They say great minds think alike. This has proven true many times throughout rock ‘n’ roll history when it comes to naming songs.
There are, after all, only so many words in the English language, and copyright law doesn’t extend to protecting song titles. There are bound to be some repeats every once in a while.
The below list of 50 Sets of Rock Songs That Share the Same Name is not exhaustive — there are plenty more out there — but they are among the most notable.
Artists: David Bowie, Van Halen
2. “A Thousand Years”
Artists: Toto, Sting
Artists: Daryl Hall & John Oates, Toto
Artists: Genesis, INXS
Genesis‘ “Afterglow” appeared as the final track on 1976’s Wind & Wuthering, which was written by keyboardist Tony Banks. In 2005, INXS released their “Afterglow” as the second single from 2005’s Switch, their last album of all original material.
5. “All I Want Is You”
Artists: Roxy Music, Carly Simon, U2, Bryan Adams
Penned by Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music‘s “All I Want Is You” reached No. 12 on the U.K. singles chart in 1974. Carly Simon scored a minor hit (No. 54 on the U.S. Hot 100) with her “All I Want Is You” when it was released as a single from 1987’s Coming Around Again. Just a year after that, U2 also had a song by that title as a single from Rattle and Hum. And finally, Bryan Adams released his song on 1991’s Waking Up the Neighbours.
Artists: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Alan Parsons Project, Prince
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 1976 debut album included several songs that would remain favorites over the years, including “Breakdown.” A year later, the Alan Parsons Project released their “Breakdown” on their sophomore album, I Robot. Decades later, in 2014, Prince released his song, which he had been performing onstage.
7. “Call Me”
Artists: Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Blondie
Backed by the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Aretha Franklin released “Call Me” in 1970, a No. 11 hit on the U.S. Hot 100 chart. Three years later, Al Green titled his album Call Me and included a single called “Call Me (Come Back Home).” Then came Blondie‘s “Call Me,” a 1980 hit that stayed at No. 1 for six weeks.
Artists: R.E.M., Wilco
Artists: David Bowie, Black Sabbath
10. “Come Together”
Artists: MC5, The Beatles, Primal Scream
The best-known “Come Together” is the Beatles‘ 1969 hit from Abbey Road. But about eight months earlier, MC5 released their “Come Together” on Kick Out the Jams. Many years after that, Primal Scream released their song on Screamadelica.
Artists: Radiohead, Stone Temple Pilots
First came Radiohead‘s “Creep,” released on Sept. 21, 1992. Their debut single wasn’t a hit right away but became one across the globe eventually. Eight days after Radiohead released their “Creep,” Stone Temple Pilots had a song with the same name, included on their 1992 LP, Core.
12. “Dark Star”
Artists: The Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Beck
An early classic by Grateful Dead, “Dark Star” was released as a single in 1968. More than a decade later came Crosby, Stills & Nash‘s “Dark Star,” penned by Stephen Stills. Several decades after that, Beck released his “Dark Star” on his 2006 album, The Information.
13. “Do It Again”
Artists: The Beach Boys, Steely Dan, The Kinks
“Do It Again” by the Beach Boys was released in the summer of 1968 and became a Top 20 hit. “Do It Again” by Steely Dan came out in 1972 and was an even bigger hit, reaching No. 6. “Do It Again” by the Kinks arrived in 1984, reaching only No. 41.
Artists: The Allman Brothers Band, Joe Walsh, Fleetwood Mac, Beck
Dreaming is pretty universal, so no surprise there are several songs about it. The Allman Brothers Band released “Dreams” in 1969 on their debut album. Then came Joe Walsh‘s “Dreams” on 1973’s The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get. The best-known “Dreams” arrived in 1977 in Fleetwood Mac‘s No. 1 hit written by Stevie Nicks. Beck released his “Dreams” in 2015.
Artists: The Cars, R.E.M.
Is there a more fitting title for a Cars song than “Drive”? Their song appeared in 1984’s Heartbeat City. In 1992, R.E.M. released their “Drive,” a Top 40 Hit that was included on Automatic for the People.
16. “End of the Line”
Artists: The Traveling Wilburys, The Allman Brothers Band
There’s a pretty big difference between the Traveling Wilburys‘ “End of the Line,” a jaunty tune released on their 1988 debut album, and the Allman Brothers’ “End of the Line,” a bluesy-rock number that appeared on their 1991 album, Shades of Two Worlds.
Artists: Judas Priest, Kiss
18. “Fallen Angel”
Artists: Robbie Robertson, Poison
There may not be a more diametrically opposite pair of artists than Robbie Robertson and Poison, who released songs titled “Fallen Angel” only a year apart from each other. Robertson’s was written about his late Bandmate, Richard Manuel, and appeared on his 1987 self-titled debut solo album. Poison’s “Fallen Angel” arrived on 1988’s Open Up and Say … Ahh! and was a No. 12 hit.
19. “For Whom the Bell Tolls”
Artists: Metallica, Bee Gees
Metallica‘s 1984 song “For Whom the Bell Tolls” literally begins with the sound of a bell tolling, which drummer Lars Ulrich reportedly made by hitting an anvil with a metal hammer. Bee Gees‘ “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” released in 1993, is decidedly less grim sounding.
20. “Good Times, Bad Times”
Artists: The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin
In the early days of the Rolling Stones‘ career, the band recorded a lot of cover songs. But on 1964’s 12 x 5, they started to include some originals, including “Good Times, Bad Times.” Five years later, Led Zeppelin offered up their “Good Times, Bad Times,” their first single released in the U.S.
Artists: Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk Railroad, Free, Pat Benatar
“Hey, fellas have you heard the news?” That’s how Led Zeppelin began their 1969 song “Heartbreaker.” The same year, Grand Funk Railroad used their “Heartbreaker” as the opening track on their debut album, On Time. In 1973, Free used their “Heartbreaker” as the titular song for their final album. Then, in 1979, Pat Benatar had a hit with her “Heartbreaker.”
Artists: Talking Heads, the Rolling Stones, Bryan Adams, Eurythmics, Depeche Mode
“Heaven” is a pretty common title it turns out. Talking Heads released their “Heaven” on 1979’s Fear of Music, followed by the Rolling Stones’ “Heaven” from 1981’s Tattoo You. Then came Bryan Adams‘ song in the mid-’80s and finally Depeche Mode‘s in 2013.
Artists: Deep Purple, Tool
Deep Purple‘s “Hush” is a cover: The song was written by Joe South, and Billy Joe Royal had a hit with it in 1967. The English rock band had a hit with it, too, in 1968. More than two decades later, Tool also had a song titled “Hush,” included on their 1992 debut EP, Opiate.
24. “I’m Your Man”
Artists: Wham!, Leonard Cohen
Wham! and Leonard Cohen don’t seem to have much in common. But they both have songs called “I’m Your Man.” Wham! released theirs in 1985, followed by Cohen in 1988.
25. “It’s Too Late”
Artists: The Small Faces, Carole King, New York Dolls
The Small Faces had immediate success with their 1966 debut album, which included a song titled “It’s Too Late.” Carole King enjoyed even bigger success with her “It’s Too Late” from Tapestry, which went to No. 1. New York Dolls also had a song called “It’s Too Late” on 1974’s Too Much Too Soon.
26. “Judgment Day”
Artists: Whitesnake, Van Halen
27. “King Kong”
Artists: The Kinks, Frank Zappa
Believe it or not, there are two different songs titled “King Kong.” The Kinks came first in 1968: “I’m King Kong and I’m 10 feet long / Got a big six gun and everybody is scared.” That was followed by the Frank Zappa song released on 1969’s Uncle Meat.
Artists: The Guess Who, David Crosby, R.E.M.
The Guess Who‘s “Laughing” was a No. 1 hit in their native Canada, reaching No. 10 in the U.S. Then David Crosby released his “Laughing,” a song he’d begun working on with CSN, on his 1971 debut album, If I Could Only Remember My Name. R.E.M. also had a song called “Laughing” on their debut album, 1983’s Murmur.
29. “Learning to Fly”
Artists: Pink Floyd, Tom Petty
Pink Floyd‘s “Learning to Fly” was written mostly by guitarist David Gilmour, who at that time was learning to fly an aircraft. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 1991 song, which Petty penned with producer Jeff Lynne, didn’t have such a literal meaning.
30. “Let It Shine”
Artists: Olivia Newton-John, Stephen Stills and Neil Young, Santana, Al Green, Brian Wilson
Olivia Newton-John released “Let It Shine” on her 1975 album, Clearly Love. Then came three more “Let It Shine” songs arrived in 1976: Stephen Stills and Neil Young‘s collaborative effort on Long May You Run, Santana on Amigos and Al Green on Full of Fire. In 1988, Brian Wilson gave us one more “Let It Shine” on his first solo album.
31. “Love Song”
Artists: Syd Barrett, The Damned, The Cure, Alice in Chains
Syd Barrett released only two solo albums after he left Pink Floyd; “Love Song” appeared on the second, 1970’s Barrett. A decade later, the Damned landed their first Top 40 hit with their “Love Song” in 1979. A decade after that, the Cure released their “Love Song,” which became a hit all over the world. In 1992, Alice in Chains included a hidden track titled “Love Song” on their EP Sap.
Artists: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Yes
Like the Stones, the Beatles worked a lot with cover songs in their early days. “Money (That’s What I Want),” sung by Barrett Strong, was Motown’s first hit in 1959. In 1973, Pink Floyd released their “Money” from The Dark Side of the Moon. Then in 1991 Yes released their unreleased 1978 song “Money” on their first box set, Yesyears.
33. “On the Road Again”
Artists: Bob Dylan, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Canned Heat, Willie Nelson
When you hear the title “On the Road Again,” chances are you think of Willie Nelson‘s classic 1980 song. But there were a few before that, including songs by Bob Dylan and the Lovin’ Spoonful in 1965, and Canned Heat‘s 1968 hit song.
Artists: Harry Nilsson, Three Dog Night, Metallica, U2
There are several songs with titles like “The One,” “You’re the One,” etc. But the simply titled “One” begins with Harry Nilsson‘s 1968 song. Three Dog Night covered the song the same year and had a hit with it. Then Metallica released their “One” in 1988, written about a World War I soldier. And finally, U2 gave us their “One” on 1991’s Achtung Baby.
Artists: Motorhead, Men at Work
Motorhead‘s 1979 song “Overkill,” a Top 40 hit in the U.K., quickly became a regular part of their live shows. Four years later, Men at Work released their “Overkill,” a No. 3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
Artists: Ringo Starr, Def Leppard, Weezer
Ringo Starr wrote his 1973 song “Photograph,” the lead single from Ringo, with his former Beatles bandmate George Harrison. “Photograph” was also the lead single from Def Leppard‘s Pyromania in 1983. And then there’s Weezer‘s “Photograph,” the third and final single from their 2001 self-titled album.
Artists: The Kinks, Nirvana
The inspiration for the Kinks’ “Polly” (1967) and Nirvana‘s “Polly” (1991) couldn’t be different. The former is a reference to the fictional character Polly Garter from Dylan Thomas’ 1954 radio drama Under Milk Wood. The latter was based on a true story from 1987 about a teenage girl in Washington State who was abducted and raped.
38. “Reason to Believe”
Artists: Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen
Rod Stewart did not write “Reason to Believe” — Tim Hardin did — and it was covered by many other artists over the years. But Stewart’s version is the one everyone knows because it appeared on his No. 1 1971 album, Every Picture Tells a Story. Bruce Springsteen wrote a different “Reason to Believe” for his 1982 album, Nebraska.
39. “Rock and Roll”
Artists: The Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin
40. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy”
Artists: The Kinks, Bad Company
41. “Save Me”
Artists: Aretha Franklin, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Bonnie Tyler
By the time Aretha Franklin released I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You in 1967, she was a seasoned recording artist. But she didn’t become a star until she switched record companies. “Save Me” was co-written with her sister Carolyn and saxophonist Curtis Ousley. Years later, Queen released their “Save Me” on 1980’s The Game. Then came “Save Me” by Fleetwood Mac, written by Christine McVie. Finally, Bonnie Tyler‘s “Save Me” arrived on 1991’s Bitterblue.
42. “Shooting Star”
Artists: Harry Chapin, Bad Company, Bob Dylan
Harry Chapin released “Shooting Star” on 1974’s Verities & Balderdash; Pat Benatar covered it in 1999. Then came Bad Company’s rock radio favorite “Shooting Star” from 1975’s Straight Shooter. And Bob Dylan’s “Shooting Star” arrived on 1989’s Oh Mercy.
Artists: The Isley Brothers, Tears for Fears
Artists: New Order, Prince, Billy Joel, Tom Waits
All four “Temptation” songs came out in the same decade. It began with New Order in 1981, a Top 30 single in the U.K. Then it was Prince’s turn in 1985 on Around the World in a Day and Billy Joel from 1986‘s The Bridge. Rounding it out in 1987 was Tom Waits from Franks Wild Years.
45. “The End”
Artists: The Doors, The Beatles, Pearl Jam
Clocking in at just less than 12 minutes, “The End” by the Doors is somewhat endless. The Beatles’ “The End” is considerably shorter, running just over three minutes. And then there’s Pearl Jam‘s “The End,” the final song on their 2009 album, Backspacer.
46. “These Days”
Artists: Jackson Browne, Joy Division, R.E.M., Foo Fighters
When Jackson Browne wrote “These Days” at the age of 16, he had no idea it would become one of the most covered songs of the era, first by Nico on her 1967 album, Chelsea Girl, and then many others over the years. In 1980 came Joy Division‘s different “These Days,” and then 1986 brought R.E.M.’s song on Lifes Rich Pageant. Years later, in 2011, Foo Fighters released their “These Days.”
47. “Turn to Stone”
Artists: Joe Walsh/Barnstorm, Electric Light Orchestra, Dio
After he left James Gang, Joe Walsh formed a new group called Barnstorm. On their 1972 self-titled debut LP, they released a song called “Turn to Stone,” which Walsh then released again on his 1975 solo album, So What. In 1977, Electric Light Orchestra released “Turn to Stone” on their double album Out of the Blue. Later, there was Dio‘s “Turn to Stone,” from the 2000 album, Magica.
48. “We’re Not Gonna Take It”
Artists: The Who, Twister Sister
49. “Wish You Were Here”
Artists: Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper
Artists: The Beatles, Guns N’ Roses
Does it get any more classic than the Beatles’ “Yesterday,” one of the most covered songs of all time? Still, don’t forget about Guns N’ Roses‘ “Yesterdays,” which appeared on 1991’s Use Your Illusion II.
Using the Same Name at the Same Time
Looking back on some of the biggest band name battles.