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by Dan Weiss

February 8, 2014

Songs Named After the Band

by Dan Weiss  |  February 8, 2014

If you thought a band name was a statement of purpose, imagine how much more significant it becomes when the band is singing that exact statement. There's a reason this happens mostly in punk, rap and metal, where the early hardcore Beastie Boys ("Beastie Boys"), the juvenile Green Day ("Green Day") and the jubilantly gimmicky Fat Boys ("Fat Boys") couldn't resist introducing themselves through their titular philosophies. Others, like Pennywise ("Pennywise"), Iron Maiden ("Iron Maiden") and Youth of Today (oh, you get it) acted as their own cheerleaders when a radio format didn't yet exist to promote their then-fringe loudness. Hardcore purist/pioneers Minor Threat turned their "Minor Threat" into a menacing manifesto, while "Public Enemy No. 1," by one of rap's most influential groups, did the same for jeep-beat agitprop. Some classic rockers have also adhered to the self-titled song practice ("Damn Yankees," "Bad Company," and of course, "Killer Queen"), and some indie rockers, too, if only for a rare laugh -- see "Wilco (the Song)," which promises that "Wilco will love you, baby," or "Titus Andronicus," an anti-anthem that promises something a little less comforting with the words "your life is over."

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