Totally True Tune Tales: Think Before You Name

Note: This manifesto was written in 2002 by yours truly during a fit of irritation beyond all irritation. It’s short but to-the-point, reposted here because the holiday just absolutely sapped my brain. Stay tuned after the rant for a special bonus silliness.

Before I begin, I am going to say I’m highly qualified to write this post because I am a fantastic musician with lots of big hits. *cough* *yak*

Why do bands name their albums such gay shit?

Let me clarify here. If your first album is eponymous, that’s fine, cuz you’re just all getting your name out there and shit. That’s all good, it’s full of many happy days. But after that, album titles should mean something, dammit. Either artistically stupid (see Fiona Apple) or comically creative (see SOD), an album title should draw a person into an album and make it a whole. So why do so many people WASTE this?

It just seriously pisses me off when I look at an artist or band’s discography and it’s the most non-memorable, boring pile of laziness I’ve ever seen. Especially if the music isn’t legendary — see, that is why Led Zeppelin’s first three albums are excused from this argument, although at least they kept up a theme and therefore made the simplistic titles COUNT for something. And I’ll also excuse Seal, because it’s f*cking hilarious and confusing to have TWO self-titled albums. But now, think of any late ’80s or early ’90s hair band, and along with that, think of a brilliant album title. See? Shitty music, shitty titles. Gee, Slaughter, I bet it took a lot of creativity to name your albums “Stick It To Ya” and “The Wild Life.” Your next album should’ve been called “Lame Metal Cliche #287.” At least then people would remember you guys. And you, over there, REM: you’re just as guilty. Celine Dion, not only does your music suck complete ass, but you clearly have not a single creative bone in your body to name your f*cking albums with. And Creed, what the FUCK is “Weathered”? Do you really want to be remembered by “Weathered”? What’s the matter, did Celine Dion take “These Are Special Times” before YOU could?

You know who has some f*cking great album titles? Elton John. For his heyday years, anyway. They fit PERFECTLY with his albums and are something you can only associate with HIM when you hear them spoken. Same with the Rolling Stones. Motley Crue. Definitely Megadeth until Dave cleaned up. Red Hot Chili Peppers, with the same footnote as Megadeth. Joe Walsh. And damn near anyone who only sells 2000 copies of their album — I swear, the less time you have to spend waxing your 18 cars, the more time you come up with some legendary album titles. Unless you’re a washed up ’80s hair band, in which case your lack of time is cancelled out by lack of creativity and lack of ability to live in the now.

Anyhow, I don’t know exactly how I got all riled up about this. But I do have to say that as a kid, I came up with entire manifestos on how an album should flow and how important every element, from song order to fadeout vs definitive end for proper track-to-track flow to mood changes to placement of singles on the disc, is entirely crucial to making a great album. Many can make one good song, but to make an entire album where you don’t even think about skipping a song (it would just sound unnatural) is art. But… if you can’t name that chunk of art anything decent, nobody will remember it. This is why Nirvana has Nevermind, but it takes a bit of thought to remember Pearl Jam’s first album was named Ten.


(this is the super bonus rant!)

What the hell is up with the “meow, meow” song I keep hearing on the radio?

What do you mean, you don’t know any “meow, meow” song? I swear, there are meowing songs everywhere. Now quoting Days Of The New:

Yes I’ve finally found a reason, I don’t need an excuse
I’ve got this time on my hands, You are the one to abuse
One to abuse… OH!

And like that Collective Soul song from many years ago…

Give me a word, give me a sign
Show me where to look, tell me what will I find… what will I find
Lay me on the ground, fly me in the sky
Show me where to look, tell me what will I find… what will I find
(da na na NA na na NA na na na na NA) MEOW
(da na na NA na na NA na na na na NA) MEOW

Even Led Zeppelin did it…

We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow

I wonder if there’s a band slot open somewhere where I can just exclusively meow on records. I would be the meow player! Sure, I’d be taking innocent jobs away from meowing lead singers, but hey, everyone needs a break once in a while, right?

Whatever. I’ll just sit back and chill with some Joan Jett and let you people think I’m nuts.

I love rock ‘n’ roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock ‘n’ roll
So come on take your time and dance with me.