June 20, 2018 / 11:07 AM

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5 Albums Named After Lyrics By Other Bands: Steely Dan, Spoon, And More



One of my favorite types of album titles are those that are taken from the album's lyrics, but these five artists took a slightly different approach. Instead of naming their album after one of their own lyrics, they named their album after a lyric by another band entirely.

1. Steely Dan - Can't Buy A Thrill (1972)

Jazz-rock group Steely Dan took the name of their 1972 debut Can't Buy A Thrill from a lyric from Bob Dylan's 1965 song "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry," in which he sings, "Well, I ride on a mailtrain, babe/Can't buy a thrill."

2. The BoDeans - Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams (1986)

One of the Rolling Stone's most famous songs from their '70s new wave era is "Shattered" from 1978's Some Girls. One of the lines from that song's opening verse, "Love and hope and sex and dreams," served as the inspiration for the title of the BoDean's 1986 debut album.

3. Veruca Salt - American Thighs (1994)

The hyper-masculine rock and roll style of AC/DC is worlds away from the moody, ironic world of '90s alternative and grunge, but that didn't stop Chicago alt-rock group Veruca Salt from appropriating one of AC/DC's lyrics for their own purposes. The band's 1994 debut American Thighs takes its title from AC/DC's 1980 hit "You Shook Me All Night Long," in which Brian Johnson sings, "Knocking me out with those American thighs." I imagine Veruca Salt's use of the phrase has a more feminist, tongue-in-cheek sentiment, however.

4. The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Strung Out in Heaven (1998)

The Brian Jonestown Massacre's love of David Bowie should be plainly obvious, since this is a band that once wrote a "Space Oddity" rip-off titled "(David Bowie I Love You) Since I Was Six." In 1998, the band again referenced Bowie, this time with the title of their album Strung Out in Heaven, which is a lyric from Bowie's 1980 hit "Ashes to Ashes."

5. Spoon - Girls Can Tell (2001)

This entry is a little bit different from the other ones, but it still applies. Rather than simply naming an album after a lyric by another artist, Spoon named its 2001 album Girls Can Tell after a song by another artist, the song in question being "Girls Can Tell" by the Crystals, which was one of Phil Spector's classic girl groups from the '60s. Though the title would lead one to think that the band recorded a cover of the song for the album, this isn't the case.

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