Mixtape: 10 Best Songs About Musicians


Now that they’ve subjected the world to some eye-blinding cover art, put out a cheesy promotional infomercial, and preemptively apologized for the song “Flash Delirium,” all that’s left for MGMT’s newest album Congratulations is the actual music (which is now streaming here). Amidst the oblique psychedelic meandering of their latest, the guys in MGMT felt compelled to saddle a pair of songs with some extra musical baggage: “Brian Eno” and “Song for Dan Treacy.”

In honor of MGMT bestowing their blessing on these two artists, we’ve compiled a list of songs about musicians/bands (the recent death of Alex Chilton is another unfortunate reason to examine this niche). After the jump, check out our choices, accompanied by some defining lyrics and ranging from self-referential jokiness to teary-eyed homages to a seriously pissed off Jay-Z. As always, let us know which songs we’ve left off.

1. The Replacements – “Alex Chilton” ytaudio(q8XR6nrSV3k) “Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes ’round/They sing ‘I’m in love, what’s that song?'”

2. Sublime – “KRS-One” ytaudio(gaYLdpFUSM4) “Because we don’t want to pay no money to hear the same old sounds/Watch him he’ll take hip hop to a higher ground”

3. Raekwon – “Ason Jones” (Ol’ Dirty Bastard) ytaudio(YUZHfs1Tw6g) “Ason, the heart of a lion, a purified mind/the way he did it, with a mic and some wine”

4. Iggy Pop – “Dum Dum Boys” (The Stooges) ytaudio(-ioRWlG9PBQ) “Things have been tough without the Dum Dum Boys/I can’t seem to speak the language/I remember how they used to stare at the ground/Looked as if they put the whole world down”

5. Dr. Dre – “Forgot About Dre” ytaudio(nlWLBofObfA) “Who you think brought you the o’ G’s/Eazy-E’s Ice Cube’s and D.O.C’s and Snoop D O double G’s?”

6. Prince – “My Name Is Prince” ytaudio(tGczlOoSvms) “My name is Prince and I am funky/My name is Prince the one and only”

7. Pink Floyd – “Wish You Were Here” (Syd Barrett) ytaudio(IXdNnw99-Ic) “Did you exchange/a walk on part in the war/for a lead role in a cage…Running over the same old ground/what have you found?/ the same old fears”

8. Flight of the Conchords – “Bowie” ytaudio(iR2L98gobTQ) “Bowie’s in space, Bowie’s in space…Do you have one really funky sequined spacesuit Bowie/or do you have several ch-changes?”

9. Jay-Z – “Takeover” (Nas) ytaudio(h4a6uuG7ddI) “Trust me on this one, I’ll detach you/Mind from spirit, body from soul/They’ll have to hold a mass, put your body in a hole”

10. Wilco – “Wilco (The Song)” ytaudio(c1io4UF9fJM) “Wilco will love you baby…This is a man with arms wide open/a sonic shoulder for you to cry on”