January 25, 2008
Friday random ten: Same name, different song

One thing that bedeviled me as I put together my cover-related Random Tens was running into songs that were definitely not the same, but bore the same name. To apply the final bludgeonings to this expired equestrian, here's a Random Ten list of different songs with the same name.

1. "Bookends" - Eddie From Ohio/Simon and Garfunkel. Being different songs doesn't mean they can't have similar themes, however.

2. "Cherry Bomb" - John Mellencamp/The Runaways. And they can be very different. The latter, from the soundtrack to "Dazed and Confused", is the song that Mellencamp's nostalgia-drenched narrator would warn his children about. Here's a slightly NSFW video so you can see what I mean.

3. "Closer" - Asylum Street Spankers/Keb' Mo'. The Spankers' version is a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song. It's quite possibly the most tasteless thing they've ever done, which is both a compliment and really saying something. "Tasteless" is not a word one would ever use to describe acoustic guitar bluesman Keb' Mo', whom Tiffany and I had the good fortune to see open for Bonnie Raitt some years back.

4. "End of the Line" - Hot Club of Cowtown/Travelling Wilburys. You know, I miss the Wilburys. Their first album was awesome. They never recaptured that magic, perhaps due the the untimely loss of Lefty Wilbury, but they'll forever stand as the exception to the rule that supergroups of the 1980s sucked.

5. "Fire" - Bruce Springsteen/Ohio Players. The Boss don't do disco.

6. "Good Thang/Thing" - Miss Molly/Fine Young Cannibals. I don't need to point out to anyone that Thang and Thing are interchangeable, do I?

7. "I Don't Wanna Know" - Phil Collins/Indigo Girls. I can't think of anything clever to say about this one.

8. "Once In a Lifetime" - Talking Heads/Trinity University Jazz Band. Once again, two very different songs. A million years ago, I had a Rodney Dangerfield comedy album that opened with him crooning a little bit of the jazzy "Once In a Lifetime". I can't quite picture him doing that for the Talking Heads song.

9. "My Home Town/Hometown" - Tom Lehrer/Bruce Springsteen. It's amazing, and a bit sobering, how many of Lehrer's then-topical satires still resonate 40 or 50 years later.

10. "Reason To Believe" - Bruce Springsteen/Rod Stewart. - Yes, that's three same name/different song entries involving Bruce Springsteen. Actually, there was a fourth, a Miss Molly song that now escapes me, as well. Why so much title overlap for Springsteen, I couldn't tell you.

And that, at long last, should be the end of the cover obsession. Next time, we'll do an old-fashioned, honest-to-Elvis random shuffle.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 25, 2008 to Music

The Carpenters also did Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe," which I think is the song Stewart covered.

Posted by: Linkmeister on January 26, 2008 6:31 PM

There seems to me to be one song title that has produced at least 4 different very recognizable hits.

"Crazy" which has given us songs by Patsy Cline/Willie Nelson, Seal, Aerosmith and Gnarls Barkley.

Posted by: Patrick on January 28, 2008 7:57 AM