The Spill Challenge Vol 2 No.12 . . .It is all about me! ME ! ME ! ME ! ! !

I think every rapper that ever lived has made a track about how cool, sexy and bad ass they are, but not all tracks made by musicians about themselves have to be so egotistical.

Bigga Raiji in Song Of the Stomach gives us a humorous look at his life as a “Big Belly Man” (which was an Earworm some time ago) and Scandal show us how little attention they paid in English classes at school in Scandal no Theme (featured in He Said – She Said –  We Speak Enrish)

So this week challenge is tracks by bands and  musicians about themselves.

To start you off I will nominate maybe my favourite AKB48 track.  Of course AKB48 is one of the most successful J-Pop Idol groups ever.  They are only the third girl group ever to play the Tokyo Dome and last year alone they sold more than 9 million records ! ! !

But success was not instant and when they first stated in 2006 they played in their theatre in  Akihabara district of Tokyo to small audiences of curious passers by and empty seats.  In fact in their first concert there were only 7 people in the audience.

AKB48 are made of different teams, each with 16 members.   The first team formed was Team A which was originally 22 members (16 performers and 6 reserves as they performed every day and needed to rotate)  Later teams K and B were added.  Team A is still considered the best team and this was the group of girls that started the whole thing.  In the song Pioneer they remember the early days.

Pioneer is one of the Highlights of their concerts and only Team A perform it.  You can really see how emotional they are and feel the pride they have in being the Pioneers ! ! !

The video has English subtitles and the translation not so bad so I have not translated it.

AKB48 – Pioneer

I hope you like it

So my dear Spillers – what tracks do you like by bands or musicians about themselves ? ? ?

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93 thoughts on “The Spill Challenge Vol 2 No.12 . . .It is all about me! ME ! ME ! ME ! ! !

    • I liked both of those very much ! ! ! I knew the song 54321 but I never new the who the band was so that you for that ! ! !

    • Did I ever confess that was a member of the Manfred Mann fan club, back in the days of 5-4-3-2-1? Until Mike D’Abo replaced Paul Jones.

      • I wasn’t in their fan club, but like, I thought they went downhill after Paul Jones left. I did buy their first album with d’Abo – As Is, but didn’t like it enough to keep it. I have three albums by Jones’s post-Mann group, The Blues Band and they are pretty good.

      • Much forgotten, I think, The Blues Band, and unjustly so. I was a fan of theirs for a while – their version of Ray’s Hallelujah I Love Her So a particular favourite.

      • I saw the Blues BAnd 3 years ago at the Maryport Blues Festival and they were spot on.

  1. Tricky to pick, I thought, maybe, of Walk of the Wild side but that’s not so much about Lou Reed as the people he knew. Then I thought of Shonen Knife and their “rap” song “Shonen Knife” but that’s not on youtube.

    So I’ve gone for the Fugs with We’re the Fugs ( and they were too !)
    “Grope for peace”

  2. I will give the Bigga Raiji track as maybe people do not remember it and It is a great track (and the girl in the video is my friend Akiho)

    Bigga Jaiji – Song of the Stomach

    • I really like this one, to the point where I’d buy it if I could but it’s not available on i-tunes over here ( sad face ).
      Tell your chum to have a word though. Mr Raiji could easily get out from behind those boxes.All he has to do is remove the top one and place it to one side and then continue to do so until his tum is free ( at least we hope it’s his tum that is stuck there !).
      Honestly, I thought Japanese people were supposed to be smart !

      • Bigga Raiji seems like he is a really nice guy, but he is not famous for being smart ! ! !

        I have put the track in “The Box” for you ! ! !

  3. Loads of Sinead O’Connor’s songs are explicitly autobiographical – and I should think pretty much all of them are implicitly so. But then, you could say that most (great) artists, in writing what they know, write their own story. In this song, though, that’s exactly what she does:

    Sinead O’Connor: Daddy I’m Fine

    • I do not know very much Sinead O’Connor except of course the most famous Nothing Compares To You so it is great to discover something new by her.

      I really liked this ! ! !

  4. I am going to resist Chesney Hawkes and go for something rather more in your face. Phil Lynott was most definitely in self-referential mode, with this song set in his ubermacho period. For good measure we get some ace shape-throwing and look-at-me posing in the video.The record shop referred to in the title is Rock On in Camden which was run by Ted Carroll who was Lizzy’s manager. It was still there when I lived in London 20 years ago.

    • I have a feeling the Chesney Hawkes song to which you refer was actually written by Nik Kershaw, so wasn’t about Chezz at all. It worries me that I know that.

      • You’ve been drinking too much coffee this morning – well remembered! I remember when Nik Kershaw’s first single came out the record company seemed very keen to hide him from view – they’ve certainly got their way now…

    • Ok, that totally rocked. I think i can tentatively say i’m a Lizzy fan now, thanks to you good RR folks. Phil really was a world class hottie.

  5. I do like this. And being AC/DC they try hard, and sometimes they succeed:
    Rock N’ Roll Ain’t Noise Polution

    Heavy decibels are playing on my guitar
    We got vibrations coming up from the floor
    We’re just listening to the rock that’s giving too much noise
    Are you deaf, you wanna hear some more

  6. Echobelly’s “I Can’t Imagine the World Without Me” springs immediately to mind. The last 17 words in the songs are all “me”.

    Incidentally, about once every couple of years i see Sonya Madan in my local Tescos. Not so rocknroll now but I still fancy her though.

      • They’re largely just thought of as Brit Pop also rans these days but they did some decent tunes and Morrissey was a fan which gave them a bit of kudos. Mostly sing along choruses with decent guitar riffs – ideal for bouncing around a sweaty indie club with an air-guitar.

        Check out “Give Her a Gun”, “Insomniac” (featured in the “Dumber and Dumber” film”), “Bellyache” and “Scream” for starters.

  7. The Killer, Jerry Lee Lewis, mentioned himself many times in song. This first one was cut just after he returned in disgrace from an aborted tour of the UK. He completed 3 of the scheduled 37 dates on the tour.

    On here, although he doesn’t mention his name, you know he means him! A cover of Johnny O’Keefe’s hit (The only Aussie rock ‘n’ roll “classic”)

      • Yes, several times. The first being in 1966 when he was touring with Lee Dorsey and Cliff ennett & the Rebel Rousers.
        I also went to a party where he was at, but by the time I got there he was so drunk he was on all fours and unable to communicate!

  8. Noise, did you say?

    When I was a young boy
    I was workin’ for the state
    I wasn’t makin’ much money
    I was stayin’ out late
    Go down at nighttime and
    Play music in the bars
    Take my breaks out underneath the stars

    I was makin’ some noise
    I was a workin’ boy
    Up at the top of my voice
    Sayin’, “Look at me mama I’m makin’ some noise”

    Makin’ Some Noise by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

  9. Imagine being in a band who’s greatest claim to fame is what country they are from. I appreciate that patriotism sells in the States, but surely they could have substituted the odd complimentary alternative for ‘American’ in the chorus. “We’re a band with no shirts, and we’re coming to your town?”
    (I’d tap the lead guitarist for that. He doesn’t seem to have that much to do, so when he gets bored of walking over to say hi to the bassist he could look stuff up in the thesaurus)

    • The guitarist looks like the Incredible Hulk (face and hair) ;-)

      But it is a great rocking track ! ! !

    • Given that song came out in 1973, i’m not sure the country was feeling especially patriotic at that time…

  10. Several of the Grateful Dead’s songs are rooted in their personal experiences – Truckin’, Born Cross-Eyed, The Other One, Estimated Prophet, Cassidy, for example – but there are two that define them, both personally and musically.
    Playing In The Band is their ‘Ronseal’* song and I’ve spent time elsewhere explaining why (http://thespillbloggy.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/3-5-7-8-9-10/), so you’re welcome to read that.

    More controversially, Victim Or The Crime describes them on a fundamental level, as examples of people who indulge in questionable behaviour, particularly drugs and sex. It initially caused great uproar both within the band and with the fans, as it seemed to point a very big pointy finger at heroin users Jerry Garcia and Brent Mydland right from the first line: Patience runs out on the junkie/The dark side hires another soul. Weir and his lyricist, Gerrit Graham (an actor who played Roger Bender on the TV show “Now and Again”, apparently) stuck to their guns and it gained grudging acceptance. Garcia was OK with it from the outset: “I don’t give a fuck, sing what you want.”
    Musically it’s typical Weir-Dead: distinctly odd. He based it on something by Bela Bartok.

    *Ronseal is a wood-preserving product with the slogan: ‘It does exactly what it says on the tin’.

  11. GrandFunkRailroad and fancying Sonya from Echobelly are both fairly guilty pleasures of mine, I have to admit.

    Self-referential songs I like:

    B52′s ’52 Girls’

    There is a superior cover of this by Bluetip.

    Public Enemy ‘Public Enemy No. 1′

    From back when PE were taking the world on.

    • I really love the B52s track ! ! !

      Public Enemy were really so influential and this still sounds great ! ! !

  12. I’m not sure if I’m approaching this from the correct angle, but I find Into My Arms by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds both personal and in a way egotistical. I do love it, but really Nick, if there is a God why would s/he be concerned with helping you get the lady of your choice into your arms?

      • Glad you enjoyed it, I have to say it took me a long while to love it, it is a different style to what Mr Cave had done before and, despite being a very big fan, I sold the album it came from as it really didn’t appeal to me.

        The songwriting quality won out in the end though.

        I watched the video you posted at the beginning, they seemed very perky and I liked their skirts.

      • Hi Beth ! ! !

        Most J-pop is perky and AKB 48 are a very perky group ! ! ! Korean girl bands tend to be more sexy.

        I like the skirts also ! ! ! But I think it is a nice song as it talks about how hard the girls work for their success.

        Mostly girl groups are ignored but they do work really hard and are very talented singers and dancers and really very professional so respect that a lot.

        Kara for example trained for three years before they released a single and you really see that when they perform. They are one of the other girl groups to perform at the Tokyo Dome (the first was the fabulous Okinawa girl group Speed)

        Kara Live At Tokyo Dome

        I hope you like it ! ! !

  13. Hello strangely familiar people – good to step back into the conversation on such a great question. I think your favourite song someone wrote about themselves can also be about yourself, and I found this song true when I first got to know it and it’s got truer ever since. Not that it would be straightforward to label him a ‘rapper’ but I think Michael Franti provides a relevant spin on the egotistical rapper stereotype: his egotism is never more apparent in his songs than in this one, in which he acknowledges the intrusion of his ego while being more genuinely self-deprecating than most non-rap artists would be comfortable with. As much could be said with fewer syllables about Heavy D’s Chunky But Funky, but this has got the added benefit of some nice guitar:

    Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy – Music and Politics

      • Definitely influenced by him and they were friends. The track that introduced me and many others to Franti was this one, routinely compared with GSH’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised:

    • Nice to see you may1366 – things have been 20% less erudite without you around. DHOH were great, weren’t they?

      • Thanks, barbryn. There’s never a shortage of erudition on these pages, but it’s good to get a few more moments to join in again.

        DHOH were great, even if it did at times seem like a lecture series set to beats (but what beats!), and Spearhead was a great follow-up project for Franti, some really infectious tracks (Rock The Nation, Hole In The Bucket).

  14. although it’s pretty egotistical, there aren’t too many directly self-referential metal songs.

    I love this one though, proper death metal (with just a splash of black), it gets me singing along every time it pops up on my iPod.

    God Dethroned – Loyal to the Crown of God Dethroned

  15. I should have thought of this one !
    Really, honestly one of my top 10 fave songs of all time and I forgot it !

    Stuck for a song in 1967 Syd Barrett, slightly frazzled no doubt, simply wrote a description of what he had on at the time, flung in a chorus and violer !
    Should have been a contender but never was.

  16. Loads to choose from as punk bands like singing about themselves almost as much as rappers do, but I’m going for this – egotistical and self-mocking at the same time

    Anti Nowhere League – We Are The League

    “Don’t you criticise the things we do
    No fucker pays to go and see you”

  17. Paul Simon, touring and travelling through Northern England, wrote this about himself and his experiences while sitting late at night (and alone) on Irlam railway station in Lancashire.

    “Sitting on a railwaystation,
    got a ticket for my destiation.
    On a tour of one night stands,
    my suitcase and guitar in hand,
    and every stop is neatly planned
    for a poet and a one man band”.

    He wrote it in retrospect of his achieved success with Art Garfunkle.

  18. Struggling here. All I can think of is Rick Nelson and “Garden Party” – not strictly a band. But otherwise it’s Pink Floyd again & “Wish You Were Here”:

  19. Lotta Stones tunes i could shoehorn in here – Monkey Man, Jigsaw Puzzle, It’s Only Rock and Roll – just for starters. Dylan, Joni Mitchell, or Lenny Cohen – ridiculously spoiled for choice. hip hop – ditto. donds for We’re an American Band and Public Enemy – other first thoughts.

    This one might cut it -

    But if im held at gunpoint, i’ll still go for this one -

  20. two side to a saneshane coin:

    “Hot Chip will break your legs
    Snap off your head
    Hot chip will put you down
    under the ground”***

    Hot Chip – The Warning

    ***with their feather dusters, I’m guessing:

    Big bro and uncle took me to see these when I was 11 – second ever gig:

    Motörhead – Motörhead

  21. Man of the World written by Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac is thought to be autobiographical. Even if it isn’t, it’s a long time since I listened to this and it’s just so good, I thought I’d share it.

  22. Showbiz isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, according to Tindersticks, who’d swap the glamour of the rock star life for the simple pleasure of pushing their daughters around the supermarket:

  23. A couple of Bob Dylan songs from me.

    First, a very early one, based closely on an Irish folk song

    Then looking back from much later in his career,

    There’s a white diamond gloom on the dark side of this room
    And a pathway that leads up to the stars
    If you don’t believe there’s a price for this sweet paradise
    Remind me to show you the scars

    There’s a new day at dawn and I’ve finally arrived
    If I’m there in the morning, baby, you’ll know I’ve survived
    I can’t believe it, I can’t believe I’m alive

  24. Would like to think we’re all spoilt for choice on this. Songs being self reference raised to art and all. Could have done a dozen or more just from Neil Young but as I get to choose I’ll go with my old pal Joe with an able assist from Barry Melton’s acid tinged guitar. Here I Go Again….

  25. Late to the party

    Celtas Cortos are one of my favourite groups. The song No Nos Podrán Parar is totally self referential as it tells the story of how the group came to be and their hard left political stance. They often start their concerts with this one which tends to set the mood for a lot of angry shouting and pogoing from the fans.

  26. Surprised no one’s yet mentioned one of the most self-referential singers ever, the great Bo Diddley. Among several such songs are Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley’s a Gunslinger, Diddley Daddy and the following:

  27. My twin nieces (currently age 12) introduced me to this song. It’s about the only Disney song of the last few years that I could remember and still makes me smile:

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