Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Genius Song Titles



You know when you get a new album and read the track listing, and there's a song you really want to hear just from the title?

Joanna Newsom's (utterly wonderful) new album has a song called

Good Intentions Paving Company

I think this may possible be my favourite song title ever. The song itself doesn't disappoint.

So... what's your favourite song title? What songs did you love before you ever heard them? Have you ever bought a record or a book on the strength of the title alone? And are there some that don't live up to their titular promise?

36 comments:

Fintan28 said...

I had never even heard of Leo Kottke when I picked up '6 & 12 String Guitar' just because of the armadillo on the cover. The first song was 'The Driving Of The Year Nail' described as being inspired by an old Etruscan drawing of a sperm whale. Reading the album notes while paying for it I knew I had made the right decision 'cause the notes by Leo explained that all songs were instrumentals 'cause his voice "sounds like geese farts on a muggy day". Played this album to death.

BmAc said...

"Lightsabre Cock Sucking Blues" - McLusky - I think I bought on the basis of the title and boy! it's a corker!!

BmAc said...

To fit in with your picture, Mclusky also have a song called "To Hell With Good Intentions" and it is also a corker! They are the anti-Newsom, if you will:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFOpifdJXcs

barbryn said...

Ligtsabre Cocksucking Blues is indeed a great title. Here it is performed by kittens:

http://www.rathergood.com/lightsabre

Japanther said...

I bought Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues without listening too, 'cos of the title and I saw it was produced by Steve Albini.....Mclusky have great album/song titles...

DarceysDad said...

Recent DsD earworm providers The Grim Northern Social only came into my collection because I saw the CD in the library a week before the Leeds RR piss-up. Bearing in mind the PMT (pre-meet tension) there was that month between tincanman and gremlinfc, when I looked at the tracklisting and saw a song called Clash Of The Social Titans, I just had to have it.

Historically, the first songtitle I read without hearing the song that made me go WTF?, was Samson's I'd Rather Be The Saddle Of A Schoolgirl's Bike, but I can't say I'd recommend the song!

Blimpy said...

I'll five anyone a fiver who can listen to all 7 minutes of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSYUgVe_uBQ

Mnemonic said...

You lost me at 0.27.

tincanman said...

I kinda like Willie Nelson's Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond Of Each Other for double take song titles

bishbosh said...

Good questions, barbryn! Thinking about it, I seem to be a sucker for long song titles. Like:

"You are the generation that bought more shoes and you get what you deserve"; and

"Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand"

I also have a soft spot for song titles that refer to other songs. See last week's "Lloyd, I'm ready to be heartbroken". I would have loved that song irrespective of what it sounded like. It panders to one's clever-clogs pop knowledge, innit. Same goes for "When do I get to sing 'My Way'?"

Many Smiths songs: "Girlfriend in a Coma", "Bigmouth Strikes Again", "The Boy with the Thorn in his Side"...

And of course Belle & Sebastian do a good line in song titles, most about 'Judy': "Judy and the Dream of Horses", "Judy is a Dickslap"... I could go on. Clearly.

barbryn said...

@Blimpy - you sadist. 30 seconds for me.

@Bishbosh - I'd been meaning to check out "You are the generation that bought more shoes and you get what you deserve", having heard the title a while ago. I just have. It's ace. Thanks.

It also reminds me of "This is how you spell 'Ha Ha Ha, we destroyed the hopes and the dreams of a generation of faux-romantics'" by Los Campesinos! That's a great title.

Disappointingly, some great titles turn out to be instrumentals - viz "Judy is a Dickslap".

bethnoir said...

I've bought albums for the cover,' Fotheringay' and Incredible String Band's 'The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion ' spring to mind, but the only music I bought because of the title was the album 'Radio Cornwall' by The House of Usher who are German and may not have actually heard the wonder of local BBC radio. I wouldn't really recommend it :-)

Makinavaja said...

Blimpy - that is without doubt the cruelest, least generous and downright evilest thing that has happened on this here blog since I joined. I salute you!

"If you tolerate this your children will be next" is a bit preachy perhaps but it caught my attention and I love the song. Especially the bit about shooting rabbits and fascists. (What did the poor bunnies do?). For downright silly the Stranglers' (The Strange Circumstances which lead to) Vladimir and Olga ("requesting" rehabilitation in a Siberian health resort as a result of furthering the peoples policies) takes some beating and led not only to my buying the 12" of Midnight Summer Dream but also to my pathetically "completist" quest to own all of the Vlad (brevity, at last!) chronicles.

bishbosh said...

@barbryn: The Johnny Boy track is ace, innit? I'm also slightly obsessed with songs that begin with those "Be My Baby" drums. But that may be a conversation for another time!

And that Los Campesinos song title is brilliant. Must check it out...

And yes, "Judy is a Dickslap" promises more than it delivers. Tsk.

bishbosh said...

@Blimpy: 16 seconds and she'd already started simultaneously growling and shrieking. I had to stop before my ears bled.

DarceysDad said...

@ Blimpy - I needed the fiver, and figured that for a rate of over forty quid an hour, I'd give it a go! My PC, not me, refused to play any more from 50 seconds in!

Blimpy said...

it seems like 30 seconds is the limit - shame cos she really gets going after that. Imagine being the poor chap who edited that together - that's sheer dedication to the bizzarest of causes!

I thought it was unbearable until i heard the xtina comp!

Blimpy said...

@darce - you're the frontrunner so far! but are you sure it was the PC? hem hem....

ToffeeBoy said...

Just about anything by Half Man Half Biscuit. My two personal favourites:

I Left My Heart In Papworth General

and

Emerging From Gorse

Blimpy said...

incidentally - i'm not a sadist - i had to seek out the horrors for work!!

DarceysDad said...

Guilty as charged, Blimpy.

The PC really did lock up at 50 seconds in. However, I left it to sort itself out, and when it did restart, I lasted another 28 seconds from that point. If I hadn't quit at that point, either my glass woulda done this, or my head woulda done this!

barbryn said...

Half Man Half Biscuit - of course. I'd wanted to hear "All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit" for years before I finally downloaded it.

If I wasn't working on severely restricted bandwidth, I'd set up a Genius Song Titles folder in the 'box.

Blimpy said...

@darce - tee hee hee and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz1j-GSSitg

Shoey said...

Rip, Rig & Panic, Fall, Liars & Mogwai give good title.

Like the Newsome - not sure 12 songs can be called a triple though & it could have used some editing, but then so could Sandinista.

Japanther said...

"If You're A Wizard, Then Why Do You Need Glasses?" by Liars......take that Harry Potter!!

Shoey said...

Make a wish, JP.

Japanther said...

I wish the bloody woman from the Thai travel agency would phone back soon so I can go to bed, it's 2.20 am for god's sake, i've got to be up in a few hours......

...can you help with that one Shoey?

Shoey said...

Sorted. Anything else?.....

Shoey said...

Can't take the Blimpy challenge yet, but always thought worst songs/tunes would be make a fun RR week. April 1 is coming up if gurus are notetaking. May be Phil Collin's only hope for an A-Z listing.

DaddyPig said...

Nick Lowe:

"For Every Woman Who Ever Made A Fool Of A Man, There's A Woman Made A Man Of A Fool"

and

"Time Wounds All Heels".

The songs are fine, but not as good as the titles.

saneshane said...

'A Normal Suburban Lifestyle Is A Near Impossibility Once You've Fallen In Love With An International Spy' by casiotone for the painfully alone.

it didn't get in surveillance or suburbia!

barbryn said...

Weird. I've just been walking around my new suburban home and was sketching out the plot for a comic novel I'll never write about a retired international spy attempting to live a normal suburban lifestyle.

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone also make it into the great band names category (alongside Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly, Suburban Kids With Biblical Names and We Were Promised Jetpacks).

Marconius7 said...

AFter I moved to Vancouver, whenever I went back to Quebec for a visit I'd pick up an album by a Franch Canadian artist - many of whom I was unfamiliar with. I picked up the album picture here: http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1591405/a/Aut'+Chose.htm because I liked the cover. The album was okay but not great.

AliMunday said...

Caravan's "In the Land of Grey and Pink" is a great album and has some cracking track titles, e.g." Love to love you (and tonight pigs will fly)";"Dance of the seven paper hankies" and "Hold grandad by the nose" - someone out there likes Caravan too, is it Toffeeboy?

Catcher said...

It's 18 songs on Joanna Newsom's album. I like it a lot, but I'm oddly disappointed that it doesn't sound as unique as her earlier releases.

Try this, Troy Hess' 'Please Don't Go Topless, Mother'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR1pBKjV1rI

Exodus said...

I warmed hugely to Black Sabbath when I found out they'd recorded a track called 'Fairies Wear Boots (and you'd better believe it).