When a band names a song after itself, it ought to mean something, right? It’s a sort of declaration. A statement of principles. This is who we are. This is what we sound like and this is what we sing about. Often, a homonymic song like that comes at the very outset. It isn’t unusual for it to be the first song on the first album. It serves as an announcement to the world.
But that doesn’t ensure that the song is any good. The very fact that it tends to come so early means that the band may not be fully mature yet. They may think they know who they are, but time and experience have a way of changing that perception. So what we are going to do today is try and figure out the ten greatest homonymic songs – or, songs that have the exact same name as the band that recorded them.
And I am a stickler when it comes to crucial matters like this. So, even though I think “Killer Queen” is just about the best glam rock song of all time, the band’s name is just Queen. There’s no “Killer,” and thus, “Killer Queen” does not qualify for my list. The same applies to “(Theme From) The Monkees.” And even though he strived mightily to sound just like them, Jonathan Richman’s “Velvet Underground” doesn’t count either.
10 homonymic tracks you should be listening to today
But there is still plenty to choose from. Some bands I like didn’t make the cut. There’s no They Might Be Giants. There’s no Icehouse. No Focus. I actually think their homonymic songs are not very good. There’s no Night Ranger and no Living in a Box, even though I think those songs are somewhat better. Most surprisingly – to me at least – no Black Sabbath. I mean, you figure if Ozzy and Tony and Geezer name a song “Black Sabbath,” it’s got to be pretty special. But metal on the whole is the genre that does this more than any other, and, quite frankly, there were several better songs from the genre. Sorry Black Sabbath.
What did make the list? Well, if you pose this question to a ‘70s kid like me, there is one obvious winner. “Bad Company,” by Bad Company, is the first song on side two of their debut album, entitled – you guessed it – Bad Company. That’s always the first one people from my generation think of. Is it number 1? Read on to find out.