Homages to other artists included in studio albums (e.g. Eddie Money)

I recently heard Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” on the radio, and I picked up on something I’d never noticed before.

During the bridge, the drummer briefly plays solo for a bit. It’s not long before Eddie Money picks back up on the vocals.

The drummer sounds to me a lot like he’s improvising the drum beat from Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks”. It’s just one repetition – the drummer immediately picks back up on the “Take Me Home Tonight” beat.

Once you hear it, it’s unmistakable. Could it be intentional? Is this done often on rock/pop studio albums? I don’t mean sampling – I mean cases where it’s clear a musician in the studio goes off on a brief tangent playing a whole different song, and that said tangent makes it onto the final edit.

Any semi-famous cases?

Most obvious to me was Matthew Fisher’s “Going for a Song.”

Fisher played organ for the original Procul Harum. The song is about a musician who is tired of having to play the same song time and time again. At one point, Fisher quotes the main organ phrase from “A Whiter Shade of Pale” to make his point.

Sugarloaf’s “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You” deliberately uses the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” & Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”.

Mojo Nixon’s “Don Henley Must Die” contains a piece of Hotel California

That same song has a very obvious allusion to the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”

Turbonegro pays tribute to Alice Cooper in just about eveything they do, but especially “Zillion Dollar Sadist” which not only cops the title, but also some choice Glen Buxton riffs.

IIRC, April Wine’s “I Like to Rock” intertwines the riffs from “Satisfaction” and “Day Tripper”.

The coolest homage ever is Radio Birdmans “Aloha Steve and Danno” which is built around the Hawaii 5-0 theme song.


Dead Kennedy’s Pull My Strings has a very obvious (negative) allusion to The Knack’s My Sharona.

“Drool, drool, drool, drool, My Payola!” – Great song.

Skinny Puppy’s Wolork uses the opening riff from Helter Skelter in a disturbing way…

“Obvious” probably isn’t quite the right word since the song is technically credited to “Eddie Money featuring Ronny Spector” and she sings the line on the track (and appears in the video).

I always like it when vocalists lift entire stanzas from songs they like and put them in the middle of their own song. Unrest drops an entire verse from a James song into the middle of “Yes, She is my Skinhead Girl.” Beck drops an old John Lee Hooker line into the middle of “Fuckin’ with my Head.”

There are more, but I can’t think of them at the moment.

Prince. Sign O’ the Times. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker:

“My favorite song she said was Joni singing “Help me, I think I’m fallin’” brrringg! phone rings and she says “who-ever’s callin’ can’t be as cute as you” - right there and then I knew I was through.”

Amazing song.

Then there is the infamous case of the Rolling Stones’ song “Anybody Seen My Baby” off of one of their latest albums - something to Babylon? which is a note-for-note of k.d. lang’s “Constant Craving” - to the point where they awarded her a songwriting credit before they released it as a single to avoid lawsuits…

Another choice: Martin Mull’s “Licks Off Of Records,” has several familiar riffs at the end, including “Satisfaction.”

Most people know Mull as an actor (Roseanne’s boss for awhile), but in the early 70s, he recorded several excellent albums and showed first-class songwriting talent.

The second verse of “Gone Daddy Gone” by Violent Femmes is pulled from Muddy Waters’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You” (I can tell by the way that you switch and walk/I can see by the way that you baby talk/I can know by the way that you treat your man/I can love you baby till it’s a cryin’").

Love’s “She Comes in Colors” has sparked at least two homages. The first is the Rolling Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow” (lyrical content). The second is Belle and Sebastian’s “Seeing Other People,” which improvises on the flute line used in the song and converts it to piano.

Speaking of Belle and Sebastian, the horns in “Dog on Wheels” sound (to me, at least) exactly like those on Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood’s “Summer Wine.”

Make that “The third verse of ‘Gone Daddy Gone’.”

Not to mention sampling Charles Manson singing Helter Skelter, as well!

Heh. When I saw the thread title, which mentions “homages to other artists” and “Eddie Money”, and started reading the OP and saw that it mentioned “Take Me Home Tonight”, it was quite a suprprise to not see the Ronettes mentioned. I never even noticed that drum thing. Actually I haven’t heard the song in about 10 years, so I don’t remember that drum bit at all. But the Ronettes connection is unforgetabble. :cool:

Actually, interface2x, I believe they used samples of Steve Railsback as Manson in the film Helter Skelter.


I don’t know the story behind it, but on the Public Image Ltd song Rise, they briefly play the opening riff of Zeppelin’s Over the Hills & Far Away.

With John Lydon, who can tell if it’s an homage or a diss.

Homage, I think. Steve Vai did a lot of the guitar stuff on that album…

Yeah, but the idea behind the OP isn’t meant to include overt homages. Since a credited Ronnie Spector sings her signature line on “Take Me Home Tonight”, Money’s homage to the Ronettes was obvious.

I was thinking more of musicians “sneaking in” a snatch of music from another artist.

I thought of another possible homage – in Jackson Browne’s “The Load Out/Stay”, there’s a part where the guitar player, after Browne sings “and we’ve got disco”, plays a brief lick of disco music. Is that disco lick from any particular song, or is it an improvised. general disco lick?