The album Night Visions by the new band Imagine Dragons has a number of good songs on it. Indeed, one of my minor complaints about it was that the title Radioactive and On Top of the World aren’t very original. I have the song Radioactive by the Firm in my collection and what I thought was On Top of the World was a very famous song when I was a kid. While doing the research for this post, I looked up that song and found it was really called Top of the World by the Carpenters. But there was another song called On Top of the World that rated top billing on DuckDuckGo.
I developed a suspicion that Imagine Dragons were title mining in an effort to strengthen their lyrical skills. Of course a band would want the title Radioactive. Because a band wants to be active on the radio something I’m sure was not lost on the Firm. And On Top of the World just sounds so wonderfully positive. Why not use it as a title again? Song titles can’t be protected as anyone who grew up with a zillion Hold On songs, such as myself, ought to know.
So I got my Night Visions album (I have the normal version with only eleven songs so this whole post might just be sour grapes because I didn’t know there was another version with more songs) and searched all the song titles on DuckDuckGo. I typed in “lyrics” first then the title of each song without capitals. None of the first ten song titles was original. At least one other act had lyrics for each song searched. For shame Imagine Dragons.
Finally when I reached the eleventh song which is entitled Nothing Left to Say/Rocks I decided not to extend the benefit of the doubt and looked them up as two different songs. After all, on the album they are clearly two songs with silence in between and everything. Nothing Left to Say and Rocks are also unoriginal titles.
Well wait one moment. Maybe its just a matter of almost every good title has already been used, there being so many obscure acts and all. So I subjected the album I’ve been listening to lately to the same searches. Also, conveniently it has 12 songs on it, too. It is the greatest hits package by Kate Bush entitled The Whole Story.
I expected seemingly very original titles like Cloudbusting and Hounds of Love to pass the test. Indeed they did. In fact there were only two titles, Breathing and Wow which failed to be original titles (to be fair, I only checked the whole first page of results – all the Imagine Dragons titles were unoriginal in the first few results). I had expected The Dreaming to be unoriginal but the closest that was found was Dreaming by Blondie.
So I say to Imagine Dragons, “You’re big now so you no longer have to title mine.” And if that’s not what they’re doing they can now afford to be more unique and experimental and their song titles don’t have to sound “normal”.
But if they choose to rebel against my advice, the world could really use another song called Hold On.