Not the Same Old Song

The iPod giveth, and the iPod taketh away.

Back in the day, there was this technology called "audio tape," which people used to record music. On a typical tape, you could record maybe ten or elevent pop songs, and then you had to flip it over, and record another ten or eleven songs on the other side. As a result, mix tapes of that era tended to come in distinct "sides."

I always thought it would be amusing, in a just-about-as-dorky-as-the-guys-in-High Fidelity way, to make a mix tape where the two sides featured the same song titles in the same order, but with all the songs being different-- not just cover versions, but different songs that shared the same name. The problem was, it was very difficult to come up with a good list of songs.

Now that I've got my whole music collection in electronic form on my computer, it's realtively easy to sift through the iTunes library to find duplicate titles. But now, of course, the concept of a music mix with distinct "sides" is completely outdated, and soon only old fogeys like me will even remember the idea.

Anyway, I was reminded of this recently (two different songs called "Lullaby" came up back to back (by Cat Empire and Ed James)), so to get it out of my system, here's a list of potential song pairs from my collection. This is not comprehensive, but has been filtered to those pairs where both songs are pretty good, or at least the bands provide an amusing contrast (I'm going to cost myself some hipster cred by admitting to owning some of these songs...):

  • Alison, Elvis Costello/ Pixies
  • All My Life, Foo Fighters/ Steve Earle
  • All Over the World, ELO/ Pixies/ Strange Fruit
  • American Music, Blasters/ Violent Femmes
  • Angel, Aerosmith/ Jimi Hendrix/ John Hiatt
  • Animal, Def Leppard/ Pearl Jam
  • Anthem, Blink-182/ Phantom Planet/ Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers
  • Better Days, Bruce Springsteen/ Goo Goo Dolls
  • Blue, Jayhawks/ Visqueen
  • Blue Sky, Allman Brothers/ Bottle Rockets
  • Broadway, Goo Goo Dolls/ Old 97's
  • Bye Bye Baby, Committments/ OK Go
  • California, Phantom Planet/ Wax
  • Changes, David Bowie/ Sugar
  • City of Dreams, Marah/ Talking Heads
  • Closing Time, Semisonic/ Tom Waits
  • Dance the Night Away, Mavericks/ Van Halen
  • Desire, Ryan Adams/ U2
  • Drive, Cars/ REM
  • Gloria, Laura Baningan/ Van Morrison
  • Hallelujah, Jeff Buckley/ Ryan Adams
  • Heartbreaker, Led Zeppelin/ Pat Benetar
  • I Want You, Bob Dylan/ Marvin Gaye
  • It's Too Late, Bob Mould/ Wilson Pickett
  • Lullaby, Cat Empire/ Shawn Mullins
  • Man on the Moon, REM/ Sugar
  • Real Love, Al Green/ Twilight Singers
  • Valentine, Bobby Bare Jr./Old 97's

I'm half tempted to dust off the casette deck and record an actual tape out of these, just for old times' sake. That would be silly, though, as I no longer have a tape deck in my car, so where would I listen to it?


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They now make USB turntables, so a USB tape deck may be next, but ... why not make them into playlists? "Playlist A" and "Playlist B" seem almost too obvious.

By CCPhysicist (not verified) on 10 May 2007 #permalink

"All Around the World": The Jam/Oasis/Lisa Stansfield. Beat that!

Not that you'd want to play the last one, but it's of scientific interest.

"I Want You" is also the title of songs by Elvis Costello and Lennon/McCartney. Seems to be a popular sentiment.

"Angel" - Jimi Hendrix / Massive Attack
"Ceremony" - New Order / Joe Satriani
"Crazy" - Afghan Whigs / Joe Satriani / Seal / Gnarls Barkley
"Easy" - Walter Horton / Emiliana Torrini
"Fire" - Jimi Hendrix / Ladytron
"It's You" - The Epoxies / PJ Harvey

and that's as far into iTunes as I'm willing to go. I'm sure that if you worked hard, you could put together an entire album of songs just called "crazy".

By Mike Hoye (not verified) on 10 May 2007 #permalink

"Jump" - Van Halen vs the Pointer Sisters ("Jump" (for my love)") and several others.

Easy mentioned above also has the Commodore's song of that name.

Gloria has the U2 song of that name.

"What About Love" has different songs by Heart and Til Tuesday.

"No Way Out" has different songs by Jefferson Starship, Phil Collins, and Puff Daddy, and many more.

"After the Fire" has different songs by Pete Townshend (first recorded by Daultry), Amy Grant, and Sinead O'Connor.

plenty more where that came from and that's just me looking at the 80s. :)

By Joe Shelby (not verified) on 10 May 2007 #permalink

You could go for some genuine uncool and have 'The Power of Love' by Huey Lewis and the News, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and (*vomit*) Jennifer Rush.

Joe Hill - Joan Baez / Billy Bragg [same inspiration, different lyrics and music]

"Lullaby" is also a Cure song, in addition to Cat Empire/ Shawn Mullins.

By Richard Campbell (not verified) on 10 May 2007 #permalink

I still have a tape deck in my 1998 car. There's something to be said about the sound of tape hiss.

Of course, these days I use the tape player for the adapter for my i-pod.

Alternatively, using an 80 minute CD-R, make two mixes of approximately 37 minutes, and add a 5 minute empty track in the middle. Or whatever you feel is the appropriate dead time to simulate flipping over the tape. You could even record the process of stopping, ejecting, and flipping over a tape and use that as the separator track.

Alternatively, using an 80 minute CD-R, make two mixes of approximately 37 minutes, and add a 5 minute empty track in the middle.

My copy of Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever actually has a bizarre little interlude tacked on to the end of one of the tracks, in which he says "Attention CD listeners. We have come to the point in the album when those listening on record, or cassette tape, must get up to flip over the record, or tape. In fairness to them, we will now take a short break." Then there's a bunch of barnyard noises, and then the album resumes.

It's a strange little document of a very particular moment in pop culture.

Mostly, I want to point out that the Cat Empire Lullaby is fantastic. I'm pleasantly surprised to learn that someone else has heard it. (Personally, I have 5 tracks titled "Lullaby" and two "Lullabye"s.)

At one point, I figured out what titles I had the most duplicates of. I can't find the list, but I know that the two winners were "Time" (11) and "Stay" (9). Some of them are pretty bad, though.

Here's two "Animal" tracks for a joke. :)

There's a really offensive version of "Animal" by 80's metal band WASP. There's also a less offensive version of "Animal" by the 80's hairspray metal band the Vinnie Vincent.

Assemblage 23 also has a song called 'Lullaby' which I can almost guarantee sounds nothing like your other two options! It's still quite relaxing though.

Chinatown - Joe Jackson, Thin Lizzy, Vonda Shepard
Circles - Incubus, Manfred Mann's Earth Band
Comatose - Depeche Mode, Eagly-Eye Cherry
Come Around - Mutton Birds, Sugar
Come Together - Beatles, Peter Tosh
Crazy - Aerosmith, Clawfinger
Crossroads - Tracy Chapman, Eric Clapton
Darkness - Peter Gabriel, The Police
December - Teenage Fanclub, Weezer
Disappear - INXS, Paradise Lost
Don't Let Me Down - Beatles, Godfathers
Don't Stop - Fleedwood Mac, Stone Roses, Anastacia
Dreamer - Toni Childs, Supertramp
Everything - A Forest Mighty Black, Alanis Morisette
Fire - Jimi Hendrix, Mother's Finest
Fragile - Blue Aeroplanes, Sting
Friday - J.J. Cale, Joe Jackson
Goodbye - Anastacia, The Corrs, Die Happy, Lionel Richie
Gypsy - Suzanne Vega, Uriah Heep, Fleedwood Mac
Hand in Hand - Phil Collins, Dire Straits
Heart of Stone - Cher, Rolling Stones
Hideaway - Iggy Pop, Corrs
Home - Sheryl Crow, Midnight Oil, Iggy Pop
Human Being - Die Happy, Guns 'n' Roses
Humdrum - The Corrs, Peter Gabriel
Hush - Toni Childs, Deep Purple
In the End - Green Day, Linkin Park
In Too Deep - Donots, Genesis
Modern Love - David Bowie, Peter Gabriel
Money - Peter Frampton, Pink Floyd
New Year's Day - Chuck Prophet, U2
Party - Nelly Furtado, Queen
Photograph - Nickelback, Verve Pipe
Rescue Me - The Gathering, Madonna
Satellite - Elvis Costello, Vega4
Save Me - Queen, Sister Hazel
Secret Garden - Alan Parsons Project, Bruce Springsteen
Seven Days - Godfathers, Sting
Shut Up - Bloodhound Gang, Blink 182
Something's Happening - Peter Frampton, Eric Clapton
Sometimes -Pearl Jam, Midnight Oil
Stay - U2, Jackson Browne
Strange Days - Doors, Prong
Take a Look - Nathalie Cole, Level 42
Temptation - Elvis Costello, Billy Joel, Tom Waits
The Truth - Boomers, Clawfinger
Think About Me - Goo Goo Dolls, Sister Hazel
This Time - Tracy Chapman, INXS
Time - Alan Parsons Project, Anastacia, Mother's Finest, Pink Floyd, Tom Waits
Today - Donots, Smashing Pumpkins
Undertow - Genesis, R.E.M., Suzanne Vega
Up all Night - Boomtown Rats, Counting Crows
Wake Up - Alicia Keys, Alanis Morissette, Rage against the Machine
Who Are You - The Who, Tom Waits
Wind of Change - Peter Frampton, Scorpions
Wishing Well - Anastacia, Gary Moore, Bob Mould
Woman - John Lennon, Simple Minds


Aerosmith also recorded a song called "Crazy" for Get a Grip (the album with the Alicia Silverstone/Liv Tyler videos). And don't forget Patsy Cline's "Crazy" (the best crazy song).

Kris Kross's "Jump" should be paired with Van Halen's.