Mix it up: The callback mix

Mix it up

My “Mix it up” posts are evidently going to be a series because I can’t stop thinking of ideas for CD mixes. Which is strange because I haven’t actually sent a CD mix to anyone lately. I’m full of ideas though! My last two mixes can be found on my old PastaQueen site. They were The Aging Mix and the Same Title, Different Song mix.

This time I want to put together a mix of songs that callback to one another or are linked in some way. Usually it’s because one song references the other song. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Lloyd Cole and The Commotions – Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?
Camera Obscura – Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken

The link between these two is pretty obvious. The first song is asking if you’re ready to be heartbroken and then Camera Obscura let’s good old Lloyd know that, yes, they’re ready to be heartbroken.

Neil Young – Southern Man
Lynard Skynard – Sweet Home Alabama

The Neil Young song is critical of the south. A verse in the Lynard Syknard song responds to that with “Well I heard mister Young sing about her/Well, I heard ole Neil put her down/Well, I hope Neil Young will remember/A Southern man don’t need him around anyhow”

The Eagles – Take It Easy
Tori Amos – Springtime of His Voodoo

The Eagles song has a lyric “Well, I’m a standing on a corner/in Winslow, Arizona/and such a fine sight to see/It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed/Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me.” The Tori Amos song references this with the lyric “Standin’ on a corner in Winslow Arizona/And I’m quite sure I’m in the wrong song.”

Billy Bragg – New England
Kirsty McColl – New England (new verse, female perspective)

At first glance it might seem like the Kirsty McColl version is just a cover of the Billy Bragg version. Don’t be fooled! Kirsty’s version is a response to Billy’s version seen from the female perspective. She even adds a verse or two. It’s interesting to compare the views on being dumped, dumping someone, and the attitudes each has on the situation. Here are the Billy Bragg lyrics and the Kirsty McColl lyrics. And YouTube has this a version of the song with both Billy and Kirsty!

Ronnie Spector & the Ronettes – Be My Baby
Eddie Money – Take My Home Tonight

Yes, my knowledge of 80’s soft rock is showing here. The Eddie Money song has the lyric “Just like Ronnie said/Be my little baby” which refers to Ronnie’s song. He even got Ronnie Spector to guest on his song.

OK! Those are the ones I thought of off the top of my head. I’m sure there are lots more. Tell me about them in the comments. Try to avoid listing songs that simply sample other songs or mashup other songs. I’m not that interested in something like “Every Breath You Take” by The Police and that P. Diddy song that basically just raps over it. Or Will Smith’s “Men In Black” which uses the melody from “Forget Me Nots.” I’d like for there to be a conscious reference to the other song and not just sampling.

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JenFul » Mix it up: Just like a mix · October 4, 2012 at 8:05 am

[…] Song mix and the Aging mix back when I blogged at PastaQueen.com. Here on JenFul I came up with the Callback mix and the Opposites […]

Manda • June 8, 2011 at 7:16 am

Frank Sinatra- My Way
Bon Jovi- It’s My Life


KeithW • June 8, 2011 at 7:17 am

William, It Was Really Nothing by the Smiths was probably about Billy Mackenzie of the Associates. Much later, Mackenzie released a response song called Stephen, You’re Really Something aimed at (Stephen) Morrissey.


KeithW • June 8, 2011 at 7:49 am

Glass Onion by the Beatles is full of callbacks to their earlier work.


Laura • June 8, 2011 at 8:46 am

My friend once made me a “Your Mom” CD as a joke…all songs had the word Mom in them. The best part was he didnt tell me what the theme of the CD was we just started noticing..priceless!! :)


Lisa • June 8, 2011 at 10:18 am

My favorite example are the Major Tom songs–David Bowie’s original version and Peter Schilling’s sequel, which adds the supposition that Major Tom went adrift on purpose…

I expect it’s cheating if it’s the same band, but Queen mentions Fat Bottomed Girls in their other song Bicycle Race.


Jo • June 8, 2011 at 10:50 am

This is country, but Brad Paisley’s “Old Alabama” and Alabama’s “Mountain Music”. “Old Alabama” is basically a mish-mash of the names of various Alabama songs with the backdrop of Mountain Music as it’s riff. And as far as it goes – it’s pretty good – especially if you’re an old Alabama fan like me.


Susan • June 8, 2011 at 10:58 am

Oh! I have a perfect suggestion for this! When I was in high school (child of the ’80s), I remember being very amused at this original and answer song!

Paul Lekakis – Boom, Boom (Let’s Go Back to My Room)
Body Heat – No! Mr. Boom Boom


Colleenzo • June 8, 2011 at 11:12 am

Nirvana’s Come As You Are says, ‘Take your time, hurry up, the choice is yours, don’t be late.’ Blink 182’s Adams Song replies with, ‘I took my time, hurried up, the choice was mine, I didn’t think enough.’ So if you like songs about suicide, that’s a good choice for your mix!


Ellen Mancuso • June 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm

In 1965 there was a very popular protest song, The Eve of Destruction by Barry McGuire about everything that was wrong with the country. Conservatives didn’t like it and it was answered by The Dawn of Correction by the Spokesmen.


wyn • June 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm

I can only come up with one example that I know of: Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” song illicited the response from Lil’ Bit unimaginatively titled “So Sick (Response)”. Lame example since I’m not sure Lil’ Bit’s song was released, kind of like those YouTube videos that get response videos… these kids these days.


Becca • June 8, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I always spend days thinking about answers to these posts and then always forget to write them for you, so today I’m going for off the top of my head:

Ani DiFranco “cloud blood” in the line she says “every other song someone’s trying to write angels into the world”, easily answering Sarah Maclachlan’s “angels” or whatever it was called, as well as a bunch of other songs at the time.

And does the category count if a song references another singer? such as Emmy the Great’s “Dylan”.

Also Emmy the Great “Canopies and Drapes” quotes the Friends theme song “I’ll be there for you”. In the line she sings “I sit here drooling on my own again/ another routine episode of Friends/ What does it mean to be American?/ Is it/ feelings, coffee and/ I’ll be there for you?”.

I shall ponder more, but those are off the cuff for you :)


Kimberly • June 8, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Elliott Smith’s “Waltz #2″ mentions the Everly Brothers’ “Cathy’s Clown”

The Dead Milkmen’s “Punk Rock Girl references “California Dreaming” by The Mamas and the Papas.

Peter Schilling’s “Major Tom (Coming Home)” continues the story told in Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”

And finally, Don McLean cleverly references a slew of songs in “American Pie.”


vivi • June 9, 2011 at 3:36 am

1) Crowded House: “Weather with you”. It starts: “walking round the room singing -stormy weather-“.

and, obviously

2) Stormy weather (any of the versions)


Velv • June 9, 2011 at 4:35 am

Aerosmith with “Walk this way”

Bryan Adams with “Run to you”

Now just added to my new running playlist. Speaking of which, do you actually use these mixes to run on?


cait • June 9, 2011 at 9:01 am

There’s also Snow Patrol’s “Hands Open,” which makes reference to Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago”


Tara • June 9, 2011 at 11:28 am

The Pixies (led by Black Francis aka Frank Black) ‘Monkey Gone to Heaven':
“If Man is 5
Then the Devil is 6
Then God is 7
This monkey’s gone to heaven”

The Bloodhound Gang ‘Fire, Water, Burn':
“I’m not black like Barry White, no I am white like Frank Black is
So if man is 5 and then Devil is 6, then that must make me 7
This honkey’s gone to heaven”

Tori Amos has another one too – she references Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Pretty Hate Machine’ in her song ‘Caught a Lite Sneeze’. She says something about making her own pretty hate machine.


Leigh Ann • June 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Dire Straits: “Romeo and Juliet”
and the “Love Theme” from the 1968 Zefferelli movie

The movie song starts out “A time for us, some day there’ll be.” Mark Knopfler references this in the Dire Straits song: “There’s a place for us, you know the movie song. When you gonna realize, it was just that the time was wrong, Juliet?”


Sheila • June 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm

“It’s My Party” led to “Judy’s Turn to Cry”.

“King of the Road” led to “Queen of the House”.

“This Diamond Ring” led to a female response, possibly with the same title.

Yes, I am old. Very very old.


JenFul • June 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm

@Velv – I haven’t been using the mixes for running because my podiatrist has told me it will take about 2 months for my tendonitis to heal. After that I might! I like making the mixes more for the challenge of it, though.


Dayle • June 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Styx’s “First Time” has the dedication “for Paul” – it was a response to “Silly Love Songs.”

Too obscure? (I’ll note that I’m a huge Styx fan, and “First Time” is my least favorite song of theirs…)


Ange • June 9, 2011 at 3:58 pm

I think you should make a mix where one song starts a chain that ties into the next song and so on…what a challenge that would be….


JenFul • June 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm

@Ange – I’ve thought of doing that, usually when two songs come up in my playlist that are related. It would definitely be a challenge to come up with a chain long enough for a CD mix.


PoppyK • June 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Unfortunately this was probably never recorded, but I was lucky enough to see Alex Chilton play live shortly after the Replacements came out with the song ‘Alex Chilton’ and he must have been flattered because he covered it.


Dixie • June 9, 2011 at 6:48 pm

@Sheila –
I’m apparently very old too, because i was going to suggest these same songs, but you beat me to it!
(Child of the 50s-60s)


Maureen • June 10, 2011 at 11:58 am

@Sheila – I am not old, but my taste in music is. My first thought was the “Judy’s turn to cry.” :-)


celeste • June 11, 2011 at 12:01 am

New Kids on the Block, Barenaked Ladies
Step by Step, New Kids on the Block


Lizbeth • June 12, 2011 at 10:53 am

Just stumbled on this blog and I find you know who Lloyd Cole, Billy Bragg AND Kirsty MacColl are! I am hooked already because of this:) God rest Kirsty’s soul:(


Lizbeth • June 12, 2011 at 11:04 am

Also, I meant to add, ever since Kirsty was killed, Billy Bragg sings “A New England” with her verses added


sarah • June 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm

@Lizbeth – billy actually wrote the extra verses specifically for kirsty. another talent taken too soon…


Jo • June 13, 2011 at 9:16 am

Now here’s an oldie goldie classic.

Hank Thompson’s “The Wild Side of Life”

Kitty Wells “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”

I’m not that old, but a long time country fan. These were 50’s songs.


Mymsie • June 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Recent fave:

Neil Young – Old Man
Redlight King – Old Man (More than just samples original)


Mymsie • June 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm

P.S. Forgot links:

Neil Young – Old Man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW1l6hS0OPc
Redlight King – Old Man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGt54Ozo8LQ


Kathy W. • June 14, 2011 at 1:55 am

What was the final playlist on the aging mix? Would be fun if we could see what suggestions made it in…


Leigh Ann • June 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Oh, I just thought of an addition to my comment above. Dire Straits’ “Romeo and Juliet” also references another song: “My Boyfriend’s Back” by the Angels (1963). “Juliet says, ‘Hey, it’s Romeo, you nearly give me a heart attack.’ He’s underneath the window; she says, ‘Hey, la, my boyfriend’s back.'”


Elaine • June 16, 2011 at 9:49 am

No lyrics in this one, but you can hear strains of Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” in the interminable, repetitive ending of the Beatle’s “All You Need Is Love”.


Lizbeth • June 17, 2011 at 2:51 pm

@sarah – Thank you Sarah…..I love me some BB too! And so true about dear Kirsty:(


tony • June 24, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Love these lists!
Okay, Robert Plant’s “Lighten Up” contains bits and pieces of his old Led Zeppelin songs, does that count? And how about an album title (I know this is way off on a tangent)-Neil Young’s “Harvest” and “Harvest Moon”.
It would be neat to see the playlist you come up with.


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Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, chronic headache sufferer, (former?) weight-loss inspiration, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She was formerly known as PastaQueen. You can contact her if you promise to be nice.

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