Monday 21 October 2013

AAA Songs With The Same Titles As Other AAA Songs (Top Fifteen, News and Views 216)

Every so often it gets confusing. I'll be tweeting/writing/emailing about one particular AAA track and one of my followers will assume I'm talking about another one bya completely different AAA band. There are, after all, only a finite number of words in the English language and bands are much more likely to use certain words such as 'love' over and over again rather than, say, the word 'xylophone'. So here, this week, is our guide to the top fifteen song titles that have been used by at least two AAA bands and how different the songs are from each other. Note that we aren't counting 'covers' of the same songs (that would be cheating!) and due to space I've chosen not to include instances of the same band recording two songs with the same title (as per The Beach Bioys' 'All I Wanna Do' and 'All I Want To Do' a mere album apart or The Monkees doing two songs named 'You and I' with a difference of 28 years). Note the fact that some bands crop up on this list and others not at all: perhaps The Beach Boys and The Kinks in particular took an interest in other people's song titles?! I've also been quite hard on the similarities of the names, the only difference granted being the singular and plural of the same word (that's whether there's an 's' or not in normal speak!) So anyway here they are, in strict alphabetical order:

"Breakaway/Break Away"

(Art Garfunkel "Breakaway" 1974/Beach Boys A side 1969)

The Beach Boys' last single for Capitol records and of the 1960s is a bittersweet reflection on cutting free, written by Brian Wilson in collaboration with his dad Murray for the only time (under the odd choice of pseudonym Reggie Dunbar).My personal favourite Beach Boys its catchy and happy whilst making it clear that the optimism is born from a dark period in the narrator's life. By contrast Art Garfunkel's song (with guests Crosby and Nash on backing vocals) is pure happiness and joy, all about breaking free and not thinking about the bad parts.


(The Hollies 'Stay With The Hollies' 1963/Grateful Dead "American Beauty" 1970)

The Hollies probably weren't aware that their favourite Freddy Neil song was all about drugs when they included it as the last track of their debut album (although, as we've often said on this website, the Hollies tended to get away with more than most thanks to their more fulsome image - and the hints of sex and drugs on their albums can't all have been entirely innocent). A rousing blues number about a man who comes and gives a girl 'candy kisses every single night', the candyman himself is a hero greeted with warmth by all and sundry. By contrast the Grateful Dead make no bones about the fact that their candyman is a drug pusher (or possibly a sex fiend) but they're much more melancholic about the whole thing, Jerry Garcia's vocal at its most vulnerable and quiet here on his and Bob Hunter's song. This candyman is greeted with fear and awe, the characters in the song afraid every time he comes round but unable to without their regular fix of what he has to sell. A mournful pedal steel couldn't sit in greater contrast to Bobby Elliott's rat-a-tat drums on the Hollies song.


(Rolling Stones 'Between The Buttons' 1967/Jefferson Starship 'Nuclear Furniture' 1984)

Two very different songs about the same thing - relationships. The Rolling Stones' song is their most basic and R and B influenced track on their first (and best) psychedelic opus of an album, proclaiming 'All I want to do is be with you' as the narrator tries to get it together with his girl. The Jefferson Starship song, though, is part of a suite about mankind picking himself up after world war III and building a new society without the walls and prejudices of the 'old world'. 'Cease this endless struggle, it only hurts the children!'

"Heart Of Gold"

(Lulu 'Something To Shout About' 1964/Neil Young 'Harvest' 1972/The Kinks 'State Of Confusion' 1983)

Neil's take on this subject is perhaps his most famous song, the narrator mining for gold a metaphor for the love-lorn lover trying to find his heart's desire and looking round the world for it. 'I've been a miner and I'm growing old' indeed. The Kinks' lesser known version is more literal, telling the tale of a young girl (possibly one of Ray's daughters, maybe memories of his brother Dave or even himself, almost definitely inspired by Princess Anne being rude to the media) overlooked by noisier elder siblings and developing a bitter mask to hide it all. Ray Davies is in sunny mood, though, and admits that 'underneath that crude exterior you've got a heart of gold', warning the subject of the song to 'watch out' in case that heart is taken for good.

"Here Comes The Night"

(Beach Boys 1967 and 1979 'Wild Honey' and 'L.A. Light Album' and Lulu 'Something To Shout About' 1964)
The Beach Boys' twin takes on their same song couldn't be more different: the original is a tight two minute soul pastiche that covers a lot of ground - the second is a disco re-recording that split fans right down the middle and lasts a whopping eleven minutes (personally, I love it). The theme of the songs are of the narrator waiting for the night time to fall because - to quote another Brian Wilson song altogether - 'night time is the right time'. Lulu is thinking along the same lines in her moody cover of a song most famously sang by Van Morrison, but the night is a time of tragedy because the narrator is all alone and can't hide from the fact she's split with her sweetheart.

"It's Alright"

(The Searchers 'Meet The Searchers' 1963/The Kinks B Side 1964 and 'Phobia' 1993/Graham Nash 'Earth and Sky' 1979/Yoko Ono 'It's Alright I See Rainbows' 1984)

Interestingly, by far the most popular AAA title of them all. Both the Searchers and early Kinks songs are Merseybeat masterpieces in miniature, punky aggressive two minute songs that don't get far beyond telling us that the narrator is in love and feeling 'alllrrriiiiggghhhttt!' The two songs are very similar, actually, even though the first is a cover song dating back to the late 50s and the latter is one of Ray Davies' earliest compositions. Zoom forward a few years and Graham Nash is using his title of 'It's Alright' for a sensitive ballad about trying to come to terms with middle age and the fact that not all relationships survive that long. Yoko, meanwhile, is still mourning the loss of John and the title track of her second post-assassination album is, much like that whole LP, a fake as a heartbroken widow pretends to her child that everything will be OK when she knows it won't be. Finally, The Kinks' 1993 version is subtitled 'Don't Think About It' and is a Dave Davies song about people blindly leading their lives without realising the bigger picture - the 'it's alright' here being used as sarcasm. So there you have it: the same phrased used twice as expressions of joy, once as a calming method, once as obfuscation and once as a brutal attack.

"One Of These Days"

(Pink Floyd 'Meddle' 1971/Neil Young 'Harvest Moon' 1992)

These two songs from 20 years apart couldn't be more different either. Pink Floyd's take on the phrase 'One Of These Days' was originally subtitled 'I'm Going To Cut You Into Little Pieces', which will give you some idea of what a dark and hard-edged near-instrumental this rocker is. By contrast, Neil Young celebrates his 47th birthday by sitting down to 'write a long letter' to 'all the good friends I've known' - before figuring that they all know he loves them anyway and turns it into a song instead. One of his more cloying, sentimental songs it's interesting that this one of several songs from 'Harvest Moon' on this list. Nice tune though.


(Buffalo Springfield 'Last Time Around' 1968/Moody Blues 'A Question Of Balance' 1970)

The Buffalo Springfield take on Stephen Stills' 'Questions' was actually a solo cut that was meant to be saved for a solo album but ending up being re-recorded anyway as the grand finale of 'Carry On', the much talked about opening track from CSNY's 'Deja Vu'. One of many Stills songs from this period about his on-off relationship with Judy Collins, it's a kind of prequel to 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes' with the singer being pulled this way and that, unsure whether to commit properly or run away. The Moodies' take on the same theme typically has a much wider source, with the narrator questioning the unfair way the world works and only revealing in the quieter sections (originally part of another Justin Hayward song entirely) that the narrator is vulnerable because he's just split up from his partner. Two very different questions ut neither of them have any answers, ending the songs as confused as ever.

"(A)Round and (A)Round"

(Neil Young 'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere' 1969 and Pink Floyd 'A Momentary Lapse Of Reason' 1987)
A bit of a last minute discovery this one. The one slow moment on Neil Young's noisy first record with Crazy Horse, 'Round and Round' features Neil, Danny Whitten and sometime girlfriend Robyn Lane rocking on rocking chairs and singing to their acoustics about how life goes round in circles. Pink Floyd may well have been thinking the same with their similar acoustic instrumental tacked onto the end of 'Yet Another Movie', though how this 30 second instrumental got its name (por why it made the album indexed as a separate track) is another thing altogether.


(The Moody Blues 'Magnificent Moodies' 1965 and Pink Floyd 'The Wall' 1979)

Two very different AAA songs here. The Moodies' - discussed only a few issues ago - is a typical mid 60s pop song, Denny Laine and Mike Pinder trying to get their girl to 'stop' in her tracks and give their love another chance (the song even stops and starts in a very clever manner). The Floyd's take on 'Stop!' is sung by character Pink, now nearing the end of the story when he's so trapped in by his own wall of paranoia built by greedy managers, cruel teachers and uncaring girlfriends and on trial for his very life. 'Stop!' he shouts, just as the record has built up to its noisiest point, 'I want to go home...', thus starting Pink's journey back to his true self on very humble terms.


(Cat Stevens 'Mona Bone Jakon' 1970/Pink Floyd 'Dark Side Of The Moon' 1973'/Dennis Wilson 'Pacific Ocean Blue' 1977)

There are dozens of AAA songs about time - it might well be the most common theme after 'love' in fact - and there are three that simply use the one words 'time' as their title. All three are really about not having time and come from very troubled periods for all three writers/bands. Cat Stevens' take on 'Time' comes from the period when he was dying from TB with so much work left undone, mournfully concluding 'time leaves you nothing, nothing at all'. Pink Floyd's 'Time' is the 'aging' part of their 'Dark Side Of The Moon' about the pressures of life on all of us and how 'one day you find ten years have got behind you'. Finally Dennis Wilson's 'Time' doesn't mention the word anywhere but is clearly about knowing that time is running short to make peace with his beloved and turn his life around by not messing around with anyone else anymore (Dennis died four years later - many of his friends and family were amazed he lasted that long). All three are among the moodier songs in their artist's respective catalogue and also their best.


(10cc B side 1972 and Paul McCartney "McCartney II" 1980)

These two songs are surprisingly similar. 10cc's song 'Waterfalls' - originally intended as their first single before it got flipped in favour of 'Donna', written as the B-side - is about being overwhelmed by a relationship that's taking place too fast for the narrator to think. Paul McCartney's gorgeous take on 'Waterfall' is also a song about danger, but it's used as a warning: 'don't go chasing waterfalls' indeed (or chasing polar bears, which is useful advice), about meddling with things that are overwhelming. Interestingly, both songs make early use of synthesisers - 10cc were among the first to get to grips with the mellotron for their murky unrelenting instrumental while Macca is playing about with an early version of the modern electronic synthfor a song that's much starker and barer.

"When I Get Home"

(The Beatles 'A Hard Day's Night' 1964 and Pentangle 'Reflection' 1971)

As seen above in our weekly review, Pentangle turn the usual concept of this phrase on it's head. While other bands (such as the Beatles in 1964) can't wait to get home (and will in fact 'love' their loved ones 'till the cows come home'), Pentangle's narrator is dreading going home. He's been off boozing with his chums and hasn't noticed the time and even though he's afraid of upsetting his wife he's too afraid of her to go back yet. In fact he ends the song by wishing he wasn't married at all so he could stay in the pub all day, but then figures he probably wouldn't have much of a 'home' to go to! The Beatles' version is one of their happiest, most carefree, upbeat songs - by contrast Pentangle's is one of the saddest songs in their entire back catalogue.

"Writing On The Wall"

(The Hollies 'A Crazy Steal' 1979 and George Harrison 'Somewhere In England' 1981)

I wonder what made two AAA bands use the phrase so close to each other in time when it's one that has been around for generations. Perhaps George Harrison was still keeping a close eye on his old Northern rivals The Hollies, who got their first by slightly over a year with their version of the title. Both songs are similar in feel, quiet slow understated ballads that only grow into full fire by the last verse but the lyrics to the two are actually quite different. The Hollies' version is lost and lonely, he's seen 'the writing on the wall' but doesn't know what it will mean (we haven't written our review of 'A Crazy Steal' yet but when we do we'll be making the point that it's full of songs like these, with the group at a low ebb and growing apart). Harrison's is more of a warning - characteristically religious in origin - urging anyone listening to him to change their lives because 'the writing's on the wall' for all of us when judgement day comes.

"You and Me"

(The Moody Blues 'Seventh Sojourn' 1972 and Neil Young 'Harvest Moon' 1992)

Finally two AAA songs of togetherness that sound very different to each other. The Moodies' version of 'You and Me' is all about worldly togetherness and how mankind has to learn to live together if any of him is to survive at all, held together by a marvellously clever guitar riff that makes this song one of the band's very best rockers. Neil Young's version - again taken from 'Harvest Moon' - is more personal, a wounded narrator sitting under a tree thinking about 'you and me' in an edgy, frightened-sounding ballad that interestingly was started the same year the Moodies wrote their song (1972) but left unfinished for another 20 years. In the intervening time Neil comes to look on the relationship (presumably Carrie Snodgrass) quite differently now he's been happily married for some 15 years and instead of being young and restless is now 'an old man sitting there, touch of grey
 but he don't care'.

And that's that for another issue. Be sure to join us next week when there'll be less repetition of names, but also probably some hesitation and deviation as normal. See you then!

A NOW COMPLETE List Of Top Five/Top Ten/TOP TWENTY  Entries 2008-2019
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2) Songs For The Face Of Bo

3) Credit Crunch Songs

4) Songs For The Autumn

5) National Wombat Week

6) AAA Box Sets

7) Virus Songs

8) Worst AAA-Related DVDs

9) Self-Punctuating Superstar Classics

10) Ways To Know You Have Turned Into A Collector

11) Political Songs

12) Totally Bonkers Concept Albums

13) Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

14) Still Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

15) AAA Existential Questions

16) Releases Of The Year 2008

17) Top AAA Xmas Songs

18) Notable AAA Gigs

19) All things '20' related for our 20th issue

20) Romantic odes for Valentine's Day

21) Hollies B sides

22) 'Other' BBC Session Albums

23) Beach Boys Rarities Still Not Available On CD

24) Songs John, Paul and George wrote for Ringo's solo albums

25) 5 of the Best Rock 'n' Roll Tracks From The Pre-Beatles Era

26) AAA Autobiographies

27) Rolling Stones B-sides

28) Beatles B-Sides

29) The lllloooonnngggeesssttt AAA songs of all time

30) Kinks B-Sides

31) Abandoned CSNY projects 'wasted on the way'

32) Best AAA Rarities and Outtakes Sets

33) News We've Missed While We've Been Away

34) Birthday Songs for our 1st Anniversary

35) Brightest Album Covers

36) Biggest Recorded Arguments

37) Songs About Superheroes

38) AAA TV Networks That Should Exist

39) AAA Woodtsock Moments

40) Top Moments Of The Past Year As Voted For By Readers

41) Music Segues

42) AAA Foreign Language Songs

43) 'Other' Groups In Need Of Re-Mastering

44) The Kinks Preservation Rock Opera - Was It Really About The Forthcoming UK General Election?

45) Mono and Stereo Mixes - Biggest Differences

46) Weirdest Things To Do When A Band Member Leaves

47) Video Clips Exclusive To Youtube (#1)

48) Top AAA Releases Of 2009

49) Songs About Trains

50) Songs about Winter

51) Songs about astrology plus horoscopes for selected AAA members

52) The Worst Five Groups Ever!

53) The Most Over-Rated AAA Albums

54) Top AAA Rarities Exclusive To EPs

55) Random Recent Purchases (#1)

56) AAA Party Political Slogans

57) Songs To Celebrate 'Rock Sunday'

58) Strange But True (?) AAA Ghost Stories

59) AAA Artists In Song

60) Songs About Dogs

61) Sunshiney Songs

62) The AAA Staff Play Their Own Version Of Monoploy/Mornington Crescent!

63) What 'Other' British Invasion DVDs We'd Like To See

64) What We Want To Place In Our AAA Time Capsule

65) AAA Conspiracy Theroies

66) Weirdest Things To Do Before - And After - Becoming A Star

67) Songs To Tweet To

68) Greatest Ever AAA Solos

69) John Lennon Musical Tributes

70) Songs For Halloween

71) Earliest Examples Of Psychedelia

72) Purely Instrumental Albums

73) AAA Utopias

74) AAA Imaginary Bands

75) Unexpected AAA Cover Versions

76) Top Releases of 2010

77) Songs About Snow

78) Predictions For 2011

79) AAA Fugitives

80) AAA Home Towns

81) The Biggest Non-Musical Influences On The 1960s

82) AAA Groups Covering Other AAA Groups

83) Strange Censorship Decisions

84) AAA Albums Still Unreleased on CD

85) Random Recent Purchases (#2)

86) Top AAA Music Videos

87) 30 Day Facebook Music Challenge

88) AAA Documentaries

89) Unfinished and 'Lost' AAA Albums

90) Strangest AAA Album Covers

91) AAA Performers Live From Mars (!)

92) Songs Including The Number '100' for our 100th Issue

93) Most Songs Recorded In A Single Day

94) Most Revealing AAA Interviews

95) Top 10 Pre-Fame Recordings

96) The Shortest And Longest AAA Albums

97) The AAA Allstars Ultimate Band Line-Up

98) Top Songs About Sports

99) AAA Conversations With God

100) AAA Managers: The Good, The Bad and the Financially Ugly

101) Unexpected AAA Cameos

102) AAA Words You can Type Into A Caluclator

103) AAA Court Cases

104) Postmodern Songs About Songwriting

105) Biggest Stylistic Leaps Between Albums

106) 20 Reasons Why Cameron Should Go!

107) The AAA Pun-Filled Cookbook

108) Classic Debut Releases

109) Five Uses Of Bird Sound Effects

110) AAA Classic Youtube Clips Part #1

111) Part #2

112) Part #3

113) AAA Facts You Might Not Know

114) The 20 Rarest AAA Records

115) AAA Instrumental Songs

116) Musical Tarot

117) Christmas Carols

118) Top AAA Releases Of 2011

119) AAA Bands In The Beano/The Dandy

120) Top 20 Guitarists #1

121) #2

122) 'Shorty' Nomination Award Questionairre

123) Top Best-Selling AAA Albums

124) AAA Songs Featuring Bagpipes

125) A (Hopefully) Complete List Of AAA Musicians On Twitter

126) Beatles Albums That Might Have Been 1970-74 and 1980

127) DVD/Computer Games We've Just Invented

128) The AAA Albums With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

129) The AAA Singles With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

130) Lyric Competition (Questions)

131) Top Crooning Classics

132) Funeral Songs

133) AAA Songs For When Your Phone Is On Hold

134) Random Recent Purchases (#3)

135) Lyric Competition (Answers)

136) Bee Gees Songs/AAA Goes Disco!

137) The Best AAA Sleevenotes (And Worst)

138) A Short Precise Of The Years 1962-70

139) More Wacky AAA-Related Films And Their Soundtracks

140) AAA Appearances On Desert Island Discs

141) Songs Exclusive To Live Albums

142) More AAA Songs About Armageddon

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161) AAA Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speeches

162) AAA Re-Recordings Of Past Songs

163) A Coalition Christmas (A Fairy Tale)

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167) Tributes To The 10 AAA Stars Who Died The Youngest

168) The First 10 AAA Songs Listed Alphabetically

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180) First Recordings By Future AAA Stars

185) A Tribute To Storm Thorgerson Via The Five AAA Bands He Worked With

188) Surprise! Celebrating 300 Album Reviews With The Biggest 'Surprises' Of The Past Five Years Of Alan's Album Archives!

190) Comparatively Obscure First Compositions By AAA Stars

193) Evolution Of A Band: Comparing First Lyric With Last Lyric:

200) The Monkees In Relation To Postmodernism (University Dissertation)

202) Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain': Was It About One Of The AAA Crew?

217) AAA 'Christmas Presents' we'd most like to have next year

221) Dr Who and the AAA (Five Musical Links)

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229) The Stories Behind Six AAA Logos

230) AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! The Best Ten AAA Screams

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232) AAA Granamas - Sorry, Anagrams!

233) AAA Surnames and Their Meanings

234) 20 Erroneous AAA Album Titles

235) The Best AAA Orchestral Arrangements

236) Top 30 Hilariously Misheard Album Titles/Lyrics

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238) A Critique On Critiquing - In Response To Brian Wilson

239) The Ten MusicianS Who've Played On The Most AAA Albums

240) Thoughts on #CameronMustGo

241) Random Recent Purchases (Kinks/Grateful Dead/Nils Lofgren/Rolling Stones/Hollies) 

242) AAA Christmas Number Ones 

243) AAA Review Of The Year 2014 (Top Releases/Re-issues/Documentaries/DVDs/Books/Songs/ Articles  plus worst releases of the year)

244) Me/CFS Awareness Week 2015

245) Why The Tory 2015 Victory Seems A Little...Suspicious

246) A Plea For Peace and Tolerance After The Attacks on Paris - and Syria

247) AAA Review Of The Year 2015

248) The Fifty Most Read AAA Articles (as of December 31st 2015)

249) The Revised AAA Crossword!

251) Half-A-Dozen Berries Plus One (An AAA Tribute To Chuck Berry)

252) Guest Post: ‘The Skids – Joy’ (1981) by Kenny Brown

254) Guest Post: ‘Supertramp – Some Things Never Change’ by Kenny Brown

255) AAA Review Of The Year 2018

256) AAA Review Of The Year 2019 plus Review Of The Decade 2010-2019

257) Tiermaker

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