Friday Top 5: Same Name Songs
Hey, it’s me Jon. Back for some insightful commentary on popular music. JK JK LOL!! I’m actually here with another thinly veiled excuse for rambling nonsense and forced humor. Today’s list is about songs that have the same title (not to be confused with cover songs). For no reason in particular, I have decided to give myself bonus points for selecting songs with maxim musical disparity. Read on if you dare.
“Welcome to the Jungle” from Jay-Z and Kanye’s “Watch the Throne” inspired this list. It also inspired me to create an original rap song. I’ve decided to title my hip-hop composition “Hey Jude” because, apparently, you can just name new tracks after songs that are already super famous. Jay-Z, who previously claimed to be the black Warren Buffet, insists on “Welcome to the Jungle” that he is also the black Axl Rose. Pretty sure you can’t be both Jay (though if Berkshire Hathaway starts investing in leather pants I am prepared to eat my words). If anything, Kanye is the black Axl Rose. Both behave bafflingly in public, are crazy ambitious, and have people divided on whether or not they are talented. As for the white Axl Rose, there’s no reason to be precious about it, G&R’s Welcome to the Jungle still rocks. Even if the only time I seem to hear it is right before an NFL kick off. In the future, everything will be Jock Jams.
For an album that was pretty well regarded at the time, Hello Nasty seems to have been completely forgotten about (other than as the delivery mechanism for “Intergalatic”). That’s not too shocking I guess. History isn’t always kind to bands that have a sense of humor. If the Beasties don’t take themselves seriously, they’re a joke band. But when they try to be sincere, their politics are a little too on the nose and the Boys come off like a “The More You Know” PSA. Still, the Beastie Boys seem unusually adept at jumping into any genre they please. So why not some acoustic bedroom pop? “I Don’t Know” is pretty good. In fact, the amateurish vocals are so adorable I may pretend the track was created by a Norwegian lo-fi duo called Bored Fjords. That way, I can post it on Austin Town Hall and pretend I just discovered a new band. Blogs are fun!
Sure, the boozy punk of The Replacements is great and all, but you know what the band is missing? Saxophones! Did you just scream the word “saxophones” simultaneously as you read it?! I’m pretty sure you did!! The Replacements song “I Don’t Know” uses saxophones and I like it!! I know it seems like I’m being ironic because I’m using so many exclamation points, but I sincerely like it!!! Why so many exclamation points??!!!! These saxophones got me all riled up!!!!!!!!!!!
Elvis Costello’s track seems like a straight up love song, but if you listen closely, the lyrics seem to be about broken relationships and failed love (advice: do not ever pay attention to lyrics because it will totally ruin songs you think are love songs). The Pixies “Allison,” on the other hand, is kind of a love song. Only, it’s not about a woman. It’s about a blues musician named Mose Allison, who is totally a dude (more advice: don’t ever type song titles into google, or you will find out songs you thought were about chicks were actually written about blues musician dudes).
You could say Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” is a little too punk rock paint by numbers. But why would you say that unless you were some kind of douche nozzle? It’s a great rock and roll song, so just enjoy it without being a dick about it. Yeesh.
Yeah, I know there’s a Thin Lizzy track called Bad Reputation, but I’d like to give a shout out to my boy Freedy Johnston. The journeyman songwriter has has been working for years, but “Bad Reputation” is his only brush with mainstream recognition. The song has held up, I swear. Go use your Internets and find out for yourself.
If Freedy Johnston’s melancholy “Bad Reputation” bummed you out in the 90s, chances are you wouldn’t have to wait long for your local Top 40 radio station to play something a bit sunnier. That is if you consider songs about cheating on your boyfriend “sunny.” Don’t worry though, with “Creep” TLC figured out how to rationalize their cheating ways: “If he knew the things I did/ he couldn’t handle it/ so I choose to keep him protected.” What a delightfully self-serving position to take. So basically, you’re cheating on boyfriend, but you’re “protecting him” because you don’t tell him about your infidelity. You’re totally a good person. Tangent: I really enjoy the poetic device T-Boz employs when she sings about “the 23rd of loneliness.” I’m going to start using that all the time. From now on, it will be the 12th of jubilation. The 8th of indigestion. The 14th of moral decrepitude.
What most people don’t know is that the boyfriend of TLC singer T-Boz at the time “Creep” was released was Radiohead singer Thom Yorke.* Boz fell head over heels for Yorke after seeing his sweet dance moves at a local watering hole.** Fittingly, it was T-Boz’s admission of infidelity in song that led Yorke to write his most epic ballad of emo despair, “Creep.”*** Radiohead’s “Creep” is kind of great. . .no wait, it’s terrible. Okay, I’m not sure what it is, but I do know the best part of the song is when the distorted guitar comes in and trys to blow up the pity party. As we speak, I’m working on incorporating that distorted guitar riff into my banging new dubstep track “Sex On Fire” (also, lots of tasteful saxophone). Look for it to be played before NFL kickoffs everywhere.
*This assertion is not supported by “facts.”
**There is a thing called the Atlantic Ocean that separates America and the U.K., so this is implausible at best.
***Radiohead definitely wrote “Creep” before TLC released their song with the same title.