Category Archives: The Name Game

The Name Game – 4

I haven’t milked this particular gimmick in over a month, so it’s high time I posted some more songs that share their names with musical acts and vice versa.

Dusty Springfield was a popular target for tributes from the indiepop community in the 1980s/90s… well, I say popular, but that’s based on the fact that I can think of a whopping two examples off the top of my head. Of course one is the ace Chicago indiepop band The Springfields, named after Dusty’s original band, The Springfields. Kind of like how the Chemical Brothers started out as the Dust Brothers, named after the Dust Brothers. Except I think the Springfields managed to avoid any legal threats. In contrast, equally ace janglepopsters The Haywains managed to sidestep any potential confusion by not naming themselves Buddy Holly And The Crickets or anything like that, and simply stuck to singing about Dusty Springfield.

Link: “Breakfast In Bed” by Dusty Springfield
Link: “Dusty Springfield” by The Haywains

I think everyone knows I like Stereolab. Texan experimental rockers Transona Five clearly like Stereolab too. I’ll be honest, I did deliberately pick their most Stereolab-like track for this, but I think it proves my point.

Link: “Estrogen Blaster” by Transona Five
Link: “Transona Five” by Stereolab

And finally, a very clear reference to a well-known performer, but what’s this Scissor Sisters song actually got to do with Paul McCartney? Well, nothing really. But apparently Jake Shears had a dream in which he chatted with Paul McCartney about songwriting, and it would appear that the inspiration he got from this was to name a song after Paul McCartney. You’d kind of hope Macca would have given him better advice than that, I mean, not even Paul McCartney ever named a song “Paul McCartney”. Macca’s own song here is from his 1980 album McCartney II, the one that sold a trillion copies off the back of the rocking single “Coming Up” only for buyers to find the rest was weird synth noodlings which most people only played once. “Temporary Secretary” was a single. It flopped.

Link: “Temporary Secretary” by Paul McCartney
Link: “Paul McCartney” by Scissor Sisters

The Name Game – 2

You wouldn’t know I used to be a really good writer. I was. Seriously. And look what life has done to me.

At least I don’t have to put any effort into this gimmick! First up for this installment, The Sabres Of Paradise. I don’t think there’s any doubt here that the band was named after the song – heck, Andrew Weatherall probably chose it expressly to wind up Jeremy Healy (who in case you didn’t know, was half of Haysi Fantayzee before becoming a top DJ). “Wilmot Meets Lord Scruffage” is easily the best of today’s tracks.

Link: “Wilmot Meets Lord Scruffage” by The Sabres Of Paradise
Link: “The Sabres Of Paradise” by Haysi Fantayzee

There’s definitely no connection in this instance. Also no similarity at all between the slightly-too-upbeat 80s synthpop of Modern Romance and the gloomy Yeah Yeah Yeahs number with which they share a name.

Link: “Burn It!” by Modern Romance
Link: “Modern Romance” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

And no connection here either. Catch (not to be confused with The Catch, who became The Tourists) were an indiepop band of no particular renown. For the last twenty years I’ve been carrying around the idea that one of them was Angus Deayton’s son, but now I come to check it out, this turns out to be nonsense. As for the song, you were going to get The Cure here, but then I found this Sunscreem CD. They never did release the album this was supposed to presage.

Link: “Dive In” by Catch
Link: “Catch” by Sunscreem

 

 

 

 

The Name Game – 1

Every music blog needs a gimmicky series, so here’s one for you! I post pairs of songs, the title of one is the artist of the other. The song may be named after the artist, or the artist after the song, or there may be no connection…

So first, here’s a very 1985 pop-rock number by a former teenage heartthrob, and some 21st century janglepop referring to the artist in question:

Link: “She Knows All About Boys” by David Cassidy
Link: “David Cassidy” by Betty And The Werewolves

So you get the idea. I don’t think there’s any connection in this next pairing, but two cracking tunes. The first is a fine bit of 70s funk, one of those soundtrack staples that you hear on TV and film all the time and might not know what it is (like I didn’t until this very week) and currently being used by the Beeb to promote “Last Chance Lawyer NYC”. The second is a soul classic that surely needs no introduction:

Link: “Low Rider” by War
Link: “War” by Edwin Starr

And finally, here’s one where the artist is named after the song. Both of the songs in this pairing are folk standards which have been recorded by zillions of people, so as far as “Nancy Whiskey” (the song) goes, I just went for the version I’m most familiar with. As for the artist Nancy Whiskey (born Ann Wilson), I thought it was a bit of a cheat to use the best-known Chas McDevitt version of “Freight Train” (because the song’s not called “Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group Featuring Nancy Whiskey”) so I found this very different solo recording instead.

Link: “Freight Train” by Nancy Whiskey
Link: “Nancy Whiskey” by Shane MacGowan and the Popes

Oh, sod it, here’s the classic version of “Freight Train” as well…

Link: “Freight Train” by Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group featuring Nancy Whiskey