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9 Album Titles That Reference Other Albums: Lily Allen, The Decemberists, And More

by Joey DeGroot   Jul 10, 2014 16:26 PM EDT

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If you want your album title to catch someone's attention, one surefire technique you can try is referencing the title of a classic album, which might trick people into thinking your album is just as good. Here are nine album titles that are references to other albums.

1. Porcupine Tree - Fear of a Blank Planet (2007)

Though progressive rock band Porcupine Tree has pretty much nothing to do with hip-hop, the title of its 2007 album Fear of a Blank Planet is clearly an homage to Public Enemy's classic 1990 album Fear of a Black Planet.

 2. Liz Phair - Exile In Guyville (1993)

For her debut album, Liz Phair gave us the excellent Exile in Guyville, which she claims is a song-by-song response to the Rolling Stone's classic 1972 double LP Exile On Main Street.

 3. Nick Lowe - Bowi (1977)

Technically this one's an EP, but it still applies to what I'm talking about. In 1977, David Bowie released his classic album Low, which Nick Lowe cleverly responded to by titling his debut EP Bowi, purposely spelling Bowie's name with the "e," just as Bowie had done with Lowe's name, albeit unintentionally.

 4. The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request (1996)

The Brian Jonestown Massacre's name should be enough of an indication that frontman Anton Newcombe is an enormous Rolling Stones fan, but Newcombe took his Rolling Stones homage one step further with the title of BJM's fourth album Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request, which is a reference to the Rolling Stone's 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request.

 5. The Brian Jonestown Massacre - ...And This Is Our Music (2003)

Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request wasn't the only time the Brian Jonestown Massacre would pay homage to another album title. The band's 2003 album ...And This Is Our Music is a response to Ornette Coleman's 1961 free jazz classic This Is Our Music.

 6. Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come (1998)

Another band to pay homage to Ornette Coleman was Swedish art punk band Refused, whose 1998 classic The Shape of Punk to Come is a play on Coleman's 1959 album The Shape of Jazz to Come.

 7. The Decemberists - The King is Dead (2011)

Though the Decemberists' 2011 alt-country album The King is Dead takes considerable influence from R.E.M. and even features guest appearances by R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, the album's title is actually believed to be an homage to another legendary '80s band: The Smiths, whose classic 1986 album was titled The Queen is Dead.

8. Butthole Surfers - Electriclarryland (1996)

Though the Butthole Surfers had already named an album after a classic rock parody (1988's Hairway to Steven), the band pulled the stunt again for its 1996 album Electriclarryland, a reference to Jimi Hendrix's 1968 album Electric Ladyland. Electriclarryland would prove to be one of the Butthole Surfers' most successful albums, containing the band's first top 40 hit "Pepper."

9. Lily Allen - Sheezus (2014)

Never one to shy away from pushing buttons, Lily Allen not only wrote a song called "Sheezus," an obvious reference to Kanye West's Yeezus, she also made it the title track to her third album. Despite its admirably feminist sentiments, Sheezus is nowhere near the album that Yeezus is.

What other album titles are references to another band's album? Let us know in the comments section!

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