Artists That Call Out Other Artists

I know rap does it often, but how often does it happen in more traditional rock and pop genres? By ‘call out’ I mean refer to in a negative way. I can think of two off the top of myhead:

  1. Sweet Home Alabama -Lynyrd Skynyrd

I hope Neil Youg will remember
A So uthern Man Don’t ned him around anyhow

  1. You Get What You Give -New Radicals

Fashion Shoots
With Beck and Hansen
Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson
You’re all fakes
Run to your mansions
Come 'round here
We’ll kick your ass in!

How about Neil Young’s “This Notes for You.”
He mocked other artists for “selling out.”
So what he’s saying is he is too high and mighty to make money off his precious music. His stuff is sacred or something. Twerp.

Pavement made smart remarks about the Smashing Pumpkins and the Stone Temple Pilots in the song “Range Life.”

The whole rift between Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd is overblown. The two bands were friendly, and Ronnie VanZant often went on stage in a Neil Young T-Shirt. Neil Young even said that “Sweet Home Alabama” was a great song and covered it onstage several times. This is more trading friendly barbs than calling someone out.

It’s interesting that someone mentioned New Radical’s calling out of Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson. Didn’t Love and Manson have problems on their '97 tour. I don’t know if it made it into any songs, but they used to insult each other onstage and in interviews quite a bit.

Axl Rose and Vince Neill had a falling out in the early 90’s. Axl somewhat stupidly challenged Vince to a fight on MTV. Vince, who at the time looked like he outweighed Axl by at least 20 pounds immediately took him up on it, and went on MTV himself to call Axl out. Again, I don’t think it got made into a song, but on the video for Crue’s cover of “Anarchy in the U.K.” a fan is filmed holding a sign reading “Vince Neill is going to kick Axl Rose’s ass”

Both John Forgarty and Chrissie Hyndes have implicitly criticized Michael Jackson for selling out to Pepsi.

The Pet Shop Boys were most likely offended by Eminem’s gay bashing, and in addition, wanted to parody all the “feuds” in rap music, so they wrote a song in their new album. (the one with a rose on the front.) I can not remember the name. It tells of a homosexual one night stand. However, it is still very sweet. The kicker is the rap star is obviously suppost to be Eminem. What’s more, in the last line of the song, you find out: The narrator is still in High School.

Nick Lowe wasn’t very kind to Rick Astley here.

Mojo Nixon did this all the time. Among his songs were “Don Henley Must Die”, “Bring Me The Head of David Geffen”, and “Debbie Gidson is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child”.


Well, some of the best examples involve musicians who used to be friends and/or partners.

How about John Lennon’s trashing of Paul McCartney in “How Do You Sleep?”

Or Keith Richards’ slam of Mick Jagger in “You Don’t Move Me Any More”?

Darn you ** astorian** I was also going to cite “How DoYou Sleep”.

Isn’t McCartney’s “Let Me Roll It To You” a slam at John Lennon?

Also, I was told that “Back Off Boogaloo” is Ringo’s attack on McCartney. (I don’t know how substantial that claim is though).

I do believe you’re referring to “The Night I Fell in Love” off the Release album…

Better Than Ezra’s song “A Lifetime” mentions R.E.M. in the chorus:

And that R.E.M. song was playing in my mind

But BTE wasn’t being disrespectful, was it?

Heck no! Not my precious BTE!

No, I’m not bitter that I had to miss seeing them two weeks ago. Not one bit. No sir.

Pop Will Eat Itself also bashed Astley in “Can U Dig It?”

“Astley’s in the noose. Hang loose, kid.
Lift the lid on the crimes he did…”

Sorry. That line was in “Preaching to the Perverted.”

By any chance, has the band ever revealed which Ezra it is better than? (I bet the guys loathe answering this question, but maybe at some point in their long career, they might have broken down and confessed.)

I don’t know this for a fact, but I have always suspected that It Takes All Kinds by Aimee Mann was about Ron Sexsmith.

I know that early in his career they were friends, in fact the first time I saw either of them live was the same night- Ron Sexsmith was opening for Aimee Mann (this was when his first album had just come out, Aimee Mann was touring I’m with Stupid, so this was, what?, 10 years ago?)

It’s probably ironic, but Warren Zevon’s “Play It all Night Long,” sounds at least a little disrepectful:

“Play Sweet Home Alabama
Play that dead man’s song.”

Many believe that Don McLean’s references to Satan in “American Pie” refer to Mick Jagger and the infamous concert at Altamont.