1. "Baba O'Riley" - The Who
This is the granddaddy of them all. Even people who pass themselves off as Who fans still call this one "Teenage Wasteland". The lyric respsonsible for this doesn't even appear until around the 2:20 mark, though it does appear frequently throughout the rest of the song. "Baba O'Riley" is actually a combination of 2 early demos by Pete Townsend. The name came from his spiritual adviser Meher Baba and experimental, minimalist composer Terry Riley, who Pete admired.
2. "The Rockafeller Skank" - Fatboy Slim
This song was part of the late 90's revival of electronic and techno music. Maybe it was because audiences at the time weren't used to hearing such amplified, catchy albeit repetitive music that they often mislabeled this one "Funk Soul Brother". Those are the only lines in the song and they are repeated quite often. I guess audiences at the time weren't used to hearing such amplified, catchy albeit repetitive music.
3. "Sliver" - Nirvana
Speaking of repetitive, Nirvana's "Sliver" is perhaps the most repetitious song in their whole catalog. Not sure if it's typos or inattention to detail that gets this one penned as "Silver" instead of "Sliver", but it is indeed "Sliver". Fun fact: the Nirvana clone band Silverchair named themselves after this song and combined it with You Am I's "Berlin Chair" only to have the same phenomenon occur and it was misread as "Silver" instead of "Sliver". Great song from a great band though.
4. "D'Yer Maker" - Led Zeppelin
There were a few Zeppelin tunes I could have included here, but I had to write about this one. First off i'm sure many audiences don't even know which Zeppelin song this is...they could hear it on the radio and never know the name of the song. It gets often mispronounced as "Dear Maker" or "Dye Er Maker". The reggae influence in the song should be a hint, the proper pronounciation should sound like "Jamaica". It's a pun people! Bad example: "Hey Polly is on an island holiday!", "Jamaica?", "No it was her choice". ZZZiiiinnng!!
5. "Closer" - Nine Inch Nails
I guess the general population isn't overly addicted to song names and artists when it comes to what they like listening to. When a song gets super popular and even transcends genre and jumps into a world that isn't familiar with the rest of the artists' work it just becomes another song. Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" became one of those songs. Instantly popular among youths in the 90's who were interested in pissing off their parents, NIN fans or not, mainly because of it's most memorable line....the line that gets substituted for it's title even to this day "I Wanna Fuck You Like An Animal"
6. "Vincent" - Don McLean
Known mainly for his song "American Pie" Don McLean might be enjoying a little more success today if people were calling his other famous song (and searching for it online) by it's correct name. "Vincent" gets wrongly called "Starry Starry Night" because, I guess, those are the first lyrics in the song. Nevermind that it's a name of a famous painting by Vincent Van Gogh whom the song is about. See! Even on Youtube it has "Starry Starry Night" in parenthesis. That wasn't there on the album sleeve. I had American Pie on cassette tape in my younger days. It's awesome. Both sides. I recommend it.
7. "Rainy Day Women #12 & #35" - Bob Dylan
What was Bob on about with that title? This song became an anthem for an entire generation and became known by it's most prominent line "Everybody Must Get Stoned". Though Dylan himself has stated it has nothing to do with drugs and claims he will "never write a drug song". The official story of how the song got it's name was two women came into the recording studio to get out of the rain and Bob correctly guessed their ages at 12 and 35. You can believe what you want and just for squeaks and gigs go ahead and multiply 12 by 35.
8. "Bodies" - Drowning Pool
This one might night seem like a huge reach or an unforgivable sin, but to a music stickler like myself there is a difference between calling a song "Bodies" and calling it "Let The Bodies Hit The Floor". That difference? One is the song's title, the other is not.
9. "Bonzo Goes To Bitgurg" - The Ramones
This song is the only one on the list to actually change it's title the often mislabeled one. It was written about Ronald Reagan's trip to Bitburg, Germany. You see Reagan was once an actor and starred opposite a chimpanzee in a movie called Bedtime For Bonzo. Depending on which version of the story you hear the band changed the song's name or simply added the extra title "My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down" because Johnny Ramone actually supported Reagan and wanted it changed or simply audiences were calling it that anyway because of the song's refrain.
10. "Fightstarter Karaoke" - The Dropkick Murphys
I'm even guilty of this one. For the longest time I thought this song was called "Riot Tonight". I guess it's one of the many downfalls of the digital music era. Not owning the album, holding it in your hand. You get second hand music everyday, and unless you know better, many of the songs you download are either given the wrong title or credited to the wrong artist. Honestly, how many of you have "Walking In Memphis" by Bruce Springsteen in your collection? How about "She Sells Sanctuary" by The Cure? It's a trend that happens constantly and sadly, in the foreseeable future I can only feel it will get worse.
Thanks again all!
Follow the shit out of me on twitter!!