The Song Remains The Same – One

It’s time to play the game again, this is where I dig up a bunch of different songs with the same title and see which one I like the best. I don’t keep an index of these, if you’re curious what I’ve done before just head over to the category on the right and it’ll show you my other posts.

Today I’m doing one that I was going to do awhile back, but instead I got sidetracked and decided to write about an album instead. It’s time to talk about “that one song,” ever famous in music conversation but no one really knows what one song it is. After all this time we can finally answer the question – yes, I know that one song.

A whole bunch of artists have songs called One. I’ve chosen six from artists I know and/or respect. Spoiler alert – I did not choose Creed. Also spoiler alert – if you think you know which one I’m going to pick as the winner, well, you’d be right, this one is obvious as obvious gets. This one is a bit bigger than normal so let’s have at it.

Alanis Morissette

I was very, VERY into Alanis when she burst on the scene, she had quite an effect on 17 year old boys. But I quickly moved on to other territory and haven’t really kept up with Alanis that much since her big break. This is from the 1998 album Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, which sold a lot and I won’t say much more about because the title is taking up a lot of space.

I haven’t ever heard this song before, as I don’t think I ever listened to this album in full. It’s a pretty good song, not anything that’ll set the world on fire but I’m honestly digging it quite a bit. While Alanis won’t win today’s contest, I can say I should maybe visit more of her work someday.

Fates Warning

This band is a pretty well known quantity in metal but I’ll be honest – I’m not all that familiar with them. For whatever reason I’ve never spent a lot of time with them and it’s been years since I’ve heard them at all.

I was kind of shocked to find that this is, by far, FW’s most streamed song on Spotify. I’m pretty sure the 2000 album it came from didn’t make waves, in fact I can’t find a damn thing about it. But this is apparently a very popular song for some reason. It has far more streams than anything from their popular albums.

This is a really good song, one that would be in contention for today’s crown if it wasn’t for that one song. If nothing else, this reminds me that I really need to brush up on Fates Warning.

Harry Nilsson

A well-respected but perhaps underrated artist, Nilsson had some success in the late 60’s and early 70’s. I know some of his stuff but he’s someone I haven’t spent a ton of time with and also one I should probably add to the to-do list.

Nilsson composed One and released it on his 1968 album Aerial Ballet. It wasn’t a hit for him at the time, but the song would soon get pretty big off a cover version by Three Dog Night. Since this series doesn’t consider cover songs (kind of goes against the whole exercise), I’ll only be looking at Nilsson’s original tune. The song has been widely covered even beyond Three Dog Night, though their version is probably the most well-known.

Nilsson’s OG composition is a good tune. I’m not overly familiar with it but I have heard it before, and it’s been in a bunch of movie soundtracks and stuff like that. I don’t have much criteria to rate how it should place in this contest but I’d give it good marks if I were actually handing out scores.

Simple Plan

Ok, we have a bit of history on ye olde website – as long as I was looking over everything correctly, Simple Plan is the first band to appear in these contests more than once. They were on the Jump one, which they obviously lost, and now they compete in the One gauntlet, which they also have obviously lost.

As I said last time, pop punk isn’t really my bag. I also don’t shit on it just because it’s there to do, and this song is ok. I will say it’s just ok – it’s kind of slow and doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t have a leg in this race but hey, maybe at the rate they keep popping up on these, they might sneak away with a win.

U2

It’s time for one of the two very, very well-known versions of One. U2 released this on their 1991 mega-album and direction-changing Achtung Baby. The single was a massive hit and people fall all over themselves to this day to talk about how great it is.

The song was kind of a bridge between what they did in the 80’s and their new direction. Not that the new direction did them any harm – this album was stupid successful. But One was a callback to more familiar U2 material, something for the old folks I guess.

I’ll say this – it’s a really good song. I haven’t heard it in a long time and this is a nice, sad tune. I figured I’d think it was good but I’m a bit taken aback, this is a really great song.

It’s time to sort through the murk and pick a winner. Alanis had a nice tune, as did Harry Nilsson. The metalhead in me would default to Fates Warning, who has a nice offering even with my lack of familiarity. But the U2 song truly did knock me back a bit. They are the clear winner – of second place. Today’s blatantly obvious winner?

Metallica

That’s it, folks. That’s the post. See you next time.

The Song Remains The Same – Dancing In The Dark

The game is back again. This time I’m doing one I just happened to notice as I was scrolling through a huge list of these “different songs with the same name” thing. I wasn’t aware there were enough different songs with this same title to do this one and when I saw it I figured I’d give it a whirl. I was aware of the existence of exactly one of these songs before I set out on this course.

Real quick for anyone who hasn’t seen one of these posts before, it’s really simple – I go through a bunch of different songs with the same name (not covers, actual different songs) and pick the best one/my favorite. I don’t do exhaustive searches to try and cover every instance of the song’s title in all of recorded music history, I just go with what’s in front of me. Today’s contest has five entries which is a good spot for these posts.

Bing Crosby

The first entry is from one of music’s most popular artists. Bing Crosby was the man, and was for a very long time all through the 20th Century. The song was released in 1931 and was a hit, and would go on to be recorded by everyone and their mother as was the fashion in the old days of music.

I’m not a huge expert on this era of music so I won’t get that much into it. The song is fine to listen to and it reminds me of the kind of stuff my older relatives would play when I was growing up. It’s not stuff I’d seek out but I think it’s fine to hear.

Bruce Springsteen

It’s quickly on to the one I’m familiar with. Dancing In The Dark was the lead single from Springsteen’s seminal Born In The USA album and was his best-performing single ever (perhaps still is). The song was written literally overnight when producer Jon Landau told Springsteen the album needed a hit single, and hence one was delivered. The video famously features a young Courtney Cox.

If I were to list my favorite Springsteen tracks this song probably wouldn’t be on the list, but it’s still a really good song. It was the first time Springsteen used synthesizers in his music, thought they’re just a part of the song here. It was a good song to set the Boss apart from his usual fare.

Imagine Dragons

No thank you. Next.

Rihanna

This track comes from a movie soundtrack that Rihanna also provided voice acting to. It was some kid’s movie that I’ve never heard of so I’m entirely unfamiliar with it. Rihanna is immensely talented but this song doesn’t do much for me, it’s extremely repetitive and doesn’t have a lot going on.

Kim Wilde

The 1980’s pop star recorded her own version of Dancing In The Dark, which was a single released in 1983. Wilde had a few early international hits but this turn to dance music did not do her any favors – the song and album flopped, and it would be a few years before Kim would find her biggest success.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this tune, but I’d agree with consensus that Kim had better music elsewhere. This may come as a shock to my readers, but I’m not much of a dancing person and it would stand to reason that dance music isn’t really my bag.

It’s time to pick a winner and this turned out to be really easy, my dance partner is Bruce Springsteen. This song title appears to be a popular one, more results turned up but I don’t have the time or energy to go through every one. But no one else here could argue with the Boss.

The Song Remains The Same – Love You To Death

Today I’m taking it easy and going with a song that only has three known variations. There might be more, but I don’t feel like looking for them and the three we have to discuss will be plenty.

As the title suggests, the song in question is Love You To Death. One version comes from heavy metal royalty, another is a signature track from everyone’s favorite band in the fall season, and yet another is from a group I heard of a little while ago when I saw that they also recorded a song with the same name. Let’s get into it.

The Soup Dragons

We’ll start with the band I’ve never heard of. These guys were a Scottish alt-rock act active from 1985 through 1995. They are totally unfamiliar to me. This song comes from their 1990 album Lovegod. This wasn’t a single or anything, it’s a deep cut from a record that saw a bit of chart action but seemingly didn’t set the world on fire.

This is a pretty cool sound. I like what they’re doing here. Alt-rock was a very catch-all term in the era before grunge, this is very bright and shiny but not in a detrimental way. The song is fine and it gives me enough cause to delve further into the band’s work.

Judas Priest

This is a cut from the Ram It Down album. Being honest, the album is not anywhere near the top of my Priest rankings, or even the middle really. This song is also a deep cut from an album not necessarily celebrated among the Priest faithful.

This track is fine. I’m not in love with it by any means, it’s no signature Priest classic or even a heralded deep cut from a better record. But the song is entertaining enough, I can accept X degree of silliness and this hovers around that mark. Even if it strays a bit over, I’ll take it.

Type O Negative

Wrapping up with the spooktacular rockers (in the Halloween season, no less), we have the second single from Type O’s October Rust album. This record saw the band move on from the Bloody Kisses period and refine their sound into a more “goth balladeer” realm, which would largely define the remainder of their career, and which this song is a shining example of.

The song is pretty simple – dude digs girl, dude pledges his eternal devotion to girl. It’s laden with the signature Type O sound that only they could do.

So this wasn’t really much of a contest. It would seem like pitting Priest against anyone would be an epic battle, but picking stuff off Ram It Down isn’t really going to cut it. The obvious winner is Type O Negative. It’s in the spirit of the season and also the best song presented, with all respect to The Soup Dragons.

Next time I get into one of these it’ll be one with a ton of songs to go through. I figured I’d go light for today. Until next time.

The Song Remains The Same – Jump

It’s time again for my silly little game where I compare a bunch of different songs with the same name. This current edition crosses genre lines and is a true cross-section of music from several parts of the soundscape. It also has a blatantly obvious winner before I even begin typing so I’ll just save that one for the end. Lazy content is still content, remember that.

Today’s song is Jump. Again, I’m sure most everyone can guess who I’ve already handed the award to. But in the interest of fairness, let’s review a handful of other acts who’ve recorded songs called Jump. There are a few hit-makers here and also a few legacy acts who I wasn’t aware had songs called Jump. I stumbled into a list of nine major artists who’ve done a song called Jump, and a cursory Spotify search turns up about a trillion results, so I’ll cull this down to five other acts and our winner. Let’s have at it.

Kris Kross

The first contestant offers up a noteworthy entry into the contest. Kriss Kross’s Jump was a massive smash hit in 1992. It topped charts in many different countries and was the best-selling single of that year with over 2 million copies moved. It was the the first rap song ever to spend 8 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100, and the first song since The Police’s Every Breath You Take to accomplish that feat.

And fair play to Kriss Kross – this was a justified smash hit. The two Chris’ who comprised the group were a year or so younger than me when they delivered this magnum opus. Even in the sea of grunge and Metallica in 1992, this song was all over the place. There’s no arguing with success and this was a total masterstroke.

Kylie Minogue

Speaking of massive hits, we have one of the world’s biggest hitmakers in Kylie Minogue right here. She did that “loco-motion” song in the 80’s and then did that one song in the early 00’s that literally took over every chart on the planet. I’d be here until next week running down her accolades.

And this isn’t one of them. Her version of Jump is a deep cut off of a 1997 album – it wasn’t released as a single and it’s nothing to write home about. It is some kind of nice electro-pop slow jam, the song isn’t bad by any stretch, but it’s also not winning any awards.

Loverboy

This cut comes from the group’s 1981 breakout album Get Lucky. The album features Loverboy’s signature song Working For The Weekend and was a big seller. Loverboy’s Jump was the final single from the record and also features an interesting collaboration – the track was co-written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. That duo were slinging songs left and right for any takers before Adams’ big breakout in 1983. I don’t know the history behind this, if it was an Adams/Vallance song that the band decided to use or if that writing pair and Loverboy collaborated on the song, but here we have it.

It’s a pretty cool song, certainly fitting of Loverboy. It doesn’t outdo what we know is coming, and honestly I wouldn’t rank it ahead of Kriss Kross either, but it’s a fun song. Honestly I’m more curious about the specifics behind Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance being involved with it than anything.

Rihanna

Our most recent entry to the series is from the Barbados superstar’s 2012 album Unapologetic. It was a single from the record and apparently a well-regarded song by critics, though for Rihanna standards it lags behind many other songs in streaming numbers (a paltry 43 million compared to her busting a billion twice and being close to that with several more tracks).

It is a cool song that samples Ginuwine’s 1996 mega-hit Pony, which was everywhere in Europe for the few years I spent there. Rihanna’s Jump hasn’t lived up to her usual measure, but in fairness she is often the gold standard of modern music releases and I guess everyone has to have other songs besides mega-hits.

Simple Plan

One more song before we get to where we all know we’re going. This from a Canadian pop-punk act who have been around for quite awhile but I’m not really familiar with. Simple Plan’s Jump comes from their 2004 album Still Not Getting Any (2004 me hears you, bro).

I almost feel obligated to talk shit about this since it’s pop punk, but truthfully I have no problem with it. It’s a fine song, not one I’m going to race to write a massive essay about, but still solid. I never really listened to much pop punk but I never had any real issue with it either. I still have a bigger death metal and black metal collection than a lot of other people so it doesn’t matter what I think about pop punk anyway.

Out of these five entries, I’d easily give the award to Kriss Kross. Their Jump was iconic, massive and essentially ruled the world for an extended time on its release. None of the other songs here really measure up to it.

But, of course, there’s one more Jump out there. And it’s my obvious winner.

Van Halen

Jump was the lead single to Van Halen’s 1984, their final album from the initial run with David Lee Roth and a massive success. Jump itself shot to the top of the Billboard charts and stands as VH’s biggest single from their career span.

Though some VH fans do poo-poo the synth and pop direction of Jump, I’m not one of them. I was 6 years old when I first heard the song, it wasn’t going to deter me that they might not have the same edge as their debut. Nothing in the years since has changed my mind that it’s a fantastic song from a masterpiece of a record.

And nothing any other musical act did could topple Van Halen from the “Who did the best Jump?” contest. It’s time to hand the trophy to VH and call it a day on this edition of the game.

The Song Remains The Same – Tormentor

It’s time again to pit several songs with the same title against each other. This time around it is one hell of a matchup – four legendary metal bands with the same-named song. In an odd coincidence, each instance of the song is on each band’s debut record. And they were all released within two years of each other between 1983 and 1985.

Today’s song is Tormentor,as the title suggests. This was also originally going to be my first post in this series but I punted this because it’s such a tough decision. And while I’m sure many other bands (especially metal bands) have recorded songs called Tormentor, I’m pretty sure this pool of four heavyweights of the industry can’t really be topped. Let’s begin.

Destruction

The original 1985 recording
The sonically much-improved 2000’s re-recording

Starting off with the venerable German thrashers, their version of Tormentor came in 1985 on their Infernal Overkill debut. I also included their 2000’s re-recording of the song because the original is pretty rough.

Destruction is the one I’m less familiar with because I didn’t get into them until the 2000’s, while I’ve listened to the other three bands for decades. The song is good, if perhaps under-developed. It is a simple tune that gets straight to the brutal point. While I’m usually bored by re-recorded stuff, Destruction has a famously bad sounding early discography and I think the re-recording gives new life to the song.

Slayer

Back to America and 1983, where Slayer started the Tormentor game on Show No Mercy. The song was a standout for me from the album. It’s a simple yet effective riff with some badass Tom Araya wailing and the requisite tortured solo section. The verses and chorus are clearly delivered and paint a vivid picture of hunting someone down in the shadows, the delivery on this song is great.

W.A.S.P.

The video and audio are hilariously out of sync

One year ahead to 1984 and the self-titled debut of Blackie Lawless and company. W.A.S.P.’s take on Tormentor got a music video as the song was included on some obscure movie that the band also appeared in. This is also an album I covered in the Album of the Week series back last October.

Tormentor wouldn’t be considered the highlight of the debut album but the song still offers the raw, aggressive sound on offer from a startling and brilliant record. The song gets the job done and was part of a sound and image that scared the hell out of suburban America in the 1980’s.

Kreator

We’ll head back to Germany and 1985 for the final version of Tormentor. It comes from Kreator’s debut Endless Pain, a very noteworthy album in the annals of thrash metal. Tormentor is a fitting inclusion on the album and is a savage and raw attack with a snarling vocal delivery and a pounding riff through its brief three minute run. While Kreator may have shared some production woes with countrymen Destruction, Kreator were able to make it work on this buzzsaw of an album. The gruff and unpolished sound would actually go on to influence metal bands.

So there we have four songs all named Tormentor from four of metal’s most well-known and loved groups. And it’s time to sort out who wins this little contest. I can rule out Destruction early, while I do like the track I think it pales a bit in comparison to the other three.

But this is where the trouble lies. The W.A.S.P. tune is great, but the Kreator song is snarling and savage, also just how I like it. And the Slayer song is a brilliant early performance from their first era.

And after a bit of review, it is Slayer who takes home the crown. In the end their song just goes places and communicates its horror story in a way that stands out from the pack. It’s a gem of a cut from their hallowed debut and a unique piece of sound from before their turn towards more straightforward and brutal thrash. And Tom Araya’s screams on that, holy hell how did he do that?

While these games can be fun when acts from all across music have cut songs with the same name, it gets really interesting when it’s all bands from one part of the spectrum. I guess tormenting people was a common thought among metal musicians in the early 80’s, I don’t know. I would be afraid of the night if I had all these long-haired metal freaks coming at me in the dark in 1984.

The Song Remains The Same – Hysteria

Time again for that fun little game where I line up a bunch of different songs with the same name and see what’s what. The first one I did was a total no-contest but this time around we’ve got a fight on our hands. I’m personally familiar with two of the songs and have been discovering some other stuff as I’ve searched around for more with the same name.

Our song today is Hysteria. One entry will be ultra-obvious and another almost as evident. But beyond those this is a decently-used song title so I had to sort them down a bit. We have a range of contenders from different parts of the music spectrum to choose from today.

As always with these, this is not a complete list of artists who’ve recorded a song with this name. There are quite a few for this one and I’m not including everyone.

Ceremony

I’ll lead off with a new-to-me band that I found by searching “hysteria” on Spotify. This was the first unfamiliar result that came up and, well, I guess I’m the one who has been missing out. Ceremony are a punk rock outfit from California and are noted for changing their formula across albums.

Ceremony’s version of Hysteria comes from their 2012 album Zoo and was a single release as well. This is a really nice song and I’ve been jamming out to more of the band since running across them for this post. And this tune will bear consideration in the final voting even with the heavyweights it’s up against.

Def Leppard

Likely the most known variant of this song, it’s the title track from the 1987 album where the British rockers literally took over the world. This album was all-conquering and was everywhere for eons. Hysteria is one of the album’s seven (!) singles.

Not much to discuss here, this is one early favorite to win the contest. They do have obvious competition and some not-as-obvious, but winning this would just be another day at the park for this monstrous song and album.

Poppy

This one is interesting – it’s from an artist who started on YouTube by acting like an android or something then eventually wound up doing her own music. Her version of Hysteria is from her 2021 album Flux.

This cut is honestly pretty cool. Poppy appears to operate somewhat in the dreampop/shoegaze space, stuff I’m cool with but not radically familiar with either. While I don’t think this song has what it takes to win this little contest I can say I didn’t mind at all checking it out.

Gothic Sex

This name showed up when I looked on a website that catalogs this “different song, same name” stuff I’m looking for. Just imagine what you’d get if you searched for “gothic sex” on Google. The band was active in the 1990’s but does not appear to have been active since the turn of the millennium and information about them is far more scarce than people engaging in the activity.

Hysteria is from their 1994 album Divided We Fall. The song is kinda cool, kinda goofy. I don’t mind it but I don’t think this new-to-me entrant will be walking away with the trophy today.

Muse

The other known quantity in this exercise, the other British rockers are here with a hit song from their hit album. It comes from their 2003 album Absolution, regarded by several to be their best.

Hysteria features one of music’s most well-done bass lines and is a dark descent into falling apart over being into someone who can’t be had. The video features Justin Theroux having a shirtless shitfit. This version of Hysteria is right up alongside Def Leppard’s as a favorite to win the contest.

Scooter

This German outfit is apparently very successful, is described as a “happy hardcore” rave/techno outfit, and I don’t want to talk about them anymore or go over any of this shit so here’s the song that’s clearly not going to win my award chosen by me.

I’ll go ahead and cut off the entries here because I’m not doing any more of that. Out of six contestants there are three worth considering – Ceremony, Def Leppard and Muse. Ceremony’s entry is nice but I’ll have to pass it over in favor of one of the two British rock acts.

But now I have a much bigger decision on my hands than it may seem to some. Yes, Leppard’s title track is part of one of music’s most celebrated albums. But the Muse effort is from what’s widely recognized as their best albums and it’s also, at least on my list, close to the top of their best overall songs.

I went over both tracks for a little while and I even thought about calling it a tie. But that’s a cop-out. After much deliberation, the winner is Muse.

It does seem odd to pick against the titanic Def Leppard track, but Muse does edge it out for me. Maybe it was shirtless Justin Theroux who put it over the top.

Congrats to the winners and all of the entrants (except Scooter wtf was that) and I’ll be back later for another battle of different songs that are the same.

The Song Remains The Same – Breaking The Silence

I’m gonna start a new series today. This is one that has been on my mind for quite some time but I just never got around to fiddling with it. The time is now, I suppose.

The premise is simple – in music, there are a lot of different artists and bands. Many of those artists record songs with the same title, though the songs themselves can be radically different. The goal here is to have a look at some of these songs and see which one I’m into the most (if at all). It will also introduce songs from genres I don’t typically listen to (not today, but in the future). Note that this is NOT about cover songs, these are all original artist recordings going up against each other.

This is really meant for fun more than anything – there are more piles of different songs with the same name than I can practically get to in my life time. Ones like today are pretty easy, while stuff like “I Want You” or “I’ll Be There For You” could have books written about them.

To get this series kicked off I’m going with one that sees four different artists having the same song title. All of the bands are in the general category of metal, though they take on different forms. Three are groups I at least appreciate, if not enjoy and one is a group I haven’t listened to in almost 20 years and wasn’t chomping at the bit to hear again now. But a project is a project so press on I must.

A perpetual disclaimer for this series – this should not be taken as a complete list of songs with the same name. I’m using the first few websites I find in Google for my “research” on this and this isn’t a scholarly exercise. Feel free to mention anything missed on these if you know of one or more that got missed.

Today’s inaugural Song Remains The Same, uh, song? Breaking The Silence

I have found four different recordings of a song called Breaking The Silence. Two are from bands I am familiar but not well acquainted with, one is from a group I am vastly familiar with, and one is from a band I never fell over myself to know in any capacity. Let’s have at it.

Breaking Benjamin

This group is a 2000’s alt-metal outfit from the US. I’m sure they are pretty well known, they were all over early 2000’s radio and I saw their name around a lot. They aren’t a group I’ve ever sought out to listen to and, save for this exercise, I doubt I ever will. Let’s see what we get here. The song comes from their 2015 album Dark Before Dawn.

The song is generally pretty good. Pretty decent clean passages, I’m not personally into the “rappy” bits but they don’t ruin anything. It isn’t my thing but I’ll give credit where credit is due and say that I think it’s alright.

Firewind

This group is one I’m familiar with. I’ve heard their stuff before but I’ve never owned it or been heavily invested in it. The group is from Greece and is helmed by guitarist Gus G, the same guy who did a stint with Ozzy Osbourne. The cut is from their 2006 album Allegiance and the song was released as a single in Greece in 2007.

The song is fine. It’s in a style of power metal that isn’t entirely for me but I can appreciate what they’re doing. I suppose it’s indicative of why I never got into the band in the first place. But they definitely know how to play and to put a song together.

H.E.A.T.

This is a Swedish hard rock group that probably needs no introduction across most of my readership. Their take on Breaking The Silence comes from their 2012 album Address The Nation, which was the first to feature vocalist Erik Gronwall. Of course, Grownall has now gone on to helm Skid Row. I’m personally not overly familiar with them and have only heard them in bits and pieces.

This is really good. I like what I’m hearing here. Just a very nice rock anthem. This is clearly a band I’m going to have to give more attention to, I have been missing out.

And if this whole thing ended here, we’d have a clear winner. As it is, the boys will have to settle for silver today.

Queensryche

Let’s be real – this was never a contest. Also, is this a good time to mention that Operation: Mindcrime is my favorite album of all time?

Even though this could be taken as a set-up, I don’t think there was any real chance the other contenders were going to topple Queensryche here. It’s the Seattle outfit at the height of their creativity in the late 80’s and a well-known cut from their acclaimed masterpiece. They just nailed everything on this album, including this track that sees the story’s protagonist out in the wind after the death of his lady friend. Perfectly executed, perfectly produced, it’s all there.

And that does it for the first installment of The Song Remains The Same. This one was in the can from the moment I decided to do it (and it wasn’t actually where this was supposed to begin, a story for another time). In the future I’ll try to provide a bit more suspense to the results but there was no messing around with a cut from my favorite album ever.