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redeyedrichard

A Band's Defining Song

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Many bands have defining songs, at least one or two songs that everyone knows and associates with that band. For Led Zeppelin it is Stairway to Heaven or Whole Lotta Love. For Nirvana it is Smells Like Teen Spirit.

What other bands have those songs that everyone knows? Did those songs make the band famous or was fame in place before the writing of those songs? Which songs are unfortunately left in the background that should have more recognition?

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Cranberries - Zombie

Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall / Money

Incubus - Drive

Cream - Crossroads

And a LONG list of examples

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Radiohead - Creep (sadly, since they got tons of better songs)

Maybe Karma Police as well

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If you go by airtime and most well-known, I'd say "Long Distance Runaround" and "Roundabout" for YES. Which is LAME because those are about the 2 worst songs. Not to mention "Owner of the Lonely Heart" which is lamest of the lame! I love all their stuff but those. Just like someone mentioned above about Pink Floyd's "hits".

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What other bands have those songs that everyone knows?

R.E.M. would be one with their signature song being Losing My Religion. Everybody Hurts, Man On the Moon, The One I Love and a handful of others also seem to be fairly widely known.

Did those songs make the band famous or was fame in place before the writing of those songs?

With each successive album R.E.M. sold more records than the one before, this goes all the way back to their early years on I.R.S. Records. It was their grassroots success via touring the country in a van coupled with favorable press and extensive college radio airplay that led to their initial breakthrough success with Radio Free Europe. This work ethic is what paved the way for the band to eventually be signed to Warner Brothers Records for Green and the string of hits that followed, including the overwhelmingly popular Losing My Religion from their second WB effort, Out of Time. That song was a hit worldwide but it wouldn't have been possible without all the hard work R.E.M. put in early on by touring the country as often as they did throughout the 80s.

Which songs are unfortunately left in the background that should have more recognition?

The vast majority of their I.R.S. catalog but that has been helped along in recent years, especially with last year's And I Feel Fine collection which focuses exclusively on their tenure with I.R.S. Records.

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Let's see here...

1. Billy Ray Cyrus "Achy Breaky Heart" I know this is cringeworthy, but I had to mention it because it was the only country song I knew back in its heyday.

2. Sir Mix-a-Lot "Baby Got Back" This one is also cringeworthy, but once again, it had to be mentioned because who didn't know this song in the early 1990's?

3. The Eagles "Hotel California" I know, I know...this is definately one of those cliched songs. But isn't this the point of the thread?

4. Stone Temple Pilots "Vasoline" or "Plush"

5. The Verve "Bittersweet Symphony"

6. AC/DC "Back in Black" or "You Shook Me"

I think that's good for now....

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Good additions people. I don't think anyone mentioned Queen playing Bohemian Rhapsody.

Having looked through those lists though there are a few songs there that made bands become famous when they didn't really have too much recognition before that. Take Nirvana for example, for many they are a one song band 'Teen Spirit' and that's it really. Whereas with bands like Zeppelin and REM they got better and better over time and continued to create signature songs.

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Good additions people. I don't think anyone mentioned Queen playing Bohemian Rhapsody.

I was just going to say this... Much to my chagrin..

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i'd say the who with like 'my generation'

That would offer some explanation to why I've never liked The Who.

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Having looked through those lists though there are a few songs there that made bands become famous when they didn't really have too much recognition before that. Take Nirvana for example, for many they are a one song band 'Teen Spirit' and that's it really. Whereas with bands like Zeppelin and REM they got better and better over time and continued to create signature songs.

Bleach went largely unnoticed by the general public and In Utereo was pretty much geared not to get airplay but still, it yielded a hit single in All Apologies. Unplugged was much more successful and got lots of airplay but it was mostly live versions of previously released material so no signature songs there. In all fairness I think Nirvana never really had a chance to create a list of hits due to the obvious. To this day there's still a demand for their music as can be evidenced by the release of posthumous material.

In the case of R.E.M., each one of their albums produced a hit (or three) up until New Adventures In Hi-Fi when the band themselves decided to release E-Bow the Letter as a single. Great song but not good for mainstream radio airplay. Intentional or not, they shot themselves in the foot with that one. Since then Bill Berry left and the climate of American radio has changed drastically, no longer making a place for artists like R.E.M. In that regard their last three albums have recieved little to no airplay in the U.S. but they have managed to remain successful overseas.

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Oasis - Wonderwall

I was gonna say that.

Also:

Blur - Parklife

Mansun - Wide Open Space

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Goo Goo Dolls - Iris

Genesis - Invisible Touch/In Too Deep

Police - Every Breath You Take

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Thunder Road

Rolling Stones - Satisfaction

Beatles - I Wanna Hold Your Hand (the one they did on Sullivan)

White Stripes - Seven Nation Army

Weezer - Buddy Holly (even though I think they've done better songs)

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i'd say the who with like 'my generation'

Damn you beat me to it.

It's either "My Generation" or perhaps "Baba O'Riley." I still think "Won't Get Fooled Again" is better than both.

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I think Baba O'Riley is the Who's definitive song. I know too many people who only know that part of the song Pete Townshend sings, and they all think the song is really called "Teenage Wasteland".

We can thank the many CSI shows for bringing this song and Won't Get Fooled Again to the forefront.

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I think Baba O'Riley is the Who's definitive song. I know too many people who only know that part of the song Pete Townshend sings, and they all think the song is really called "Teenage Wasteland".

We can thank the many CSI shows for bringing this song and Won't Get Fooled Again to the forefront.

To be fair, both songs were huge well before CSI, but I'm sure some people were introduced to the Who through CSI.

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Bleach went largely unnoticed by the general public and In Utereo was pretty much geared not to get airplay but still, it yielded a hit single in All Apologies. Unplugged was much more successful and got lots of airplay but it was mostly live versions of previously released material so no signature songs there. In all fairness I think Nirvana never really had a chance to create a list of hits due to the obvious. To this day there's still a demand for their music as can be evidenced by the release of posthumous material.

Well Kurt Cobain is the highest grossing dead musician ever. He makes more money than even Elvis or any other musical great. But yes I think there are some amazing songs that are far better than Teen Spirit. Some of the stuff on Bleach for example is great, Negative Creep for example...grunge at its finest.

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To be fair, both songs were huge well before CSI, but I'm sure some people were introduced to the Who through CSI.

I wasn't saying that the songs were not popular pre-CSI. I was saying that we can thank the CSI franchise for exposing those songs to a wider audience.

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Nobody has said "Free Bird" or "Sweet Home Alabama" yet? :o

I think those two songs are a perfect example of the thread topic.They're great songs sure;but Lynyrd Skynyrd has so many great others that are virturally ignored,or completely overlooked.One of the things I love most about my Sirius is that I now hear songs that I haven't heard in a looooooong time.I still hear "Free Bird";but it's the kickass live version from 1976 (One More From The Road ),which I'll never tire of.

Edited by 59LesPaul

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I wasn't saying that the songs were not popular pre-CSI. I was saying that we can thank the CSI franchise for exposing those songs to a wider audience.

I suppose I can't argue with that, especially considering that CSI reached out to younger people who had not really heard the Who.

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Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

On the cover of the Rolling Stone

I was gonna say Sylvia's Mother. but ah...

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Nobody has said "Free Bird" or "Sweet Home Alabama" yet? :o

I think those two songs are a perfect example of the thread topic.They're great songs sure;but Lynyrd Skynyrd has so many great others that are virturally ignored,or completely overlooked.One of the things I love most about my Sirius is that I now hear songs that I haven't heard in a looooooong time.I still hear "Free Bird";but it's the kickass live version from 1976 (One More From The Road ),which I'll never tire of.

I used to love both those songs until I realized how many Lynard Skynard "fans" know only "Free Bird" or "Sweet Home Alabama."

Now they make me back away from Skynard like Superman does to kryptonite. :(

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