Who Are You? Songs Commonly Attributed To The Wrong Artists

Last week, after the tragic, alcohol-fueled passing of Jackass hero Ryan Dunn, Rocks Off at Taco Cabana wearing a promotional shirt for The Hangover II that we stole borrowed from the office here at the Press. As we were loading our hands with condiment containers, a guy came up to us and said "It's a shame that boy died."

In an instant, we realized this guy had mistaken Hangover star Zach Galifinakis for Dunn. The beards, the roundness, the twinkling eyes, the same comical manner? It all makes sense, and we weren't about to get into a debate at a TC off 290 about who is, who was, or who is not Ryan Dunn.

And besides, our Cabana Bowl was ready. Of course we got the mixed fajita one with plenty of sour cream.

Anyhow, this got us to thinking about other, less sad, forms of mistaken identity. It happens a lot in music, when someone credits a song to another with a similar musical style. There are people walking around who think that the Stones, The Kinks, The Beatles, and The Who all recorded one big catalog that is easily (read: stupidly) attributed to each other.

It makes the blood of music nerds boil under their skin. We grew up with a guy who thought The Clash was the Sex Pistols, and we almost pulled out our liberty spikes in 1999 when he said that out loud. Still love you, Robert.


It gets worse when you think about boy bands like the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, who sounded quite the same in their day. You just know that someone paid a few hundred bucks to see "Justin Timberlake" last weekend at the Toyota Center.

In the days when Napster ruled the Internet and you could still find gigabytes of tunes every hour, we remember seeing file names that were hilariously wrong. According to file sharers, Bob Marley recorded every single even vaguely reggae song, Metallica was the only metal band ever (well...), and Alanis Morrisette was responsible for every angry female rock song from 1994 until 1999. Let's not forget the vast amounts of music recorded by Hank Williams Sr., who in fact wrote every racist country song known to man, along with most every other Johnny Cash ballad.

America, "A Horse With No Name"
Mistaken For: Neil Young

Neil Young is the commonly attributed artist on most people's lists. We get it, it makes sense.

young dudes june28.jpg
Mott The Hoople, "All The Young Dudes"
Mistaken For: David Bowie

Yes, "Dudes" was written by Bowie and recorded by the Motts in 1972, but its author didn't record it himself until the sessions for Aladdin Sane in 1973.

Stealers Wheel, "Stuck In The Middle With You"
Mistaken For: Various rootsy, shaggy rockers

Bob Dylan and Tom Petty get the blame for this song, made popular again in the '90s by the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack and a bloody ear.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

another song of this category is Creep by Stone Temple Pilots,which is strongly attributed to Nirvana and it's given the title Half the man I used to be


I thought that the " I Melt With You" song was featured on a Taco Bell commercial....


I've seen "You Spin Me Right Round" attributed to New Order before.


I used to think that Dire Straits' Sultans of Swing was a Pink Floyd song.. 


"I Melt with You" was used in a Burger King commercial for the Double Cheeseburger in 1996.

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault