up over a name you either didn't know or had the most glancing knowledge of, now you know why you should probably be broken up over the loss of Schlesinger's talents as well. Because you probably already loved his music and didn't even know it.

Because it would be impossible to pick a single song from Schlesinger, instead I'm going to let the genius of Robbie Fulks gently josh while quietly celebrating one facet of the man's genius.

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