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Old 10-06-2017, 10:47 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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Songs written to diss other songs

In another thread the question of "Least favorite Dylan song" came up, and "Gotta Serve Somebody" immediately came to mind-an insipid tribute to his recent conversion to Christianity. It so annoyed John Lennon that he wrote a vitriolic response to it, "Serve Yourself". In fact, he made 12 different home recordings, but my favorite(and hardest hitting) can be found on the John Lennon Anthology album.

Anyone else have examples of "Non-tribute" tribute songs about other songs?
  #2  
Old 10-06-2017, 10:55 AM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is offline
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Best exemplified, IMO, by the Roxanne Wars of the 1980s.
Quote:
In 1984, the hip-hop trio U.T.F.O., produced by the R&B group Full Force, released a single titled "Hanging Out," which did not do well. However, it was the single's B side, "Roxanne, Roxanne", a song about a woman who would not respond to their advances, that gained much attention and airplay.

Soon afterwards, 14-year-old Lolita Shanté Gooden was walking outside a New York City housing project called Queensbridge, when she heard Tyrone Williams, disc jockey Mr. Magic, and record producer Marley Marl talking about how U.T.F.O. had canceled their appearance at a show they were promoting.[1][2][3] Gooden offered to make a hip-hop record that would get back at U.T.F.O., with her taking on the moniker Roxanne Shanté, after her middle name. The three took her up on the idea, with Marley producing "Roxanne's Revenge." The single was released in late 1984, taking the original beats from an instrumental version of "Roxanne, Roxanne." It was very confrontational and laced with profanities, but was an instant hit that sold over 250,000 copies in the New York area alone. Legal action followed, and it was re-released in early 1985 with new beats and the obscenities removed.

Following this, U.T.F.O. and Full Force decided to release their own answer record. While not directly aimed at Roxanne Shanté, this record featured Elease Jack, who took on the moniker of the Real Roxanne (and was soon replaced by Adelaida Martinez).[4] This also was a hit, but it may have also produced an undesired result: while there had been answer records before (such as the semi-disco song "Somebody Else's Guy" and "Games People Play"/"Games Females Play"), they usually ended with the second recording. But in this saga, with a third record in airplay, a whole new trend began. The airwaves were so occupied with the three "Roxanne" records that other MCs decided to get into the act. Over the next year, anywhere from 30 to over 100 answer records (according to different claims) were produced, portraying Roxanne's family, or making various claims about her.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 10-06-2017 at 10:58 AM.
  #3  
Old 10-06-2017, 11:08 AM
Prof. Pepperwinkle Prof. Pepperwinkle is offline
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Once more with feeling: John Lennon's How Do You Sleep At Night was directed at Paul McCartney, regarding what John thought were personal insults on Paul's Ram album.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:11 AM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Sweet Home Alabama has that part in it that rags on Neil Young.
  #5  
Old 10-06-2017, 11:11 AM
xizor xizor is offline
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A classic one is Sweet Home Alabama calling out Neil Young and his Southern Man song.

"Well I heard Mr. Young sing about her
I heard ol' Neil put her down
I hope Neil Young will remember
A southern man don't need him around anyhow"
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  #6  
Old 10-06-2017, 11:11 AM
septimus septimus is online now
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I'm afraid these are not what you're looking for, but ...

Neil Young's Alabama was answered by Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama. (There were no hard feelings; Young sometimes performed Sweet Home with Skynyrd!)

In Billie Jean, Michael Jackson insisted that "the kid is not my son." Lydia Murdock's Superstar claimed that Jackson was lying.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:11 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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The song Eve of Destruction (written by P.F. Sloan in 1964, but famously recorded by Barry McGuire in 1965) struck a nerve and solicited a lot of response, including at least three songs offering a dissenting point of view:

Quote:
The American media helped popularize the song by using it as an example of everything that was wrong with the youth of that time.[6] The song also drew flak from conservatives. A group called The Spokesmen released a partial parody and answer record entitled "The Dawn of Correction". A few months later, Green Beret medic SSgt. Barry Sadler released the patriotic "Ballad of the Green Berets". Johnny Sea's spoken word recording, "Day For Decision", was also a response to the song.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eve_of...ion_%28song%29
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:12 AM
Quercus Quercus is offline
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Lynrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" was a response to Neil Young's "Southern Man"

Edit to add: Well, that escalated quickly. Day of the ninja's I guess.

Last edited by Quercus; 10-06-2017 at 11:13 AM.
  #9  
Old 10-06-2017, 11:15 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
Lynrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" was a response to Neil Young's "Southern Man"

Edit to add: Well, that escalated quickly. Day of the ninja's I guess.
And three of them at the same time.
  #10  
Old 10-06-2017, 11:18 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
Lynrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" was a response to Neil Young's "Southern Man"

Edit to add: Well, that escalated quickly. Day of the ninja's I guess.
And yet no one's mentioned Warren Zevon's "Play it All Night Long," which disses "Sweet Home Alabama."
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  #11  
Old 10-06-2017, 11:20 AM
JeffB JeffB is offline
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"Rio" by Duran Duran.


Oh, sorry, wrong SDMB meme.
  #12  
Old 10-06-2017, 11:23 AM
septimus septimus is online now
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Yankee Doodle, sung by the Redcoats to ridicule the uncultured bumpkins revolting against King George III, became its own diss song when the Yankees began singing it back to taunt the Redcoats after the resounding American victory in the Battle of Saratoga.
  #13  
Old 10-06-2017, 11:32 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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How about this? Led Zep's Black Dog's famous riff and off-time groove was designed by the Zepper's to demonstrate that they were a level above other slogging 4/4 heavy rock bands.

I have read an interview of JPJ where he says that's a myth, but I could swear I heard an interview with Jimmy Page where he supported it.
  #14  
Old 10-06-2017, 11:39 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Matthew Fisher's "Going for a Song" is an extended diss of "A Whiter Shade of Pale." Fisher was in the original Procul Harum and evidently grew tired of playing it. (Though that didn't discourage him from claiming a songwriting credit years later.)
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  #15  
Old 10-06-2017, 11:52 AM
DCnDC DCnDC is offline
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NWA had an interlude in their second (and final) album Niggaz4Life titled "Message to B.A." about their former member Ice Cube, who had left the group over a dispute with Eazy-E and Jerry Heller, who he accused of holding out on him ("B.A." standing for "Benedict Arnold").

Cube responded with "No Vaseline" which was mostly about Eazy and Heller, but the other members of NWA were not spared either.

Dr. Dre would later respond with the hit "Fuck wit Dre Day (and Everybody's Celebratin')" dissing Eazy, Heller, and Cube.

Eazy would respond to that with "Real Muthaphuckkin G's."

The whole thing died when Eazy did.
  #16  
Old 10-06-2017, 12:19 PM
TwoCarrotSnowman TwoCarrotSnowman is offline
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Nobody's mentioned it yet, but Sweet Home Alabama has a go at Neil Young.
  #17  
Old 10-06-2017, 01:51 PM
Loach Loach is online now
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I think you can leave out rap and hip hop because the answer would be "most of them" (slight exaggeration).
  #18  
Old 10-06-2017, 02:07 PM
BeeGee BeeGee is offline
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Hank Thompson wrote "The Wild Side of Life" about a faithless wife who left her man. In the (frankly whiney) chorus, he sings "I didn't know God made honky-tonk angels. I might have known you'd never make a wife." Kitty Wells responded with* "It Wasn't God who Made Honky Tonk Angels" including the line "too many times married men think they're still single and caused many a good girl to go wrong."

*she sang it; she didn't write it.
  #19  
Old 10-06-2017, 02:09 PM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
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Night Ranger's "Big Life" takes a swipe at Huey Lewis & the News' "Hip to be Square".
  #20  
Old 10-06-2017, 02:09 PM
drad dog drad dog is offline
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Neil Young's Southern Man was an answer to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"?

California Girls by the Beach Boys was a prequel, already existing answer to Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

believe it or not!
  #21  
Old 10-06-2017, 03:20 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
I'm afraid these are not what you're looking for, but ...

Neil Young's Alabama was answered by Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama. (There were no hard feelings; Young sometimes performed Sweet Home with Skynyrd!)
Young even acknowledged that his own song deserved the ridicule.

Quote:
In his 2012 autobiography Waging Heavy Peace, Young commented on his role in the song's creation, writing "My own song 'Alabama' richly deserved the shot Lynyrd Skynyrd gave me with their great record. I don't like my words when I listen to it. They are accusatory and condescending, not fully thought out, and too easy to misconstrue".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_...ma#Controversy
  #22  
Old 10-06-2017, 03:29 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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Every Taylor Swift and Katy Perry song ever?
  #23  
Old 10-06-2017, 04:31 PM
mbh mbh is offline
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"Back in the USSR" was a parody of "California Girls".
  #24  
Old 10-06-2017, 04:47 PM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
I think you can leave out rap and hip hop because the answer would be "most of them" (slight exaggeration).
Will not leave it out no matter what you say.

Sporty Theivz's No Pigeons was their second and last release. It's the answer to TLC's No Scrubs. I do remember guys around me singing No Pigeons but it is such an inferior song that I'm not sure it had a lot of traction outside New York.
  #25  
Old 10-06-2017, 05:52 PM
gigi gigi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggirl View Post
Will not leave it out no matter what you say.

Sporty Theivz's No Pigeons was their second and last release. It's the answer to TLC's No Scrubs. I do remember guys around me singing No Pigeons but it is such an inferior song that I'm not sure it had a lot of traction outside New York.
"Pigeons" being like "chickenheads" for the same reason??

Then there's

Kool Moe Dee “How Ya Like Me Now?”
LL Cool J “Jack the Ripper”
Kool Moe Dee “Let's Go”
etc.
  #26  
Old 10-06-2017, 05:56 PM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post
"Pigeons" being like "chickenheads" for the same reason??
Yeup.
  #27  
Old 10-06-2017, 06:21 PM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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Woodie Guthrie wrote "This Land is Your Land" in response to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America".
  #28  
Old 10-06-2017, 06:56 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
And yet no one's mentioned Warren Zevon's "Play it All Night Long," which disses "Sweet Home Alabama."
I don’t see that song ‘dissing’ Sweet Home Alabama. The lyric is,

“Sweet Home Alabama - play that dead band’s song.
Turn those speakers up full blast, play it all night long.”

The context is that it’s a song about how miserable country living can be, and playing that song all night long is a way to escape the misery - but even that band is dead. Misery all around.

The other way to interpret the song is as a contrast between the reality of southern poor country living and the uplifting version of it exemplified in Sweet Home Alabama. But I don’t believe Zevon had any quarrel with the band or the song.
  #29  
Old 10-06-2017, 07:12 PM
TonySinclair TonySinclair is offline
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Not just one song, but a whole genre:

"One more song about movin' along the highway
Can't say much of anything that's new." --- Carole King, "So Far Away"

There's also Peter Paul and Mary's "I Dig Rock and Roll Music" that takes shots at the songs sung by the Beatles and the Mommas and Poppas.
  #30  
Old 10-06-2017, 07:13 PM
DCnDC DCnDC is offline
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Jay-Z's "Takeover" was a shot at Nas and Mobb Deep.

Nas responded with "Ether," still considered by many to be the zenith of the hip-hop diss track to this day.

Jay-Z would respond, but Nas had pretty much cleaned his clock already.
  #31  
Old 10-06-2017, 07:21 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Dylan's "Clothes Line Saga" from the Basement Tapes, is a parody of "Ode to Billie Joe."
  #32  
Old 10-06-2017, 07:22 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Weird Al Yankovic's song parodies are usually directed at some other target. But "Achy Breaky Song" is a parody of "Achy Breaky Heart" that targets the original song.
  #33  
Old 10-06-2017, 07:40 PM
Smapti Smapti is offline
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After Ed Sheeran wrote "Don't" about his fling and breakup with Ellie Goulding, Goulding wrote "On My Mind" as a counterattack.

And then there's Mojo Nixon's "Don Henley Must Die", which specifically singles out "Hotel California" and Henley winning the Grammy for Best Rock Vocalist on "Boys of Summer".

Last edited by Smapti; 10-06-2017 at 07:42 PM.
  #34  
Old 10-06-2017, 07:54 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Weird Al Yankovic's song parodies are usually directed at some other target. But "Achy Breaky Song" is a parody of "Achy Breaky Heart" that targets the original song.
The same with "(This Song's Just) Six Words Long", which is a parody of "Got My Mind Set On You" by George Harrison, although I'd call it more of an affectionate satire than a diss.
  #35  
Old 10-06-2017, 07:59 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
I don’t see that song ‘dissing’ Sweet Home Alabama. The lyric is,

“Sweet Home Alabama - play that dead band’s song.
Turn those speakers up full blast, play it all night long.”

The context is that it’s a song about how miserable country living can be, and playing that song all night long is a way to escape the misery - but even that band is dead. Misery all around.

The other way to interpret the song is as a contrast between the reality of southern poor country living and the uplifting version of it exemplified in Sweet Home Alabama. But I don’t believe Zevon had any quarrel with the band or the song.
Well, Lynryrd Skynyrd had no quarrel with Neil Young, either (he was planning to perform it with them before the crash), but "play that dead band's song" sounds like a dis to me.
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  #36  
Old 10-06-2017, 08:12 PM
Obeseus Obeseus is offline
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Not necessarily a diss, but Danny Aiello played Madonna's father in the music video of Papa Don't Preach. Aiello didn't like the way the song indicated the father would reject his daughter, so he recorded a follow-up with Papa Wants the Best for You.
  #37  
Old 10-08-2017, 09:39 AM
Monocracy Monocracy is offline
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In 1991, 3rd Bass came out with a song "Pop Goes the Weasel" dissing Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" and the (then) current state of rap music in general.

The irony being that the song itself was as horrible as the music they were disparaging.
  #38  
Old 10-08-2017, 09:56 AM
astorian astorian is offline
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Jim Reeves had a country classic with "He'll Have to Go," which inspired an equally popular " answer" song called "He'll Have to Stay" by Jeanne Black.

Steve's song was a plea to an ex-love to send her new man packing and give him another chance. Black's song replied, "Forget it, you broke my heart, and my new man is much better than you."

Last edited by astorian; 10-08-2017 at 09:58 AM.
  #39  
Old 10-08-2017, 10:02 AM
astorian astorian is offline
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In "Spamalot," Eric Idle wrote " The Song That Goes Like This, " a parody of the overwrought "I Dreamed A Dream" from "Les Miz."
  #40  
Old 10-08-2017, 10:58 AM
phungi phungi is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xizor View Post
A classic one is Sweet Home Alabama calling out Neil Young and his Southern Man song.

"Well I heard Mr. Young sing about her
I heard ol' Neil put her down
I hope Neil Young will remember
A southern man don't need him around anyhow"
Check out Drive By Truckers' Ronnie and Neil, which expands on the rivalry while quelling it
  #41  
Old 10-08-2017, 11:05 AM
drad dog drad dog is offline
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Kitty Wells' "It wasn't god who made honky tonk angels" was an answer to Hank Thompson's "The Wild Side of Life"

This is a pretty important one, esp for feminists.
  #42  
Old 10-08-2017, 12:50 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Tori Amos take a sideswipe at the breeziness of the Eagles in "Springtime of his Voodoo":

Quote:
Standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
And I'm quite sure I'm in the wrong song
  #43  
Old 10-08-2017, 02:17 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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The song Everything You Did by Steely Dan has the line, "Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening," inspired by an argument Walter Becker had with his girlfriend. The girlfriend loved the Eagles and he grew tired of listening to them all of the time. The Eagles returned the mention with, "They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast," in Hotel California.
  #44  
Old 10-08-2017, 02:34 PM
snoe snoe is offline
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Stephin Merritt wrote a song for the Magnetic Fields called "A Pretty Girl is Like."
lyrics
youtube

It's a subtle but biting satire of Irving Berlin's "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody" in particular, and insipid pop-songwriting similes in general:
  #45  
Old 10-08-2017, 03:20 PM
JohnT JohnT is online now
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Originally Posted by Prof. Pepperwinkle View Post
Once more with feeling: John Lennon's How Do You Sleep At Night was directed at Paul McCartney, regarding what John thought were personal insults on Paul's Ram album.
I remember hearing that "Silly Love Songs" was a response back. If so, I think Paul got the last word: "How do I sleep? I sleep by coming up with my response, the #1 song of 1976. YOUR TURN, JOHN!!!!"

Last edited by JohnT; 10-08-2017 at 03:22 PM.
  #46  
Old 10-09-2017, 01:20 PM
Orwell Orwell is offline
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With all of the mentions about Skynyrd ragging on Neil Young, nobody mentioned Molly Hatchet's Gator Country, which has mild rebuffs of several other southern rock songs.

Quote:
I've been to Alabama, people, ain't a whole lot to sse;
Skynard says it's a real sweet home, but it ain't nothing to me
Charlie Daniels will tell you the good Lord lives in Tennessee, ha!
But I'm going back to the Gator Country, where the wine and women are free

...

Old Richard Betts will tell ya Lord, he was born a Ramblin' Man,
Well, he can ramble on back to Georgia and I won't give a damn
Elvin Bishop out struttin' his stuff with little Miss Slick Titty Boom,
But I'm going back to the Gator Country to get me some elbow room
I think this falls short of dissing the other bands/songs, as it is more like bragging about Hatchet's home turf. But close enough to include.
  #47  
Old 10-09-2017, 02:29 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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Ben Folds' song "Brainwascht" is a rant against his pal John Mark Painter, of Fleming & John (a band Painter is in with his wife, Fleming McWilliams) because F&J put out a single on their MySpace page that seemed to be dissing Folds (dude is a great songwriter but he's a bit of a prick as a person).

Brainwascht lyrics:
"If you want to write a letter, write a letter
If you'd rather make a phone call, pick the phone up
Call me
But if you had to say it all with a pop song
Couldn't you at least have made me a good one?"

The offending F&J song
  #48  
Old 10-09-2017, 02:44 PM
Guest-starring: Id! Guest-starring: Id! is offline
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A question: were all the self-references in "Glass Onion" tributes or disses? I'm pretty sure "Fool On the Hill" is Paul having a go at John. "Helter Skelter" I'd consider less of a diss and more of an angry rebuttal when Paul heard Pete Townshend bragging in a radio interview about the wild and crazy song The Who had just put out ("I Can See For Miles"), saying it was the noisiest, craziest, most raucous number out there. Paul's "wot?" response to this was quite, well, TROUNCING, I thought.

Cheap Trick has fun with Kiss by mentioning in "Surrender":

Whatever happened to all the season's losers of the year?
When every time I got to thinking - when they'd disappear?
Then I woke up - mom and dad were rolling on the cooooouuuch,
Rolling numbers, rock and rolling, got my Kiss records oooouuuut.


More of a nod than a diss? > Ashes to ashes, funk to funky, we all know Major Tom's a junkie.
  #49  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:12 AM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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In 1950, Goodnight Irene was a big hit. Several singers and bands released versions of the song. First a version by The weavers, then a version by Frank Sinatra, and then several others. Various versions played on the radio ad nauseam.

Then came this song
  #50  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:14 AM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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The earliest version I know, and my favorite is Hoochie Coochie Man vs. I am A Man vs. I'm a Man (Mannish Boy). All of them are gorgeous, and the rivalry just enhances 'em.

Last edited by scabpicker; 10-10-2017 at 01:14 AM.
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