Talk Talk - "Talk Talk"

Self-titled albums are one thing. But when a band names one of its songs after itself — or, alternately, when a band names itself after one of its songs — it’s a pretty big deal. The song itself comes off looking something like a mission statement, an encapsulation of everything that the band means. When Bad Company names a song “Bad Company,” they want you to know that this song is what they’re all about.

Not too many bands have been brave enough to attempt this trick throughout history. For some reason, a lot of the bands who did attempt it were either metal or hardcore. We’ve collected 20 of them below, and some of them are pretty great. We’ve weeded out all the songs that are only partially named after the groups, which means we’ve weeded out some more pretty great songs. Honorable mentions include Queen’s “Killer Queen,” the Clash’s “This Is Radio Clash,” Big Country’s “In A Big Country,” the Stray Cats’ “Stray Cat Strut,” Das-EFX’s “They Want EFX,” Nas’s “Nas Is Like,” Refused’s “Refused Are Fucking Dead,” Wilco’s “Wilco (The Song),” and of course the Monkees’ “(Theme From) The Monkees.”

Check out our selections and stream the songs below. And in the comments section, let us know what we forgot.

1. Atari Teenage Riot – “Atari Teenage Riot” (1993)

2. Bad Company – “Bad Company” (1974)

3. Bad Religion – “Bad Religion” (1981)

4. Belle & Sebastian – “Belle & Sebastian” (1997)

5. Black Sabbath – “Black Sabbath” (1970)

6. Body Count – “Body Count” (1992)

7. Damn Yankees – “Damn Yankees” (1990)

8. Green Day – “Green Day” (1990)

9. Icehouse – “Icehouse (1980)

10. Iron Maiden – “Iron Maiden” (1980)

11. Kool & The Gang – “Kool & The Gang” (1969)

12. Meat Puppets – “Meat Puppets” (1982)

13. Minor Threat – “Minor Threat” (1981)

14. Motörhead – “Motörhead” (1975) *

15. Pennywise – “Pennywise” (1991)

16. Porno For Pyros – “Porno For Pyros” (1993)

17. Talk Talk – “Talk Talk” (1982)

18. They Might Be Giants – “They Might Be Giants” (1989)

19. Titus Andronicus – “Titus Andronicus” (2008)

20. Youth Of Today – “Youth Of Today” (1986)

* “Motörhead” gets an asterisk because it’s a cover, after a fashion. Before Lemmy founded Motörhead, he was a member of Hawkwind, and Hawkwind’s song “Motörhead” is what gave Lemmy’s new band its name. Also, I couldn’t find versions of “New Kids On The Block” by New Kids On The Block or “Judas Priest” by Judas Priest on YouTube. And that’s a live version of “Meat Puppets” and a demo version of “They Might Be Giants.” Rare misses, YouTube.

Comments (128)
  1. Wilco- “Wilco (the song)”

    • “We’ve weeded out all the songs that are only partially named after the groups… Honorable mentions include… Wilco’s “Wilco (The Song).”

  2. Sly and the Family Stone

  3. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

  4. I would argue that “Wilco (the song)” is the best song ever about being a song called “Wilco (the song)” by Wilco (the band)

  5. Crystal Stilts- Crystal Stilts

  6. ddogdunit  |   Posted on Jan 19th, 2012 -33

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • ddogdunit  |   Posted on Jan 19th, 2012 -31

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

      • I feel your pain…I hate it when we get extra, interesting content.

      • The comments section is the main appeal of stereogum to me. If you are only interested in news I would say a site like Pitchfork might be better for you. Or you could just not click on links that don’t interest you and only click on the ones that do.

      • Hey Ddogunit –
        I hear you! These lists are supposed to be fun — and people do seem to enjoy thinking of examples of whatever the topic is. (Perhaps we could all hang out at Union Pool and play music nerd games there, but instead we’re doing it here). We post them in addition to all the news that we normally post, something won’t fall through the cracks because of it. So feel free to skip over them.

    • Obvious troll is obvious.

      • I gave him an ironic thumbs up

      • ddogdunit  |   Posted on Jan 19th, 2012 -24

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        • Being a deliberate asshole makes nobody ever want to participate in a genuine dialogue with you about anything or ever take you seriously.

        • I may have been a huge dick with that comment. I guess I’m looking for a dumb discussion. As always.

          • The more I think about it, I need to stop commenting whenever someone makes a comment about why something sucks. I can never help myself. I truly don’t understand why people insist on unconstructively bitching about a post or letting everyone know how boring it is rather than just ignoring it and moving onto something else, but it’s not like I’m going to get an answer so what’s the point.

          • Well, for one, it cures boredom.

          • ddogdunit  |   Posted on Jan 19th, 2012 -14

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          • Fair, I disagree both with your presentation and content because you don’t write for this blog, and you don’t seem to like it, so I guess to reiterate what plb102 wrote, you are criticizing, nonconstructively, the content of a blog, and you’re doing in the comment section, which will accomplish nothing. If you want the content to change, then 1) write a blog yourself with content you like or 2) email any of the site’s editors with suggestions. otherwise, participate in the conversation or don’t. But bitching about a site in the comment section is like being a Liberal frequenting a Conservative newsfeed, and constantly berating the bias and subjects of articles. Nobody cares. Or to use a different analogy, it’s like you hate milk, and you keep drinking milk and then telling people at the table “fuck I hate this milk, it tastes gross this milk could be so much different” but you keep drinking the goddamn milk. Every morning, the same milk, and the same complaint. DRINK SOMETHING ELSE.

          • ddogdunit  |   Posted on Jan 19th, 2012 -12

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          • honest question, do the newer features like this one come at the expense of news and new music or are they in addition to them?

          • ddogdunit  |   Posted on Jan 19th, 2012 -10

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          • Re reading your initial comment, I guess you didn’t really imply that. It’s just that to me, that would be the only valid reason to bitch. If you really need everyone to know how much you think this feature sucks I suppose that is fine, but it seems like a huge waste of energy as opposed to just skipping the features you don’t like. I would say that at least you will probably make it into the worst comments of the week, but you probably think that feature is terrible too.

          • “The old lucky charms had rainbows and horseshoes, but what are these new moons and hearts, these marshmallows are bullshit!”

            If this was a pizza you ordered, then I would say obviously ‘Hey, you ordered no olives, and they keep putting some olives on your pizza and that is annoying, for sure.’

            But you didn’t order this pizza. It’s a free pizza. Sure they make money off the site! The authors get paid, of course. But you the consumer, you pay nothing but the time your eyes maybe dance around the page and land on advertising. That’s the cost to you. It’s not a high cost. Certainly not high enough to warrant the level of frustration and anger that there are a few olives on your basically free pizza.

            If you find yourself saying “Well I may be being a dick about this” then you’re being a dick about it. Guess what? Nobody likes it when you’re a dick about stuff. Seriously, you admit to being a dick and then you’re surprised about the result? What on earth?

            So if you’re kind and reasonable about it, that would be welcome. If you were like “Hey guys, look, I’m just wondering about the toppings on this totally free pizza…do we really need olives?” then that would be fine. But your tone is completely insane. “FUCKING OLIVES ON MY FREE PIZZA” is what it sounds like sometimes.

          • Here is a very recent example of someone making a comment that sparked genuine discussion about a feature on Stereogum that doesn’t come of like the person is entitled to something they don’t pay for.

          • ddogdunit  |   Posted on Jan 20th, 2012 -8

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          • ddogdunit, when it comes down to it I do agree that you can react to a post any way you want and you’ve already admitted to being a huge dick so I suppose we HAVE reached some level of understanding

    • You forgot the list the week’s best/worst comments list. I’m sure this will be featured on the latter part.

  7. The Thermals – Everything Thermals

    and i don’t know if it counts

    James Mercer’s old band Flake Music had a track called “the Shins”

  8. Jesu did the Motörhead thing too – Justin named it after a Godflesh song.

    Also any Atari Teenage Riot song could be in their spot because they are never not mentioning their own name in their stuff

  9. Kill Hannah – “Kill Hannah”

    …late-90′s when they were at their best

  10. Yo La Tengo- The Story of Yo La Tengo

  11. big country by big country is a pretty good song….

  12. This one’s not exact but close enough for government work.

    I’m From Barcelona – “We’re From Barcelona”

  13. Built to Spill!

  14. Bob Dylan- “Bob Dylan’s blues”, “Bob Dylan’s dream”?

  15. list is worthless without “new kids on the block” by new kids on the block!

  16. Warpaint – “Warpaint”

    One Day As A Lion – “One Day As A Lion”

    Night Ranger – “Night Ranger”

  17. O.C. Supertones – “O.C. Supertones”? Nah? Okay.

  18. I love this list for having They Might Be Giants on it.

  19. The song They Might Be Giants was on the album They Might Be Giants, which was released in 1986. The demo posted was from 1985.

  20. “Are You Jimmy Ray?” by Jimmy Ray ;)

  21. ICEHOUSE was an Australian band actually originally called FLOWERS — their first 3 albums came out under the name Flowers, the third of which, in 1980, was the album ICEHOUSE, which broke them (in Australia). In 1981 they had to change their name due to some Scottish band named The Flowers, and they chose to rename themselves Icehouse. So in this case the band, 4 years in the making, named themselves after what they thought best represented their music. Tell me, what could they do, Electric Blue?

  22. aias: aias
    veronica falls: veronica falls

  23. The Death Set- MFDS. Which, as the song makes immediately apparent, stands for “Mother Fucking Death Set”

  24. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Inside the World of the Blues Explosion

    • kinda surprised it took this long to get them a mention, since it seemed for a while there that Jon Spencer his own self was liable to ejaculate “Blues Explosion!” in the middle of just about every song they recorded.

  25. Renegade Soundwave – Renegade Soundwave

  26. Anyone know if Joy Division wrote Warsaw while their name was still Warsaw?

  27. Los Campesinos! – Death to Los Campesinos! :P

  28. Other honorable mentions: Bob Dylan’s “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” (and all other similarly titled Dylan songs). Also Destroyer’s “Destroyer’s the Temple,” and “Saddestroyer,” and while we’re on the Bejar thing there’s also “Ballad of a Swan Lake (Or, Daniel’s Song)” by Swan Lake, which really should count for two. Really, if one were to make a “most references to self within a song by a non-rapper” list, Dan Bejar would be tough to beat.

  29. Family of God – Family of God

  30. “Blackfield” by Blackfield. It was even released on the album Blackfield.

  31. “Living In A Box” by, er, Living In A Box, a top 20 hit in 1987. How soon we forget.

  32. “They Might Be Giants” is awesome because it wasn’t on TMBG’s self titled album.

    • There’s a band (they broke up) called Congratulations on Your Decision to Become a Pilot with a song called “Congratulations on Your Decision to Become a Pilot” from the album (you guessed it) Congratulations on Your Decision to Become a Pilot. It’s actually pretty good if you can track it down.

  33. I guess it doesn’t really count, but “The Court of the Crimson King” by King Crimson? Bad ass tune.

  34. What about longer titles that contain the band name? Then I’d add:
    Mogwai – Mogwai Fear Satan
    Handsome Furs – Handsome Furs Hate This City

    Both were on their debut after all.

    No Joy
    Summer Camp

  35. SLOWDIVE!!

  36. The Great Arcade Fire by Arcade Fire?
    It’s actually awfully mediocre but people don’t realize it exists.
    Also Who’s Afraid of the Art of Noise? by the Art of Noise,

  37. Lady and Bird — La Ballade Of Lady & Bird
    Rammstein — Rammstein
    And I’m not sure if it counts because it’s only an intro, but IAMX — I am X

  38. aaaaaaaaw shit! Body Counts in the house!

  39. madder rose – madder rose! TWEE. AS. FUCK.

  40. Slightly less related, Radiohead got their name from an absolutely wretched song from the Talking Heads, Radio Head. Which presents the possibility that Radiohead may have a thing for heads. Also contributing to this possibility are Scatter”brain”, Inside My “Head”, The “Head”master Ritual (Smiths Cover), and Melatonin (can be used as a preventive treatment for “head”aches and migraines). Therefore, sufficient evidence has been presented that craniums have had a major influence on the music of the legendary band Radiohead.


      =======KING OF LIMBS pt. II

      Code cracked. You’re welcome.

  41. Ramones – R.A.M.O.N.E.S.

  42. “Mister Heavenly” by Mister Heavenly

  43. Ice Ice Baby

  44. What about, The Blackouts– The Living Blue….Awesome Band..

  45. I know its a band that changed its name from there own song title ..almost the same;’;';

  46. “Iron Maiden” – Iron Maiden, off of the album ‘Iron Maiden’.
    Black Sabbath pulled off that triple as well

  47. Overkill

    Infectious Grooves

    The fact that you didn’t mention either of these makes me a little sad (and by “you” I mean everyone, not just tom.)

  48. Okkervil River – Okkervil River Song

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