This NYT piece on how “The Middle” was created is fascinating, though also a little depressing, at least to a rock fan like me. It feels like a return to the Brill Building days of songwriters and producers pumping out hits for rando pop stars of the moment. Granted, I realize that we never really left those days behind.
It’s also weird to see this song work it’s way up through the ranks of ever more famous producers, and then go through auditions of dozens of singers… and then the final moment at the Grammys where the original songwriter introduces herself to the singer, Maren Morris, as they’ve never even met.
This is also why I always question when mega-stars are marketed with images of them sitting alone with a notebook and a guitar, writing a song by themselves (e.g., Taylor Swift), because at this level, with this much money on the line, that shit simply does not happen. Total fantasy.