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Name That Band Who Names That Band!

An interesting segue of songs presented itself on the iPod during this morning's commute:

Brand New - Mix Tape
Bloodhound Gang - Your Only Friends Are Make Believe
Ben Folds Five - Battle of Who Could Care Less

Now, what do these songs have in common (despite the obvious 'all the bands begin with B' thing)?

They all mention other bands in their lyrics.

Brand New: I'm sick of your tattoos and they way you always criticize the Smiths, and Morrisey

BHG: Eat spam from the can, watch late night C-Span, rock out to old school Duran Duran

BFF: See I've got your old ID, and you're all dressed up like The Cure

Which got me thinking, what are some other songs like this, where the artists mentions other bands/musicians in the lyrics?

Update: I was thinking more along the lines of songs that insert a band/musician in an irreverent way, like above, and not as part of a shout-out (or a shout-down).


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Even though Michele's updated her post to clarify that she's looking for songs that namecheck other bands [Read More]


One of my iPod playlists starts out with:

The Replacements doing a song called "Alex Chilton", then They Might be Giants doing, "Hey, we're the Replacements."

That silly 1985 song by Bowling for Soup mentions a bunch of band.

It seems to be common in Country music. Two that spring to mind are:
  • Gretchen Wilson - Redneck Woman (Kidd Rock, Lynyrd Skinner, George Strait, Charlie Daniels, Tanya Tucker, and Hank Williams, Jr.)
  • Alan Jackson - Don't Rock the Jukebox (George Jones)

George Joness's name seems to get used by a lot of younger artists.

Eminem goes off on a bunch of folks in his songs (actually this is all from Real Slim Shady):
Fred Durst
Christina Aguilera
Dr. Dre
Britney Spears

Peter, Paul, and Mary's "I Dig Rock 'N Roll Music" mentions The Mamas and the Papas and their various band members...

There's the classic in "Sweet Home Alabama", where Lynyrd Skynyrd calls out Neil Young for his "Southern Man" song.

And Eminem has dissed Fred Durst, Christina Aguilera, and Moby, all in the same song, I think.

Oh, and speaking of Lynyrd Skynyrd, they take a jab at Neil Young in "Sweet Home Alabama"

Ack...Calanctus beat me to it...;)

The Commodores' song "Nightshift" is an 'ode to Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson.

Roberta Flack's Killing Me Softly is about the first time she saw Don McLean do American Pie.
CDB's South's Gonna Do it Again mentions all kinds of southern rockers.

I made a mix tape of all songs that mention other bands. I had that Brand New song on it, but I forgot about that Ben Folds song and that Bloodhound Gang song.

The Who's "You Better You Bet" mentions "the sound of old T-Rex."

Barenaked Ladies' "Brian Wilson."

Anthrax/Public Enemy in "Bring the Noise" -- "Beat is for Sonny Bono/ Beat is for Yoko Ono."

Smoke on the Water
Punk Rock Girl (Mojo Nixon, Minnie Pearl)
The Ultimate one is "Life is a Rock" by Reuinion. They mention more bands than I can count.

The most interesting one is ELO's "Rockaria". They mention Wagner, Beethoven, Puccini, Verdi, and Chuck Berry.

You people need to read the update more carefully.

Though Punk Rock girl totally qualifies.

Get to work!

I believe Don Henley is referring to 'The Grateful Dead' when he sings, "Out on the road today, I saw a deadhead sticker on a Cadillac" in 'The Boys of Summer.'

Which got me thinking, what are some other songs like this, where the artists mentions other bands/musicians in the lyrics?



The Figgs, "Cheap Cassettes,"- "My cheap cassettes of Motorhead...."

Paul Westerberg, "Making Me Go,"- "I take it you'll be taking me to Sheryl Crow; You're making me go..."

Barenaked Ladies "One Week":

Hot like wasabe when I bust rhymes/ Big like LeAnn Rimes/ Because I'm all about value/ Bert Kaempfert's got the mad hits/ You try to match wits/ you try to hold me but I bust through

and also:

Like Harrison Ford I'm getting frantic
Like Sting I'm tantric
Like Snickers, guaranteed to satisfy

Better Than Ezra - Extra Ordinary
(BNL and AC/DC Mentioned)

Weezer - In The Garage
(Kiss mentioned)

Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag
(Iron Maiden mentioned)

Off-topic, but the things one finds when ASV-inspired Googling:
In this position, many unbelieving fans attending Ozzfest will look at Chevelle as an example of Christianity. Unfortunately, Chevelle probably leaves some of the fans with the impression that Christianity is a religion that can tolerate - and indeed take pride in - sharing a stage with the likes of Cradle of Filth and Marilyn Manson. Chevelle's presence on the tour likely confuses the fans of anti-Christian bands in attendance, leaving them unsure of what Christianity really stands for.

Chevelle is a Christian band? I had no clue. And if people define their religion by who their favorite bands play the stage with, then the youth of America is in trouble.

Also, one can infer from that paragraph that Christianity is not tolerant at all.

Cheap Trick - Surrender

"When I woke up, Mom and Dad are rolling on the couch
Rolling numbers, rock and rolling, got my Kiss records out"

Oh, I thought of one!

NOFX in "What's the Matter With Parents Today"

Laying round on the couch with my Misfits records out.

How 'bout American HiFi in "Breakup Song"

One more thing before you go
Would you please give me my records back
My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, Cheap Trick, and Back in Black

OKAY MICHELE! How about 'Smoke On The Water.' Deep Purple mentions Frank Zappa.

Better?? :)

START OF RANT --- BTW, the members of Chevelle are Christian, but they are not a 'Christian band' per se, nor have they ever claimed to be one. For whatever reason, it's something that tends to happen to bands that have songs with a spiritual context. 'Creed' was often labeled a Christian band because of songs like 'My Own Prison', but they weren't.

I've read that article before and I have to say it's absurd. Let's say for a moment that Chevelle was band that didn't shy away from sharing their Christian faith with the audience. Why would Ozzfest be a bad place to do it? Because Marilyn Manson was also going to perform? Please. Jesus shared tables with prostitutes and many others that the author would say shouldn't be 'tolerated.'

In addition, good music is good music. For every Christian who says he won't listen to Nine Inch Nails because of their content is a person who won't bother listening to a Christian band because they're Christian. I listen to a lot of Christian music and bands like 'Kutless', 'Pillar' and 'Skillet' are as good as any rock bands you hear on alternative rock stations. It's music. Enjoy it and stop worrying about what kind message it sends. --- END OF RANT.

Hey, I like Chevelle. At least their first album. I also like Zao, a Christian hardcore band (I swear I heard them referred to as ChristCore, which cracked me up).

And yea, Smoke on the Water counts :-)

Exactly which R.E.M. song is it that I'm supposed to recognize solely by the fact that it's playtime is 3 1/2 minutes, anyhow?

Pink: "Tired of being compared to damn Britney Spears/She's so pretty - that just ain't me..."

The Rotters: "Sit on My Face Stevie Nicks"

Also, one can infer from that paragraph that Christianity is not tolerant at all.

Isn't it more fair to say that one can infer from that paragraph that the author is not a tolerant Christian?

A friend of mine compiled an a-to-z of artists mentioned in songs by other artists. It's here.

how did i know that i'd be the first to mention C&C Music Factory? hahahahah

OK, in their song "Here we go, let's rock n' roll", the line goes:

"From BB King to Bo Diddly. Ed Sullivan.
Remember he sreamed to be seen with the Beatles and the Jackson Five.
The Who, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, even Oz dibbled the bit to get

dunno what that means.

Deep Purple - Smoke on the Water

also mentions the Rolling Stones, kind of.

"We ended up at the grand hotel
It was empty cold and bare
But with the rolling truck stones thing just outside
Making our music there"

refers to the mobile studio the Stones used to record Exile on Main Street

Three Dog Night
The song "Never Been to Spain"
"Well I never been to England
But I kinda like the Beatles"

Don Maclean certaily alluded to an awful lot of folks in "American Pie".

Mott the Hoople's "All the Young Dudes" (written by David Bowie) says, "Who needs TV when I've got T-Rex?" They also mention the Beatles and the Stones.

Steely Dan mentions "Steely Dan T-shirts" in Show Bizness Kids. Donald and Walter also wrote a song about Charlie Parker and his band, and, no, it wasn't Deacon Blues.

And while we are in self-referential, though not necessarily self-promoting mode, "Oh by the way, which one's Pink?" Or, "This is Radio Clash on pirate satellite"? Or "Everybody have fun tonight, everybody Wang Chung tonight." Or, "Are we not men? We are Devo."

David Allen Coe mentions Steve Goodman (who wrote the song) in "You Never Even Called Me By My Name."

Waylon Jennings asked, "Are you sure Hank (Williams) done it this a-way?" And Bocephus himself ain't shy about invoking his Daddy's name.

Does Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" count?

Perhaps a corollary to this contest would be to find a rap artist who doesn't mention himself in his music.

We don't like Michael Jackson
We hate Depeche Mode
We don't care for Madonna
Or Kylie Minogue

KMFDM - Sucks

Speaking of T-Rex:

The Who - You Better You Bet

"I got your body right now on my mind and I drunk myself b-lind to the
sound of old T-Rex
To the sound of old T-Rex - who's next?"

I'll bite and keep going with T. Rex:

REM- "The Wake-Up Bomb," - "Practicing my T-Rex moves..."

They Might Be Giants 'Twisting' has this

"She doesn't have to have
Her Young Fresh Fellows tape back now
But there's not a lot of things
That she'll take back"

Warren Zevon's "Play It All Night Long" has:
"Sweet Home Alabama,
Play that dead band's song..."

Wilco's "Heavy metal drummer" refers to "playing KISS covers".

Dead Kennedys' "Buzzbomb From Pasadena" mentions Lawrence Welk...

This from another Bloodhound Gang song: 'Why's Everybody Always Pickin' On Me?'

"The drummer from Def Leppard's only got one arm!" x9

Joe Walsh--"Have you ever met the guys in the Who? Well I have!"

Dream Academy "In winter 1963, it felt like the world would freeze, with John F. Kennedy, and the Beatles"

Lynyrd Skynyrd: "Well I hope Neil Young will remember, Southern Man don't need him around anyhow."

Time to date myself.

"Rock and Roll Heaven" - Righteous Brothers

Laments the deaths of Jimi (Hendrix), Janis (Joplin), Otis (Redding), et al.

"Jimmy gave us rainbows,
and Janice took a piece of our hearts,
and Otis brought us all
to the dock of the bay.
Sing a song to light my fire,
remember Jim that way.
They've only found another place
another place to play."

I'm fuckin old

Somebody mentioned The Barenaked Ladies' "Brian Wilson", and it reminded me of this verse from The Beach Boys' "Mona":

"Come on
Listen to 'Da Doo Ron Ron' now
Listen to it "Be My Baby"
I know you're gonna love Phil Spector"

Pavement's "Range Life" mentions the Smashing Pumpkins and Stone Temple Pilots, but they're both disses, so I don't know if those count.

Dixie Flatline mentioned one of my faves with Zevon's "Play It All Night Long." I don't think it's a put down, although some of my 'Bama friends thought so.

This isn't on a song, but on a Minuteman album (Double Nickels on the Dime?)they scratched "Take that Huskers!" on the actual disc (next to the label).

There are a lot of variations on this that might be interesting... like a song that inserts part of someone else's song for just a line or two (not in a sampling way).

Neil Young's "This Notes for You" is one of the ultimate putdown songs, but he didn't mention anyone specifically, but all those that sang on Coke, Pepsi, etc. commercials were rather made fun of.

OK... sorry... got off topic there.

I can't believe nobody's mentioned Weezer's song "Buddy Holly"

And what about The Petshop Boys' "Left to My Own Devices" (in the back of my head I heard distant feet- Che Guevara and Debussy to a disco beat...)?

A couple of gimmees:

Springsteen "Thunder Road" Roy Orbison

Mojo Nixon has quite a few, but the one everyone knows is "Elvis is Everywhere"

And there area a ton of records where the person is alluded to, but never quite mentioned. For example, the Blasters "White Cadillac"

Ben Folds names several groups in "Rockin' the Suburbs": Michael Jackson, Quiet Riot, Jon Bon Jovi.

"send you to heaven" by the Toadies. uh.. i dunno, you probably have to hear it. Beatles and the Stones.

The Stone Coyotes tune "House of Confusion" from the album "Rise from the Ashes" mentions Marc Bolan (of T.Rex fame) singing 20th Century Boy.

Sum 41 Fat Lip

"Maiden and Priest were the gods that we praised..."

Something Corporates "Konstantine" mentions Jimmy Eat World.

Bloodhound Gang's songs:
"Take The Long Way Home" mentions Elton John.
"Mope" mentions Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
"Take The Long Way Home" mentions Wang Chung.
"Lift Your Head Up High (And Blow Your Brains Out)" mentions Stryper.
"Fire Water Burn" mentions the Pixies (and Frank), Barry White, Marvin Gaye, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix.

Yeah, I like BHG. Though there music is so pop culture referencing that its pretty easy to find something they mention.

I'm suprised that no one's mentioned Robyn Hitchcock's superb "Listening to The Higsons" - an entire song about another band - "The Higsons are from Norwich, whoa-awhoa, they eat a lot of porridge, whoa-awhoa..."

Also, there's a great Minutemen song where D. Boon mentions Bob Dylan, Richard Hell and Eric Bloom. Can't recall the title at the moment; my memory's a little foggy...

I can't believe no one's mentioned Nerf Herder's "Van Halen" yet.

And just to keep with the apparent trend of these comments: did you know that Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" mentions Neil Young? It does! Really!

Stop. Already.

This is off-topic, but am I the only one that when he tries to think of the band "Radiohead," all that pops into his mind is the song "Radiohead" by the Talking Heads? Anyone?

"Creque Alley", The Mamas and the Papas.

Don't know whether this quite qualifies because Jessica Andrews never mentions Toby Keith's full name in the song, but in There's More to Me Than You, she has the line "Like Toby said, "How do you like me now?"
Half points for first name only?