albums that describe the band or music
August 27, 2005 1:55 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for album titles that reveal something about either the band or the music on the album. For example, The Eagles, "Hell Freezes Over" is clearly related to their unlikely reunion. Neil Young's "Old Ways" is about the old style music on the album. "Meet The Beatles" is a title that acts as an introduction. And R.E.M.'s "New Adventures in Hi Fi" is an accurate description of the varied and chaotic, experimental, feel of the album. I know there are many others, but I can't think of them.
posted by crapples to Media & Arts (49 answers total)
Pink Floyd's "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" is a bit of a slam against Roger Waters' legal battle over the Pink Floyd name, which he lost.
posted by devilsbrigade at 2:03 PM on August 27, 2005

After Steve Hackett left the band in 1977, the remaining members - Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks - released a new album entitled "And Then There Were Three..."
posted by benzo8 at 2:09 PM on August 27, 2005

Another Pink Floyd album, "Wish You Were Here" is a reference to the loss of their original frontman, Syd Barrett.
posted by thewittyname at 2:10 PM on August 27, 2005

Van Halen III (third incarnation/lead singer). Stay far away from it, by the way.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 2:20 PM on August 27, 2005

The Clash's "Cut The Crap," following the the less than amicable dismissal of Mick Jones.
posted by mcsweetie at 2:25 PM on August 27, 2005

Dunno if they are what you are looking for, but there is The Who's Quadrophenia and Pearl Jam's Binaural, both of which refer to the recording process that they used, if I am not mistaken.
posted by synecdoche at 2:31 PM on August 27, 2005

The Allman Brothers Album "Eat a Peach" refers to an interview Duane Allman gave shortly before his death where he said,
"There ain't no revolution, it's evolution, but every time I'm in Georgia I eat a peach for peace."
posted by lilnemo at 2:32 PM on August 27, 2005

Radiohead's OK Computer.
posted by fionab at 2:36 PM on August 27, 2005

Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weisburg - Twin Sons Of Different Mothers (1976) - The collaborators looked, well, like twins.

Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weisburg - No Resemblance Whatsoever (1995) - After 19 years, the twin-thing is no longer so accurate.
posted by grabbingsand at 2:46 PM on August 27, 2005

Frank Zappa's The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life refers to the fact that the 1988 touring band self-destructed before they finished the tour, and only played a few dates in the US and some in Europe.
posted by CMcKinnon at 2:47 PM on August 27, 2005

Billy Joel has a live album from his 1980s USSR tour. The album title is the Russian word for "concert". There's also his song "Famous Last Words" which is the last song he's written that has lyrics in it.

Elton John's "Reg Strikes Back" refers to Elton's real name, Reginald Dwight, and how he's giving up the drugs and trademark outlandish concert costumes. The album cover is a picture of all his famous costumes in a pile to be sold at auction.
posted by Servo5678 at 2:50 PM on August 27, 2005

Johnny Cash "At Folsom Prison".

The Arcade Fire "Funeral".
posted by lilnemo at 2:55 PM on August 27, 2005

This seems a bit broad. Don't most album titles reveal something about the band or the music that's on them? At least as much as "OK Computer" or "Funeral," anyway.
posted by ludwig_van at 3:00 PM on August 27, 2005

Rod Stewart's Atlantic Crossingwhich refers to the fact that he moved from the UK to the US. I seem to remember it was to escape the high taxes of Britain. Sufjan Stevens's albums about Michigan and Illinois, while also called Greetings from the Great Lakes State and Come On Feel the Illinoise! are also simply named Michigan and Illinois and are about those states. Blur's 13 is named after the studio where a lot of it was recorded. There are more, but these are the ones I can remember off the top of my head. But yeah, I agree with ludwig_van, this can be stretched pretty far. I mean, almost all album titles reveal something about the band or the music, it would be a lot harder to think of a title that doesn't reveal anything.
posted by Kattullus at 3:02 PM on August 27, 2005

The band (and album) Blind Faith would work. It seems that everyone, from record execs to concert promoters, were insanely excited about the band and willing to invest major amounts of money into the band, even before they released a single song.

I think Eric Clapton is the one who dubbed the band Blind Faith, but he got the idea from the title of the controversial photo of a naked young girl that eventually became the cover art of the album. In a fitting move, I believe that the album was the first album released to not have the band's name or the album's name on the cover.
posted by apple scruff at 3:12 PM on August 27, 2005

Spinal Tap's Break Like The Wind says all you need to know.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:18 PM on August 27, 2005

Garbage's Bleed Like Me (Album title & Song title) alludes to Shirley Manson being a cutter (she used to intentionally cut herself).

Nirvana's I Hate Myself and I Want to Die was rejected as the title for their last album (renamed In Utero) but was used as the title of a song on the "Beavis & Butthead" soundtrack which alludes to Kurt Cobain's soon-to-be suicide.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 3:23 PM on August 27, 2005

Sugar's "File Under: Easy Listening" is a nod to the fact that the album was poppier than earlier Bob Mould efforts.
posted by jeffmshaw at 3:23 PM on August 27, 2005

how about The Replacements' Stink?
posted by jodic at 3:24 PM on August 27, 2005

The Who, Odds and Sods
The Feelies, Crazy Rhythms
Van Morrison, A Period of Transition
posted by kirkaracha at 3:27 PM on August 27, 2005

The Band's "The Last Waltz" was supposed to be their last concert and album (and, for us purists, it was).

Ditto Led Zeppelin's "Coda."

Shawn Colvin's "Cover Girl" was an album of her covering other's songs. Heh, clever.
posted by Framer at 3:31 PM on August 27, 2005

Van Halen's OU812 is a response to David Lee Roth's "Eat 'em and Smile."

Is that the sort of thing you're after?
posted by dersins at 3:35 PM on August 27, 2005

Radiohead's OK Computer.

I don't get it. One track has a computer voice on it, but I can't see how OK Computer describes the music or the band in any obvious way.
posted by wackybrit at 3:41 PM on August 27, 2005

The Ass Ponys' Electric Rock Music.
posted by dobbs at 3:43 PM on August 27, 2005

AC/DC's Back in Black, about their being back together
posted by jmd82 at 3:47 PM on August 27, 2005

They Might Be Giant's Miscellaneous T -- It's what you usually find TMBG records filed under at record stores that have those little artist-name-dividers, and it also alludes to the fact that it is an album of B-sides and rarities.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:42 PM on August 27, 2005

The Grateful Dead's American beauty referred to their turn towards more conventional, traditional bluegrass, blues and folk forms after a decade experimenting with psychedelia.

A lot of Elvis albums are strangely self-explanatory, a la From Elvis Presley boulevard, etc.

Ditto some Bob Dylan, a la Gotta serve somebody (Jeebus!); Blood on the tracks (an obvious double-entendre for his most bitter album, recorded in the wake of his divorce from Sara Lowndes); although the widely-loathed Self portrait is anything but.
posted by docgonzo at 4:44 PM on August 27, 2005

Johnny Cash's American Recording albums were named after his music label.
posted by strikhedonia at 5:10 PM on August 27, 2005

Depeche Mode: Music for the masses and Black celebration. As someone said, the question is a bit broad.
posted by springload at 5:14 PM on August 27, 2005

lilnemo: Is that “Eat a Peach” line also related to the Space Ghost episode of the same name — you know, the one with Todd Barry and the bees? (Not that I'm expecting you to know, necessarily, but I thought I'd give it a shot.)

Back on the subject of the thread, though, KMFDM named their final album “Adios”. Then again, they've since reformed the band and made some more music since then ;).
posted by Handcoding at 5:59 PM on August 27, 2005

The question may have been too broad because I couldn't think of more examples, but I got what I needed out the responses. Thanks. The ones that fit the bill for me were ones like "And then there were three...", "Reg strikes back", and "A period of transition". These were exactly what I was looking for. Of course every title reveals something, but these seem to say something about that specific album or about that artist at that particular moment in their career (like the Hell Freezes Over example). Thanks for the comments.
posted by crapples at 6:00 PM on August 27, 2005

Adios is another great example. Thanks.
posted by crapples at 6:01 PM on August 27, 2005

Monty Python's Contractual Obligation.

It did exactly what it said on the tin.
posted by Decani at 6:43 PM on August 27, 2005

The last Ramones studio album: Adios, Amigos!

Also: Brian Eno: Discreet Music, Music for Films, Ambient 1: Music for Airports.
posted by barjo at 6:53 PM on August 27, 2005

Ry Cooder "Chicken Skin Music"
A celebration of Hawaiian influences.Chicken skin as in goosebumps.
posted by johnny7 at 6:55 PM on August 27, 2005

Many of Stereolab's albums have titles like that, including "Transient Random Noise Bursts With Anouncements", "The Groop Played Space Age Batchelor Pad Music" and "Mars Audiac Quintet."
posted by arto at 6:59 PM on August 27, 2005

The Residents' Not Available was allegedly material that was not to be released until the band had forgotten it existed.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:07 PM on August 27, 2005

Joni Mitchell's two CDs "Hits" and "Misses" (the first contains her hits, the second one non-hits)
posted by easternblot at 8:32 PM on August 27, 2005

Hooverphonic's first album, A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular. A bit self-aggrandizing, of course, but the phrase is used as a (possibly mocked-up) sample in the first track.
posted by abcde at 9:22 PM on August 27, 2005

Rock Steady: To be violently irrelevent, I've always noticed that "Miscellaneous T" follows the same unlikely linguistic template as "Tenacious D."

Just saying.
posted by abcde at 9:24 PM on August 27, 2005


Dangerous C
Delicious E
Vigorous P
Luxurious V

None as good as the two previous examples. Of course, now I will never be able to hear "Nightgown of the Sullen Moon" without thinking of Jack and Kage.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:47 PM on August 27, 2005

Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours", the second album with Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham in the band, written when the couples Nicks and Buckingham and Christine and John McVie were breaking up. Sex, drugs and rock 'n roll for real!
posted by lia at 5:44 AM on August 28, 2005

Linkin Park: Hybrid Theory
posted by jaded at 6:13 AM on August 28, 2005

Marvin Gaye's "Here, My Dear"
posted by AJaffe at 8:11 AM on August 28, 2005

Randy Newman's excellent "Good Old Boys" is kind of like the Spoon River Anthology of the American South.
posted by Vidiot at 11:52 AM on August 28, 2005

Aphex Twin - 26 Mixes For Cash
Björk - Debut (although, technically, it was only her debut under her own name)
Camper Van Beethoven - Greatest Hits, Played Faster (A live album, and it pretty much delivers on the title)
Mos Def - Black On Both Sides (refers to the two sides of a vinyl record, and to Mr. Def himself)
Sufjan Stevens - Welcome to Michigan, the Great Lake State and Come on Feel The Illinoise! (two albums about the two eponymous Midwestern U.S. states)
Stars of the Lid - Music for Nitrous Oxide and The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid (Stars of the Lid make long, slow ambient drone music)
posted by 40 Watt at 12:31 PM on August 28, 2005

Foreigner's 4 reflects both the fact that it's their fourth album and that the lineup changed from five members to four.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:00 PM on August 30, 2005

Tears for Fears' reunion album, "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending," in which Curt finally rejoined Roland after being away for a couple albums.

And in the same vein, Yes's "Union" album, which was the combination of two different in-progress albums by Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (ex-Yes members) and the group that was calling itself Yes at the time (Chris Squire, Trevor Rabin, Alan White, and Tony Kaye).
posted by kindall at 11:14 AM on September 3, 2005

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