5 Songs with the Names of the Artists Who Perform Them in the Title, Including Bob Dylan, The Monkees, & Black Sabbath

Many artists have written songs that celebrate and honor other musicians, Examples include Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger,” Weezer’s “Buddy Holly,” and Motorhead’s “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.” Perhaps less common are artists who mention themselves in the titles of their own songs.

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That being said, we have found quite a few instances of this phenomenon. Here are five noteworthy songs the feature a band’s or solo artist’s own name in their titles:

[RELATED: 5 Bands Named After Other Bands’ Songs]

“Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” – Bob Dylan (1965)

Bob Dylan didn’t write just one song that featured his name in the title, but a series of tunes. His second studio album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963), included tunes called “Bob Dylan’s Blues” and “Bob Dylan’s Dream.”

Meanwhile, Dylan’s classic fifth studio, Bringing It All Back Home (1965), featured the song “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream.” The tune features the folk-rock legend telling a surreal tale told by a narrator who starts out traveling on a ship with a character named Captain Arab who ends up getting thrown in jail with the ship’s crew.

The narrator then breaks out of jail and makes his way around New York City. Along the way, he has ridiculous encounters as he tries to get bail money for the captain and his crew.

“(Theme from) The Monkees” – The Monkees (1966)

The Monkees are an interesting case, since they began as a fictional band created for a television series. A TV series needs a theme song, of course, so the songwriting team of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart created one—the infectious and catchy “(Theme from) The Monkees.”

Sung by Micky Dolenz, the song introduced the band to the world. It features the memorable lyric: “Hey, hey, we’re The Monkees, and people say we monkey around / But we’re too busy singing, to put anybody down.”

The Monkees’ 1966 self-titled debut album featured an extended version of the theme song.

“Black Sabbath” – Black Sabbath (1970)

Black Sabbath released its self-titled debut album in 1970, and kicking off the record was a song called, you guessed it, “Black Sabbath.” The ominous, sludgy heavy-metal tune finds frontman Ozzy Osbourne singing about Satan coming to overtake the Earth.

In a 2001 interview with Guitar World, bassist Geezer Butler explained that Osbourne had written the lyrics about a creepy incident that happened to Butler. He said that after he’d borrowed a book on black magic from Osbourne one afternoon, he woke up that night and saw a black figure standing in his room that then slowly vanished. He also claimed that the book had disappeared as well.

“I told Ozzy about it,” Butler recalled. “It stuck in his mind, and when we started playing ‘Black Sabbath,’ he just came out with those lyrics.”

“Bad Company” – Bad Company (1974)

The supergroup Bad Company was formed in 1973. It featured two members of Free—singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke—along with Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and ex-King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell.

Bad Company’s 1974 debut album was called Bad Company, and it also featured a song with that title. Rodgers and Kirke co-wrote the tune around the same time the group decided to call itself Bad Company.

Rodgers and Kirke have told conflicting stories about what inspired the name. Kirke has said that Rodgers had seen a poster for the 1972 Jeff Bridges film Bad Company and thought it would be a great name for the band.

In a 2010 interview with Spinner.com, however, Rodgers said he got the name from a book on Victorian morals he’d seen when he was a child. According to the singer, the book featured a picture of a disheveled character holding a bottle and leaning on a lamppost as a “little choirboy” looked up at him. As Rodgers recalled, the image was captioned, “Beware of bad company.”

The song has gone on to be a staple on classic-rock radio.

“In a Big Country” – Big Country (1983)

Scottish rock band Big Country released its debut album, The Crossing, in 1983. The album, which produced by frequent U2 collaborator Steve Lillywhite, included the group’s best-known song and biggest U.S. hit, “In a Big Country.”

Helped by a video that garnered heavy play on MTV, “In a Big Country” peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100, and reached the same spot on the U.K. singles chart. The track featured soaring guitars treated with an effect that made them sound like bagpipes.

“The lyrical idea was about having hope, a sense of self in times of trouble,” Big Country frontman Stuart Adamson said in a 1990 interview with Melody Maker. Sadly, Adamson died by suicide in 2001 at age 43.

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