Friday, 24 January 2020

My Top Ten 'Being In A Band' Songs

Dipping my toe tentatively into Top Tens again, lest this blog get done under the Trade Descriptions Act. One of the main reasons I quit was because I always ended up with too many options for whatever topic I picked and I hated leaving anything out. So I'm just going to go with the first ten songs I think of and call this Volume 1 of Songs About Being In A Band. When I think of more, or you do, I might run a second post.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I did think of The Moody Blues - I'm Just A Singer In A Rock 'n' Roll Band, but then I listened to it again and decided it was actually rubbish.

10. Frank Hamilton - We Started A Band

It's a metaphor for a bad relationship. Aren't they all!

It feels like we started a band
But it didn't work out
Didn't work out how we planned
There's a tear in my eye
And maybe our songs were no good
Or maybe we just fought too much

9. Boston - Rock 'n' Roll Band

Much better than The Moody Blues.

Well, we were just another band out of Boston
On the road and tryin' to make ends meet
Playin' all the bars, sleepin' in our cars
And we practiced right on out in the street
No, we didn't have much money
We barely made enough to survive
But when we got up on stage and got ready to play, people came alive

8. Amy MacDonald - Let's Start A Band

It's not just the lads who want to do it.

Give me a stage and I'll be your rock and roll queen
Your 20th century cover of a magazine
Rolling Stones here I come, watch out everyone, I'm singing
I'm singing my song
Give me a festival and I'll be your Glastonbury star
The lights are shining everyone knows who you are
Singing songs about dreams about hopes about schemes
Oh, they just came true

7.  Grand Funk Railroad - We're An American Band

Yes they were.
Booze and ladies, keep me right
As long as we can make it to the show tonight

6. Del Amitri - Drunk In A Band

More grim honesty from Mr. Currie.

Danny puts the cones on the motorway
And Donna dances tables in her lingere
And Jerry, Dave, and Billy, man, they're putting on a play
But I'm just a drunk in a band

5. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Travelin' Band

Listen to the radio,
Talkin' 'bout the last show.
Someone got excited,
Had to call the state militia.
I wanna move.
Playin' in a travelin' band, yeah!

4. Albert Hammond - Free Electric Band

Well, they used to sit and speculate upon their son's career,
A lawyer or a doctor or a civil engineer,
Just give me bread and water, put a guitar in my hand,
'Cause all I need is music and the free electric band

I don't suppose Albert had much to say about his own son's choice of career...

3. Jason Isbell - To A Band That I Loved

I always thought this was about his years as a member of the Drive By Truckers, but the interweb tells me he actually wrote about a band they went on tour with called Centro-Matic.

Though everyone tried to ignore us
We'd scared them all off by the chorus

2. Felt - Ballad of the Band

The downside of being in a band... and not doing as well as you'd hoped.

It's all my fault
Yes I'm to blame
Ain't got no money
Ain't got no fame

1. Art Brut - Formed A Band

Surely the most joyous expression of what it must be like to start your own band after dreaming about it for so long. I can never understand why Art Brut weren't bigger than The Beatles. (Please don't answer that.)

And yes, that is his singing voice. It's not irony, and it's not rock 'n' roll... he's just talking... to the kids.


  1. Since you were so catty about the Beatles the other day, I won't mention Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, but can I suggest 10CC - "The Worst Band In The World"?

    "Well we've never done a days work in our life
    And our records sell in zillions
    It irrigates my heart with greed
    To know that you adore me
    Up yours, up mine
    But up everybody's that takes time
    But we're working on it
    Working on it (Ooh)..."

    1. That could fit in nicely with a follow up post I had planned.

  2. I've a pal who was a massive Centro-Matic fan
    I've seen them a couple of times and have a couple of their records.
    Led by Will Johnson they also recorded as South San Gabriel

  3. And the are those "story of the band" songs.

    Two off the top of my head:

    Stiff Little Fingers - Wait & See
    (everyone is saying they're cr*p and will amount to nothing, but they'll just keep on going with their own belief)

    Mott The Hoople - Saturday Gigs
    (from cheap wine and gigs at the Roundhouse to a tour of Broadway, and a desire to get off the treadmill)

  4. That top 3 is really strong, Rol. I think I would give it to Felt because it's probably my favorite song by Lawrence. Two songs that popped into my head on the subject is Six Man Band by the Association and, especially, My Stupid Band by the Hit Parade. Great lyrics. In a nice touch by frontman Julian Henry, he had "For Matt and Raymond" etched into the run-out groove of the 7". Those are his band mates.

  5. Wondering if the Clash's 'Garageland' would count here?
    "We're a garage band, we come from garageland...
    Meanwhile things are hotting up in the West End alright
    Contracts in the offices, groups in the night
    My bummin' slummin' friends have all got new boots
    An' someone just asked me if the group would wear suits" etc.


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