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Liner Notes

Diane Warren, Superstar Songwriter

by Chuck Eddy

Diane Warren, Superstar Songwriter

About this playlist

It'd probably take some kind of data-cross-tabulating robot genius to figure out exactly how many hits Diane Warren has composed over the years, but it's definitely been a whole lot -- including, depending on what source you trust, at least 80 or even 90 that went Top 10, and (something no writer before her did) seven at the same time on Billboard's Hot 100. Her songs have supposedly wound up in over 100 movies, and she's been nominated for not only a pile of Grammys (one of which she won), but several Golden Globes and Academy Awards, too.

And they are pretty much all, of course, sappy love songs, despite the fact that Warren claims to personally have no use for romance -- apparently the one-woman Brill Building just observes other people real well, and she's detached enough that she can write universal bromides that millions can identify with. The singers who do them most justice have often tended to be non-wallflower-like sorts of superdivas who can belt them out like there's no tomorrow: Laura Branigan (who did it first, with 1983's "Solitaire"), Taylor Dayne, Cher, LeAnn Rimes, Trisha Yearwood, Toni Braxton, Grace Slick (in Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now") and, most magnificently, Celine Dion, who is such a mover of Warren mountains that we've opted to open this 20-song mix with two hits by her.

After that, everybody's limited to one, including a few gents in Bad English, Aerosmith, Debarge, and (theoretically) Milli Vanilli -- plus Anthony Hamilton, whose "Do You Feel Me," from 2007's American Gangster soundtrack, was not technically a hit, but still. Face it: More of these get to you than you probably want to admit.