Who's gonna fill their footwear of choice?
September 12, 2017 5:56 AM   Subscribe

I've been on a Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes? kick lately, an elegiac tribute to a past generation's country singers. What are similar songs in other genres? Requirements: As much name-dropping as possible, with implicit or explicit doubt that the current generation will be able to match the old heroes. Any/all genres are good.
posted by clawsoon to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
I guess this might count as the same genre, but the Dixie Chicks hit on this theme in "Long Time Gone"

Now, me and Deliah singing every Sunday
Watching the children and the garden grow
We listen to the radio to hear what's cookin’
But the music ain't got no soul
Now they sound tired but they don't sound Haggard
They've got money but they don't have Cash
They got Junior but they don't have Hank
I think, I think, I think

The rest is a long time gone
No, I ain't hit the roof since I don’t know when
Long time gone
And it ain't coming back
I said a long time gone
No, I ain't honked the horn since I don’t know when
Long time gone
And it ain't coming back again

posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:08 AM on September 12, 2017

John Mellencamp's "R.O.C.K. in the USA" does something similar. The names are more familiar, but there's a sense that the contemporary generation doesn't match up.

The first verse of "Juicy" by Notorious B.I.G. uses this to set a scene. Some of the names he drops (e.g., the Rapping Duke) aren't famous, and there's no implication that they were superior.

Not exactly what you were looking for, but "You Were Wrong" by Built to Spill runs through a ton of classic rock song titles.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:33 AM on September 12, 2017

The second lyric of Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder:

Music knows it is and always will
Be one of the things that life just won't quit
But here are some of music's pioneers
That time will not allow us to forget
For there's Basie, Miller, Sachmo
And the king of all Sir Duke
And with a voice like Ella's ringing out
There's no way the band can lose
posted by lyssabee at 8:01 AM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Losing My Edge by LCD Soundsystem is 8 minutes of name dropping for the DJ/rock kid set. But the context isn't so much about filling the shoes of past great artists as much as who is more hip to these past great artists or who knew about them first.
posted by Leontine at 8:19 AM on September 12, 2017

Rock n Roll by Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def)
posted by roll truck roll at 8:23 AM on September 12, 2017

Whoa - Teachers by Daft Punk is an explicit homage to those who came before them. Lyrics, Youtube.

Also from Daft Punk, Giorgio by Moroder features several minutes of interview with the guy who first stuck a click track in a song, pretty much inventing disco music.
posted by workerant at 10:08 AM on September 12, 2017

Does a tribute to an individual earlier artist fit what you're looking for? If so, here's Bob Dorough's "Yardbird Suite".
posted by Lexica at 8:06 PM on September 12, 2017

Here's another one I thought of, inna dancehall style.

Connection of Connection - Johnny Ringo
posted by Leontine at 8:02 PM on September 13, 2017

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