For their first album I wrote a post to show how every Imagine Dragons song on their first album had a title that had been used earlier. As a control, I compared it with a Kate Bush CD which also had 12 songs. She only had 2 unoriginal titles.
Well for their 2nd album Imagine Dragons’ first release had an original title: “I Bet My Life.” It was followed up by the singles “Shots” and “Gold” which at first glance from me were original titles till I looked further down the list of Duck Duck Go matches.
These singles on Smoke + Mirrors were no where near as popular as the songs on Night Vision according to Vevo counts on Youtube. I think Imagine Dragons lost a large proportion of the pro title mining crowd. Scared of the unfamiliar titles, fans either didn’t buy or didn’t get the word out to the rest of the public. Some are quick to say “Sophomore jinx” but I think Imagine Dragon fans just love title mining.
Their latest album “Evolve” had a first single called “Believer”. Why just a couple years ago American Authors released a single with the same name. So it is obvious to everyone that the title was mined. Currently it has two and a half times the number of hits on Youtube as the most successful song on their second album.
And I found no less than three other songs on the album that have been large hits before. Rise Up was a big hit for Parachute Club in the eighties, Dancing in the Dark is a Bruce Springsteen classic and Yesterday was one of many big hits by the Beatles.
Sure there are 3 tracks on the 11 track album whose titles might be unique: Mouth of the River, Thunder, and Walking the Wire. It’s just that Thunder and Walking the Wire have many similar titles making them seem unoriginal, too. Maybe Imagine Dragons don’t want to alienate fans of their sophomore album with its more original titles. Still, the vast majority of songs used title mining. So I bet they are going to stick with that. Really, its like cutting off Sampson’s hair.
But I have a challenge for Imagine Dragons. Artists gave up a long time ago on having totally original song titles. But there seems to be less freedom for the artist in coming up with album titles. In fact, I can’t name any two albums that have the same name.
I dare Imagine Dragons to do this. Perhaps it will be an easy thing. They could use an unoriginal title of one of their songs for their album’s name. That way they could be doubly title mining for both the album and song. If they do this, I bet they will become the premier rock band of our time.