Five Bands With Titular Songs

Sometimes, a musical group will like a particular phrase so much that they will use it in multiple contexts. For example, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is both the title of an album and a lyric in the song “Brain Damage,” which a lot of people think is actually called “The Dark Side of the Moon.” Phrases like this have such a nice ring to them that it almost seems a shame to use them only once. This is why you frequently see titular songs on albums (for example, “Excitable Boy” on the album Excitable Boy). Somewhat less frequent are the groups that either take their name from a song or write a song about their existing band. Such a thing is, at the very least, worth noting, don’t you think?

1. They Might Be Giants – “They Might Be Giants”

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This song comes near the end of TMBG’s classic record, Flood.  It contains the same seemingly-tossed off melodies and bizarro lyrics as everything else on the record, but this song plays with the group’s unwillingness to fit into a specific category. TMBG the group is all over the place, and with lyrics like “They might be brain They might be washed They might be Dr. Spock’s back-up band,” it’s pretty clear that they want to be just the tiniest bit inscrutable and unpredictable.

2. Motorhead – “Motorhead”

This song serves as a perfectly decent mission statement/entry point into the world of Motorhead in that it sounds exactly like Motorhead. If you listen to Motorhead’s song “Motorhead” and you like it, you’re probably going to like Motorhead.

Here’s a bunch of extra umlauts. Please distribute them as you see fit. ::::

3. Minor Threat – “Minor Threat”

Ian MacKaye’s Minor Threat rallied against a lot of societal ills during the Reagan-saturated early 80’s. Their brief, explosive song “Minor Threat” singles out members of society that are all too eager to conform, to become part of an all-enveloping system.

4. Belle and Sebastian – “Belle and Sebastian”

Though the Scottish band took its name from an obscure children’s show, “Belle and Sebastian” somehow seems to perfectly describe the group’s brand of indie-pop. Fittingly, the song is a loaded with the gentle vocals and chamber instruments that give this band their unique sound. The Belle and Sebastian song “Belle and Sebastian” sounds exactly like Belle and Sebastian.

5. Black Sabbath – “Black Sabbath”

Sludgy, slow and vaguely menacing? It’s all here. It’s somehow fitting that on the eve of Black Sabbath calling it quits forever, we return to the beginning. Before substance abuse turned his nervous system into turkey gravy, Ozzy Osbourne had one of the most chillingly effective voices in rock music. It is important that we remind ourselves of this every so often.


Any other titular songs I forgot? I refuse to believe it! I have named all of them! Prove me wrong.

Stay tuned for this piece’s sister list: “Three Artists That Wrote Theme Songs for Other Artists.”

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