Take That/Music

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I feel really sorry for James Blunt. Because every morning, he has to wake up and think "Oh my God, I'm James Blunt."

Music is a dog-eat-dog business, and when these dogs bite, they bite hard.

For the band of the same name starring Robbie Williams, see Take That.



Hard rock and derivates (including heavy metal, nü metal, and industrial)[edit | hide | hide all]

  • The legendary feud between former-Metallica-guitarist-turned-Megadeth-frontman Dave Mustaine and Lars Ulrich, drummer for the band that fired him has been ongoing back and forth for decades now in many forms, from magazine interviews to Behind the Music documentaries to Metallica's Some Kind of Monster documentary feature film. Most recently this has manifested in a song from Megadeth's 2004 album The System Has Failed entitled "Something I'm Not", in which the song in its entirety is a scathing denunciation of Metallica in general and Lars Ulrich in particular. It gets funnier when you remember that Megadeth headlined a concert with Metallica around 1993 when Mustaine announced "the ten years of bullshit between Metallica and Megadeth is over!"** Dave was very bitter about Metallica's first album Kill 'Em All coming out with the songs he wrote on it when James and Lars promised him they wouldn't include them. They did credit him, but he was angry enough to record The Mechanix (Metallica rewrote it as The Four Horsemen). Several years later, on Captive Honor, he refers to Metallica's immense popularity in the line "Kill em all, and you're a god" - he watched Metallica get called gods of metal thanks to songs he originally played on.
      • In a recent interview, Mustaine generally had nice things to say about everyone in his old band (even Kirk Hammett) but Lars Ulrich, mentioning that "Nobody likes him". However, it seems that they're getting along alright. Dave Mustaine gave Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett a hug at the recent Sonisphere Big Four of Thrash show.
        • It should be noted that Mustaine's sobering up and conversion to Christianity is a large part of why he's forgiven Metallica.
          • The pot-shots weren't all one-sided: Metallica's song "Master of Puppets" is rumored to be about Dave's substance abuse issues.
  • In response to Limp Bizkit calling their fans 'fat ugly kids' Slipknot's "I am Hated" has this line "I'm fat and I'm ugly and proud - so fuck you"
  • Evanescence's "Everybody's Fool" is a dig at the emphasis the media makes on beauty and the sexualized self-images of female stars.
    • When former guitarist Ben Moody left to songwrite with Avril Lavigne, her song "Don't Tell Me" included a line obviously tearing down "My Immortal".
    • The song "Call Me When You're Sober" is a dig from the singer Amy Lee to Seether's singer, Shaun Morgan, following the nasty breakup between them. Reportedly, the other members of both bands are getting as tired, if not even more so, of hearing about this as the listeners.
  • Epica 's Run For A Fall about Mark Jansen's former band After Forever
  • The video to "Starfuckers, Inc." by Nine Inch Nails features Trent Reznor throwing a Marilyn Manson album in a toilet. Considering Manson co-directed the video, appeared in it, has performed the song live with NIN before, and that the video digs at least a dozen other artists, his involvements seem to be purely self-parody, perhaps to keep the targets themselves from taking it too seriously. Not to mention that a Nine Inch Nails album is also in the toilet... and Manson was both signed by NIN's record label and had albums produced by Reznor.
  • The song "Metal Machine" by the Swedish band Sabaton consists entirely of homages to about a dozen famed metal bands -- except for calling Metallica's rather reviled album St. Anger "The Ultimate Sin" -- itself a reference to Ozzy Osbourne's 1986 album of the same title.
  • Marilyn Manson's first music video after breaking up with legendary beauty Dita von Teese featured numerous Take Thats at his newly ex-wife, including a scene of him lounging in a reproduction of their marital bed with his new nineteen-year-old piece of arm candy. Not surprisingly, he seems to have put more work into being vindictive than the song, since the music pretty well blew.
  • Monster Magnet's first hit single, "Negasonic Teenage Warhead", is a Take That against grunge and other depressive music that was popular at the time -- something that's a bit ironic considering that their newest album 4-Way Diablo belongs firmly in Creator Breakdown territory.
    • Little Bag of Gloom from the aforementioned 4-Way Diablo is lead singer Dave Wyndorf's own Take That against himself and other drug addicts after he nearly died from an overdose during the album's early production.
    • It's difficult to think of a Monster Magnet song that doesn't include some sort of Take That!. The songs that involve relationships tend to contain some particularly brutal slams.
  • "Hot Dog" is a Limp Bizkit song whose chorus is a long, out-of-nowhere attack on Trent Reznor. Durst and Reznor had a MAJOR feud at that point; Durst infamously tried to fuck over Reznor's "Nothing Records" sub-label at Interscope, as far as stealing money that would have gone to promoting Trent's bands to promote Limp Bizkit and his groups at his sub-label at Interscope. Furthermore, the royalty issue was forced upon Durst because he outright sampled the music to "Closer" on the album as part of his "take that", without bothering to ask Trent Reznor for permission (since Durst was in full-blown arrogant "Screw the Rules, I Have Connections" asshole mode). When Reznor threatened to sue Durst, Interscope forced Durst to give Reznor a co-writing credit and royalties from the song to try and smooth things over.
  • The particularly spiteful song 'Burning Bridges' by Slaughter is a Take That on Mark Slaughter and Mark Slaughter, Dana Strum, and Bobby Rock's former-boss, Vinnie Vincent. It includes lines like 'So you wanna play another solo, huh? Well not here, pal!' and 'What's that? Charge it to the record company?' Vinnie Vincent lost his record deal from excessive company-credit use.
  • Axl Rose must have some serious issues...OK, a lot of them.
    • "Get In The Ring" features a spoken-word section a minute or two long where he blasts a selection of critics by, among other things, accusing them of being jealous of their fathers for "getting more pussy" than the critics. The line specifically refers to Robert Guccione Jr, whose father founded Penthouse Magazine, although Axl probably wouldn't mind interpreting it to apply to the other critics.
    • In addition, the song "Sorry" off of Chinese Democracy is clearly a Take That to... somebody. Most people would say it's Slash.
  • Helloween released a single called "Mr. Ego" that's dedicated to their former lead singer, Michael Kiske. The song is full of Take That lines, like "Don't wanna hear your slimy voice" and "Your brain is just a bloated dummy."
    • A gentler Take That is "I Want Out," which was written by co-founder/former guitarist/way former lead singer Kai Hansen about how he wanted to leave the band. He did and founded Gamma Ray a few years later. Gamma Ray and Helloween frequently tour together and play "I Want Out" together as part of the final encore.
    • The most recent album from the band, 7 Sinners, includes a Take That in satirical form in the song "Are You Metal?". Disguised as a Heavy Meta song, Sascha Gerstner, guitarist of the band, said that the song was meant as a parody towards metal elitism, perhaps due to the bad reception their celebratin album Unarmed has.
  • And speaking of Gamma Ray, the band has it's fair share of this:
    • "Rich and Famous" is a song against Money Songs and Rockstar Songs.
    • The B-Side "Wannabees" is a Take That in the same way as "Are You Metal?", but in a more direct way, towards metal elitists.
  • The Velvet Revolver Song "Dirty Little Thing" was stated by bassist Duff Mc Kagan as a Take That to Paris Hilton.
  • Ozzy Osbourne's Miracle Man is a shot at evangelists in general and Jimmy Swaggart in particular. Swaggart, who had been a heavy-handed critic of Ozzy, was involved in a rather messy prostitution scandal in 1988. Ozzy being Ozzy, the Take That is incredibly blatant, but also completely awesome.
  • Nightwish's "Master Passion Greed" is a shot at the supposed greed of Turunen's husband, Marco Cabuli, and his contribution to the process that led to Tarja's firing.
"Bye Bye Beautiful" is a shot at Tarja herself, accusing her of not paying attention to the rest of the band.
    • Tarja has since fired back with her new single "Enough" which is her story about... basically what it says on the tin.
  • Machine Head's "Aesthetics Of Hate" is a rabid lashout at a conservative blogger who after the death of Dimebag Darrel claimed that his heavy metal lifestyle lead to this end and claimed that he was almost subhuman. The sentiments of the song were echoed throughout much of the metal community.
  • Sepultura's "Cut Throat" just seems to be generally about refusing to give up their musical integrity for money, but a Fun with Acronyms moment towards the end of the song more than hints that it's specifically directed at their former record label:

Integrity will free our soul from...
Enslavement! Pathetic Ignorant Corporations!

  • Aerosmith's "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" was a good-natured Take That to Vince Neil, lead singer of Motley Crue (It's obvious why.) The band still thinks it's hilarious.
  • Tool's song "Hooker with a Penis" from their album Ænima is a brutally honest Take That toward hypocritical posers who think the band sold out to The Man, pointing fingers at them for having grown commercially and taking a step further into capitalism with release of their album Undertow. Maynard James Keenan says to the kid that he's just a Tool for buying the very album the band put effort in to release it to an audience; if he's buying the album, then he's submitting to the very capitalism he's attempting to defect. This is one of the more explicit Tool songs in existence, explaining that "...If I'm the man, then you're the man, and he's the man, as well, so you can point that fucking finger up your ass."
    • In the title track from the same album, one is fired off to Scientology with "Fuck L Ron Hubbard and fuck all his clones."
  • Ricardo Iorio, former V8 and Hermetica[1] founder and leader, and actual frontman of Almafuerte, is very, VERY fond of this trope:
    • In V8, the songs "Tiempos Metálicos" and "Brigadas Metálicas" (Metal Times and Metal Squads) are Take Thats towards the conformist hippism of earlier eras.
    • Hermetica has "Dejá De Robar", ("Stop Stealing") directed towards Walter Giardino, (Rata Blanca's leader founder and guitarist, and hilariously former V8 guitarist) and "Buscando Razón", ("Finding Reason") a song towards some artist which we don't know who is.

Mi rechazo hacia tus baladas de amor[2]
me llegó desde pendejo[3]
Cuando V8 era mala palabra[4]
se intentaba con vos lavarnos cerebros[5]
Fuiste azota del jazz-rock[6]
reggae, pop, new wave, moderno[7]
Hoy cantás tus amoríos[8]
con fanfarria de rockero[9]
Yo que nunca compartí tu pose Stone[10]
voy a deschavarte el juego[11]
Sos veleta de la moda y no me asombra[12]
que mañana amanezcas metalero.[13]

    • After Hermetica's breakup, two bands formed: Almafuerte, led by Iorio, and Malón, led by the remaining members. On their first records, both bands would fire at each other. Almafuerte with "El amasijo de un gran sueño" ("The death of a big dream") and Malón with "La fábula del avestruz y el jabalí". ("The fable of the ostrich and the boar") Two years later, Malón disbanded, and Almafuerte celebrated it with "Triunfo". ("Victory")
  • Retro-thrash metal outfit Gama Bomb feature a pretty prominent Take That in their song "Bullet Belt" against the tamer, lighter direction taken by older thrash bands in recent years. Some of the not-so-subtle (but very funny) lines include "Thrash titans of yesteryear / They have failed us with their recent piss!" and "Now we will vaporize / The diet metal pansies!"
  • "Cryin' Like a Bitch" by Godsmack is directed at Nikki Sixx, after Cruefest II.
  • "Tattooed Millionaire" by Bruce Dickinson is another Take That at Nikki Sixx, according to Sixx himself. The song's video, which contains a guy who looks an awful lot like Nikki, seems to back this up.
  • Dream Theater, surprisingly, also has these: first it's "Never Enough", a song wrote by Mike Portnoy, as one towards the Fan Dumb and the Unpleasable Fanbase. And then there's "As I Am", a song wrote by John Petrucci, and is a Take That towards Queensrÿche's Mike Stone, who tried to give him some advices.
  • Linkin Park has a song titled "When They Come For Me", a ferocious Take That at their fans who are still hung up on Hybrid Theory and Meteora.
  • Rammstein's "Amerika" is a Take That to the USA's influence in the world. It's also the Trope Namer for We All Live in America.
    • "Links 2-3-4" was written by the band as an answer to those who accused them of being Nazis.
  • While the "lead zeppelin" example is a famous example against them [14], Led Zeppelin is responsible for one of the most famous, if understated, of all time. After the release and critical backlash from Led Zeppelin III, they were getting remarks from critics that they were entirely built on hype and that their music couldn't sustain itself. In response, they released their next album with no title or even indication of their identity, to show that the music could sell itself. It went on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time.
  • Toxik's album Think This is basically one giant attack piece against television, but in the closer "Time After Time", they call out Geraldo Rivera and the talk show he had in The Eighties by name:

A source of all the answers
A cause of animosity
DRUGS! and SEX! Tonight on Geraldo!
A morbid curiosity

  • Falling in Reverse has several toward Escape the Fate (their lead singer's former band who kicked him out), like "I just learned that my fate is something I can't escape."
  • "Liar" by Christian metal band Fireflight is one big Take That against the worst kind of televangelists:

I'm sick of all your lies
We see through your disguise
None of your dreams come true
You can't sell the truth

  • Death's song "Spiritual Healing" was a send-up of recently disgraced televangelist/faith "healer" Peter Popoff. To amplify the derision they made it the title track of its album and put a thinly disguised, sneering likeness of Popoff on the album cover.
  • Sabaton's "In the Name of God" is a direct call-out to Islamic fundamentalists, alternately snarking at their methods and bashing them for their cowardice and hypocrisy.

Chosen by God or a coward insane?
Stand up and show me your face!

  • Anthrax have done a few Take Thats-
    • Make Me Laugh is a song attacking TV preachers, showing them in a very negative light.
    • Startin' Up A Posse is a Take That at censorship and moral guardians- and is appropriately loaded to the gills with swear words.
    • A change of vocalist and another Take That- Packaged Rebellion is their response to MTV's 'rebel' pack, which was sold at a price, and consists of 'rebel' gear- which was essentially a whole lot of T-shirts and caps that had 'rebel' on them. So you had to 'pay to rebel'.
  • Rap-metal group Biohazard had done several songs that fit this trope, but one song, Business, was a full-frontal attack on bands that tried to sell out and push for record sales.


Hip-hop/Rap[edit | hide]

  • Probably more so than any genre, hip-hop and rap run on this trope. It's the entire point of the "diss" track, most of which are usually hip-hop and dancehall.
  • Eminem recorded "I Remember", which was a take that at former House of Pain member Everlast for being mostly a singer on his "Whitey Ford Sings the Blues" album instead of the rapper from his House of Pain (and pre-House of Pain; he was a solo artist before he joined) days. This prompted Everlast to do a diss single about Eminem. Furthermore, there was one actually one diss single aimed at Eminem (I forget who the artists were) that even featured his own mother. It was later mentioned in his song "Cleaning Out the Closet".
  • Insane Clown Posse and Eminem have done this to each other in turn. Eminem put a skit on The Marshall Mathers LP depicting the Insane Clown Posse giving oral sex to a man; in return, the Insane Clown Posse recorded "Ain't Nothin' But a Bitch Thang", which opened with a skit in which Dr. Dre is performing anal sex with Eminem. The two parties no longer actively feud, and members of ICP's label, Psychopathic Records, frequently associate and collaborate with Eminem's associates D12 (particularly, Bizarre) and King Gordy, who have said that they are Juggalos. Eminem and ICP are not particularly likely to have a similarly friendly relationship, though. Interestingly enough, Eminem was once an ICP fan, and had a tattoo of the album cover for their "Riddle Box" album. At one point, he even wanted the ICP to try and be at a party of his.
    • Insane Clown Posse parodied the concept of Take That with "Fuck The World", a Cluster F-Bomb that eventually delves into insulting ridiculously specific targets. In some live versions - specifically, their performance in Woodstock '99 - they rewrote the song for a little bit to diss Eminem. Surprised?
  • Eminem has...issues...with wife/ex-wife/wife again/ex-wife again Kim, resulting in songs that are sympathetic and loving to songs that are full on, vicious, Take Thats.
  • Cage accused Eminem of stealing his style, and Cage's debut featured numerous Take Thats directed at Em, including "Used to pistol-whip until Shady made it look pussy". Cage later said that his accusations didn't make any sense, considering that the two rappers started out at about the same time, and developed their styles separately in different rap scenes (New York and Detroit, respectably).
  • Let's not forget the infamous rap battles that are too numerous to list. This would take a deadly turn, when 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G., the frontrunners of the East Coast vs. West Coast feud, were murdered in 1996 and 1997, respectively. Strangely, his brutal murder hasn't kept 2Pac from releasing further recordings...
    • 50 Cent, most infamously, in his first single "How to Rob", which took digs at every single popular rapper alive in 1998, including people he actually wanted to rob but felt that it wouldn't result in anything worth getting.
    • Afroman's "Whack Rappers" is a 6:34 minute Take That to many artists, and their audiences.
    • Also of note is Jay Z's "Takeover", specifically, the version he performed on MTV Unplugged with The Roots as his backing band. At the time, Jay was feuding with Nas, and "Takeover" had a whole verse "dedicated" to Nas, as well as one to Mobb Deep. But on the Unplugged version, Jay rapped the verses over the beats of a Mobb Deep song and a Nas song.
    • Black Sheep's "For Doz Dat Slept". It is a three-minute, 40-second long Cluster F-Bomb.
  • Ray "Benzino" Scott's reign as editor-in-chief of The Source, a popular hip-hop magazine, included many Take Thats at Eminem and anyone even remotely associated with him. It all came to a head in early 2004 when one issue of the magazine included a sampler CD with old songs where Em made gratuitous use of the N-word, in an effort to turn public opinion against Em and toward Benzino as a "savior of hip-hop music". Didn't work out so well for him, as Benzino's rap career never took off, despite him pushing several of his CDs in the magazine. That, coupled with mismanaged money, controversial "5-mic" reviews for artists associated with him, and a series of tirades against other DJs led to his firing and subsequent banishment from the magazine. A Take That was later directed at him, as the first issue of The Source under new editor-in-chief Jeremy Miller proudly declared itself "100% Benzino Free!"
  • After Jay Z was slated to headline the Glastonbury music festival, Oasis' Noel Gallagher complained that "Glastonbury has a tradition of guitar music... I'm not having hip hop at Glastonbury. It's wrong." In response, Jay-Z opened his set by walking onstage strumming a guitar and singing a hilariously off-key rendition of "Wonderwall" before launching into "99 Problems". Making this particular Take That especially ironic is the fact that the crowd seized on this as a big sing-along moment, turning a sly, ambiguously hostile retort against Gallagher into a huge crowd-pleasing moment. Doubly ironic is that he managed to turn one of the original lyrics into a sarcastic swipe at Noel.
  • Just let Public Enemy rap about why racial stereotypes are ubercrap nowadays in this video.
  • Professor Elemental's "Fighting Trousers" is a somewhat satirical attack at Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer, perhaps due to the fact that the two are the faces of Chap-hop as a whole and explicitly due to the idea that Mr B was a parody of Chap Hop. It includes lines such as:

"I've got super producers and fans that play me, you've got a Grandad's moustache and a Ukelele."
"Sold out to Coca-cola, used for a trend, that means you're banned from using a pen."

Referring to Mr B being the brain behind the infamous "Eat my goal" phenomenon and subsequent song "Mr B's World Cup Anthem" in which he blasts the corporate nature of football and suggests we should celebrate when the footballers are out of the country, making him seem something of a hypocrite though the intent may have been an apology.
  • If Reggaeton can be included under the Rap umbrella, Puerto Rican group Calle 13. It seems that they can't get an album without Residente, their singer and lyricist, dissing someone every two verses on each track. Notorious were "Tango del Pecado", against those who were not pleased with Residente dating a former Miss Universe; and "Que lloren", a take that to Reggaeton singers in general and Reggaeton diva Ivy Queen in particular.


Pop[edit | hide]

  • A surprisingly sweet and gentle form of Take That occurs in the Pet Shop Boys song "The Night I Fell in Love", in which they parody the homophobia inherent in many of Eminem's songs and public comments by writing the story of a starstruck young fan who has a homosexual affair with an Eminem-like hiphop star. So how did Eminem react? Well, he made a music video in which he ran the Pet Shop Boys over with his car. Touchy.
    • This isn't the first time the PSB have done a Take That at another artist. "How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously?" pokes fun at the likes of "activist bands", mainly U2. They had a much more positive reaction to their Take That than Eminem did.
  • P!nk's "Stupid Girls". Itty bitty doggies, fake blonde hair, and Valley Girl phrases... The video is even more obvious about it, with send-ups of various "celebrities'" night-vision sex tapes and traffic woes.
  • Hilary Duff's song "Dignity", from the 2007 album of the same name, also takes a shot at the same subject as P!nk, and/or the travails of the likes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie and Britney Spears (In early 06-late 08), and the scandalous jet-set lives of other Hollywood starlets. Other songs from the album allude to her father's infidelities and her broken relationship with Good Charlotte's Joel Madden, as well as a stalker who she won a restraining order against.
  • Two of Boyzone's members once covered the Milli Vanilli song "Girl You Know It's True", and filled it with shout-outs and attacks on most of the popular British acts at the time. Yes, including Take That.
  • With such memorable lines as, "I hope you choke/On your Bacardi and Coke", Robbie Williams' "Karma Killer" is a spectacular, vicious Take That against... someone. Rumor has it that it's about the manager of... wait for it... Take That.
  • The Destiny's Child single "Survivor" was seen as a big Take That to previous group members LeToya Ruckett and LaTavia Roberson, who were secretly dropped from the group over problems with their manager, and who were still involved with a lawsuit over the ousting at the time. While the remaining members publicly denied it was a response to anything going on in real life, it's also known that they were legally required to not mention all the strife in public. They got sued over the song anyway.
    • And where did the first lawsuit come from? It was a response to a previous Take That in which said management replaced the two girls with new singers for the "Say My Name" video, as a response to complaints from the two girls about being the Unfavorites.
  • Billy Joel's hit We Didn't Start the Fire is, aside from being a great song to play for a history class, a Take That at those who blame all the world's problems on the Baby Boomers, or more generally any particular group.
    • His song She's Always a Woman sounds like a gentle love song and is often taken as a dedication to a modern, liberated woman; but the lyrics describe the subject as a conniving, manipulative gold-digger. Given that Joel admits to writing the song about his ex-wife, it's likely he had the less innocent interpretation in mind ...
    • Joel's 1993 song The Great Wall of China is a rather straightforward Take That to his ex-manager Frank Weber. It's practically nothing but a lyrical beatdown. "Your role was protective, your soul was too defective/Some people just don't have a heart to be broken"
    • One of his songs, "Zanzibar," was even updated with a Take That to Pete Rose. The original version, from 1978's 52nd Street, were "Rose, he knows he's such a credit to the game/But the Yankees grab the headlines every time." The version from 2005's 12 Gardens Live -- more than a decade following Rose's tax-evasion scandal -- updates the lyric to "Rose, he knows he'll never reach the Hall of Fame/But the Yankees grab the headlines every time."
  • Michael Jackson has a ton of these.
    • Tabloids and other sensational forms of celebrity journalism are arguably his most common target. 1987's Bad featured the first of these, "Leave Me Alone", accompanied by an animated music video parodying headlines about him and depicting MJ himself as a theme park. 1995's HIStory, released after the first round of child molestation accusations, gave us several more examples, including "Scream", "Money", and the aptly-named "Tabloid Junkie". His final studio album before his death, 2001's Invincible, also featured the song "Privacy", complete with the sounds of paparazzi cameras flashing.
    • Notably, Thomas Sneddon, then district attorney for Santa Barbara County, California, is allegedly the subject of another song from HIStory, "D.S." Sneddon led the investigation of the first child molestation allegations in 1993, and would go on to lead the 2003 investigation as well, making some believe he had a personal vendetta against MJ. In what is widely believed to be a song littered with Lawyer Friendly Cameos, MJ sings about a "cold man" named "Dom S. Sheldon", whom he describes as a self-centred white supremacist out to get him "dead or alive", as well as possibly being in league with the CIA and/or FBI.
  • The Monkees had a rarely heard unedited version of non radio released song called "Mommy and Daddy" which was a nasty take that at their audiences parents. (Seriously look it up on YouTube. you'll get chills)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR 6 TE 1 m 2 KSQ
  • Justin Timberlake expressed his dismay at being cheated on, and who being who he was, and being with Britney Spears naturally did a couple take that's straight at her, For public consumption. These include but are not limited too, "Cry Me A River", "What Goes Around", "Last Night", "Worthy Of", "Never Again", "Still On My Brain", "Another Song", etcetera.
  • Britney Spears herself did the odd Take That against the aforementioned Mr. Timberlake, around 02-05, for her Original Doll album, so they're unreleased. "Dramatic" and "Guilty" both point out that he is not the Prince Charming he may think of himself to be: "You Neglected Me" (Guilty), "Go Run To Your Mother" (Dramatic). These are demos/unreleased but worthy to be noted.
    • "Piece Of Me" seems to be directed at the tabloids who hounded her in the mid-to-late 2000s during her Creator Breakdown, as is "If U Seek Amy".
  • Duran Duran's "Undergoing Treatment", the closing song off their 1997 album Medazzaland, was a gentle Take That at the music critics and press who savaged them in the past and who were largely responsible for their waning popularity, "resign[ing]" the band "to the mid-price section".
  • Jessie J's "Who's Laughing Now" is not exactly subtle in it being a Take That to all the schoolmates who picked on her as a child and now pretend to be her biggest friends.
  • Melanie Brown, formerly of the Spice Girls, released a song called "Tell Me" that was a direct Take That at her ex-husband, including the line "... but all you loved was Mel B's money".
    • She's not the only Spice Girl to have done this. Geri Halliwell's 'You're In A Bubble' was a Take That to Melanie B. It's also been speculated that Victoria Beckham's 'Whatcha Talkin' 'Bout' is a Take That to Melanie C distancing herself from the Spice Girls.
  • Miley Cyrus did a song called Robot on her third album about Moral Guardians, her own people and how much pressure she has had to be perfect in her day to day life since she was 12
    • Demi Lovato also preemptively wrote about this on La La Land on her debut.

Punk/New Wave[edit | hide]

  • A weird case: The Clash's song "London Calling" included the line "now don't look to us / All that phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust", which sounds like a dig at The Beatles... until you hear about the then current Broadway stage production "Beatlemania", slogan: "Not The Beatles, But an Incredible Simulation." It also led to a line on Saturday Night Live, about a single named "Beatlemaniamania": "Not Beatlemania, but an incredible simulation." The best (or worst, depending on your POV) part? The line from London Calling was a comment by the band about the sudden burst of popularity of the punk scene having died down, thus being a Take That not towards The Beatles or Beatlemania, but towards the fans who just hopped onto the band's bandwagon because they were the next big thing.
  • The Bowling for Soup song 1985 is a song lamenting the changing pop culture from the band's youth, and it features lines like "Music was still on MTV" and "And when did Ozzy Become an actor" obvious digs at... Well Duh. Though whether they were aware of it or not, Ozzy's first acting gig was a bit part in the cult horror film Trick Or Treat that was released in 1986.
  • "Those Dumb Punk Kids" by Jello Biafra with the Melvins is a very unsubtle take that to his former Dead Kennedys bandmates, who had sued him for royalties, then reunited without him. It was written for their 2004 collaboration Never Breathe What You Can't See, but dealt with issues relating to the trial so directly that it had to be saved for the followup Sieg Howdy! the next year, after the trial had concluded.
    • The Melvins themselves had "Laughing With Lucifer At Satan's Sideshow", a take that to their former record label: The lyrics consist entirely of some (possibly faked) phone recordings that evidently demonstrate the kind of correspondence Atlantic Records was giving them ("You should consider yourself lucky, any other major label would've dropped you by now!", "Well, we won't do a thing unless the single moves").
  • The Ramones had "Censorshit", from Mondo Bizzaro, directed towards the PMRC and Tipper Gore.
  • Green Day's single (and album of the same name) "American Idiot" is basically a series of take thats against America during the Bush Administration.
    • Early than that, the song Jack Ass off their album Warning is said to be about Blink182. Green Day has never confirmed or denied this.
  • The Dead Kennedys "MTV, Get Off the Air" consists entirely of Take That directed at MTV and the record industry in general.
    • There was also the infamous "Pull My Strings", a huge Take That at both the California Music Awards (which was the only place they ever performed it) and The Knack.
    • It says something about the nature of Dead Kennedys Take Thats that "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" is one of the more subtle ones.
  • "EMI" by the Sex Pistols is an attack on the Pistol's label, while "New York" is one directed at The New York Dolls.
    • The New Wave band Graham Parker and the Rumour took a similar shot at their record label, "Mercury Poisoning".
    • Johnny Thunders responded to "New York" by putting down the Sex Pistols and especially Malcolm McLaren in "London Boys" - with Paul Cook and Steve Jones in his backup band.
  • NOFX's "Blasphemy (The Victimless Crime)", "Best God in Show" and "Leaving Jesusland" go after organized religion in general and the Christian Right in particular.
  • Black Flag's "You Bet We've Got Something Personal Against You!" is a take that to former vocalist Keith Morris. Morris had recorded a version of the Black Flag outtake "Don't Care" with The Circle Jerks and claimed sole songwriting credit for it, and the members of Black Flag apparently weren't too happy about it:

We know you stole our song
You'll regret ever touching them
You'll regret fucking with our band
You'll regret everything you've done

    • About three decades later, Morris' band Off! had "I Got News For You", which specifically targeted Black Flag guitarist and founder Greg Ginn. It even included the line "You bet I've got something against you too" in reference to the above song.
  • "Tiny Town" by The Dead Milkmen is kind of a Take That in and of itself, as it's basically a Villain Song about a town of bigoted rednecks. However, there's also a somewhat obscure take that to Boston hardcore band The F.U.'s - the second F.U.'s album, My America, caused massive backlash against the band due to it's right-wing conservative lyrics. Thus explaining the following lines:

'Cause we hate blacks, and we hate Jews
We hate punks, but we love the F.U.'s

  • Bomt the Music Industry!'s "Congratulations, John, For Joining Every Time I Die" is a mocking, sarcastic congratulation from the singer to a band mate that he thought was going to leave the band for a more popular one. This may have become a bit awkward when said band mate didn't actually leave.
  • Compare the Against Me! song ‘’I was a Teenage Anarchist’’ with the Rise Against song ‘’Architects’’
    • Against Me!: Do you remember when you were young? And you wanted to set the world on fire?
    • Rise Against: Do you remember when you were young? And you wanted to set the world on fire? Well I still am, and I still do!
  • Darkbuster's "I Hate The Unseen" is a Take That to The Unseen, another Boston punk band. "Lilith Fair" is one to the music festival of the same name, calling out both specific artists who have played the tour [15] and their fans.
  • Peaches by The Stranglers carries a disguised Take That! directed at Joe Jackson's hit Is She Really Going Out With Him?, in which Jackson's nerd-persona song about not being able to get a girlfriend in the face of competition from unworthy thick sex-obsessed gorillas is subverted by the Stranglers, who use Jackson's words in the pursuit of sleazy sex rather than romance - in other words, this is the sex-obsessed gorilla's comeback.

Jackson sings:

Look over there! (Where?) There, there comes Jeannie with her new boyfriend....

while the Stranglers sing

Look over there! (Where?) There! Is she trying to get out that clitoris?

  • When guitarist Brett Gurewitz left Bad Religion on bad terms, both sides took musical potshots at each other. Bad Religion would preform "Stranger Than Fiction" (which was written by Brett) replacing the lyric "I wanna know why Hemmingway cracked" with "I wanna know why Gurewitz cracked" or "I wanna know where Brett gets his crack". On the other side, Brett wrote the song "Hate You", which was dedicated to Bad Religion bassist Jay Bentley. One wonders whether there was an amount of sheepishness from multiple parties when Brett rejoined a few years later.

Rock[edit | hide]

  • The Beatles has several of these:
    • "Revolution" (accredited to Lennon/McCartney) is a Take That to leftist revolutionaries who were advocating a more violent means to their ends. The line that goes "But when you talk about destruction / Don't you know that you can count me out" rather spells that out.
    • Another one from the same period, "Sexy Sadie", is a veiled Take That to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who the group had come to view as manipulative and hypocritical.
    • John Lennon's solo song "How Do You Sleep?" is basically an extended "screw you" to his former song-writing partner Paul McCartney in which he denounces everything McCartney ever did as worthless crap. It was written in response to a slight on McCartney's album Ram
      • Lennon also wrote "Steel And Glass" in a similar vein; it addresses a former business manager in less-than-favourable terms.
    • McCartney, in turn, wrote one of the early hits for his band Wings, "Silly Love Songs", after Lennon declared that those were the only good songs written by McCartney during the Beatles era.
      • "Too Many People" takes a couple obvious shots at Lennon and Yoko Ono. The album on which it appears, Ram, has a back-cover photograph of one beetle mounting another from the rear (draw your own conclusions). In fact, Ram is widely regarded in Beatles fan circles as McCartney's "break-up" album, where he takes shots at *everyone*.
    • George Harrison had some of these as well:
      • "Sue Me, Sue You Blues" and "This Song" are Take Thats to the people who successfully sued him for allegedly plagiarizing the song "He's So Fine" while writing "My Sweet Lord". The music video for the latter song shows Harrison in a courtroom, stating his case through the song.
      • There's also "Only a Northern Song", a swipe at Lennon and McCartney's publishing company for cheating him out of royalties for his early songs.
      • Also, there's a lot of speculation about what "Wah-Wah" really meant. Other popular theories besides sticking it to the Beatles (Paul in particular) are giving up his drug use and taking a shot at materialism.
  • The Foo Fighters' "Cheer Up, Boys" may be a Take That to the Emo culture.
    • They also did a song called "Stacked Actors", which is a not-so-subtle dig at Courtney Love.
    • Speaking of Courtney Love, a line in the song "Friend of a Friend" includes the line "He's never been in love" that a good number of people have interpreted as yet another dig at Cobain's ex-wife, and if some reports are correct Grohl and Love do not get along very well.
    • Grohl has also never explicitly confirmed it, but it's suspected that "Let It Die" is also directed at Love for her role in Kurt's death.
    • The Stone Temple Pilots song "Hollywood B*tch", according to singer Scott Weiland, is directed at Courtney Love, with whom he used to do drugs.
      • Another Stone Temple Pilots song Take That: "Too Cool Queenie".
    • Courtney supposedly ruined the friendship between Tori Amos and Trent Reznor, so they responded with "Professional Widow", and "Starfuckers Inc." respectively.
    • "Bruise Violet" by Babes in Toyland is a Take That to Love, singer Kat Bjelland's former friend, for allegedly stealing the kinderwhore look from her. The video also features a Kat look-alike chasing a Courtney look alike up a flight of stairs and strangling her after seeing the band's entire audience dressed in the exact same kinderwhore style.
    • Courtney herself has gotten in on this with the song "Rock Star," directed towards the Riot Grrrl movement. Not surprising, as her late husband Kurt Cobain had dated Tobi Vail, drummer for Bikini Kill, the most famous band of the movement.
  • Stone Sour's "Come What(ever) May" is a Take That to George Bush.
  • The second verse of David Bowie's "Life on Mars?", released right after John Lennon's "Working Class Hero", contains the lines "And the workers have struck for fame / 'Cause Lennon's on sale again." In live shows, this would often be accompanied by a half-hearted Black Panther salute. (Eighteen years later, as part of the Hard Rock group Tin Machine, Bowie did a Cover Version of "Working Class Hero".)
    • It was also rumored that the song "Space Oddity" was a Take That to the failed British space program.
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd's southern-rock classic "Sweet Home Alabama" contained a second verse which took a not-too-subtle jab at Neil Young, who had written one song ("Southern Man") portraying southerners as racist whip-cracking slave-owners, and another ("Alabama") depicting the Yellowhammer State as backward and impoverished. Ironically, Neil Young himself loved the song, wrote a letter to Skynyrd saying so, and one of the members of Skynyrd later wore a Neil Young t-shirt on the cover of the album Street Survivors.
    • Not really a Take That war, but more like playful jabs at each other that very considered by anyone not a part of it as Take Thats. Skynyrd, and especially Ronnie van Zant, were huge Neil Young fans, and Young was fond of Skynyrd as well, even offering them the song "Powderfinger". The plane crash got in the way, however.
  • Bob Dylan has several of these - most notably Just Like a Woman, and the very unforgiving Positively 4th Street.
  • Following the break-up of The Smiths, guitarist Johnny Marr formed a group called Electronic, whose song "Getting Away With It" is a dig at Smiths front-man Morrissey's miserable persona: "I've been walking in the rain just to get wet on purpose/ I've been forcing myself not to forget just to feel worse/ I've been getting away with it all my life".
  • The idea of Take That is explored in the New Radicals' only hit, "You Get What You Give". The song included two distinctly different verses, one calling for social change and another at the very end insulting various artists. Guess which verse everyone focused on?
  • A classic two-way musician-vs-critic Take That war: Sonic Youth and music critic Robert Christgau had an adversarial relationship in the early-mid '80s, with Christgau panning the New York No Wave icons' first couple albums in the Village Voice, labeling their music "pigfucker music." The band retaliated with the song "Kill Yr Idols", the first line of which was "I don't know why/You wanna impress Christgau/Ah let that shit die/And find out the new goal". Later on, when the band released a live version of the song retitled "I Killed Christgau With My Big Fucking Dick," Christgau actually put it at #25 on his list of top 25 singles for 1985.
    • It's worth noting that Thurstoon Moore of Sonic Youth and Robert Christgau have since sorted out their differences, and Christgau even gave Sonic Youth's album A Thousand Leaves an A+.
    • Christgau was actually in a similar situation a little before that; in Lou Reed's 1978 live album, Take No Prisoners: Live, he goes on a rant taking various jabs at Robert Christgau. Christgau simply gave the album a C+ and thanked Lou Reed for pronouncing his surname correctly.
  • Weezer's 2008 #1 (for eleven weeks on Billboard!) hit single "Pork and Beans" is a surprisingly bitter Take That against the recording industry, railing against the apparent perception that the band can no longer produce hit singles.
  • When Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy leaked the screen name of the lead singer of From First to Last, FFtL retaliated by by putting Wentz's home phone number in their song "Chrismassacre".
    • Pete did it again at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards when he leaked the phone number of Cobra Starship's Gabe Suporta though a shirt that had the number hidden under black pieces of tape. Gabe freaked out when Wentz removed the tape and MTV had to be quick about blurring the number. The shirt was latter auctioned off; no word if Cobra Starship has gotten revenge on him or not.
  • It's probably easier to mention the Frank Zappa songs that weren't Take Thats at something or other. His concert film/documentary Baby Snakes was a good example of this trope directed at the Warner Brothers record label, making subtle digs at the label whenever he could and often veering into either refuges in audacity or vulgarity.
    • Famously, his album We're Only In It For The Money was a Take That against Sgt. Pepper's and Hippie Culture in general.
  • The song Jesus He Knows Me by Genesis, is, essentially, one five-and-a-half-minutes long Take That against money-grubbing television evangelists.
  • Christian Rock band Petra have fired two shots back at those who accused them of being evil for playing rock music. The first was a very conspicious backmasked clip between two tracks on Never Say Die that says when you play it backwards "What are you looking for the Devil for when you oughtta be looking for the Lord?" The second was the song "Witch Hunt," sarcastically written from the perspective of their opponents and which included more backmasking in the bridge.
  • Similarly Christian Rock pioneer Larry Norman's "Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music?" is a Take That at the "rock & roll is the devil's music" attitude of the the mainstream churchs; and their general antipathy toward the youth culture of the 1960s and 1970s, the "Jesus People" movement in particular. A lot of of his music in general subtly and blatantly criticized both the secular counter-culture movement, which he saw as self-indulgent and morally bankrupt; and the mainstream Christian community, which he considered spiritually stifling, parasitical, and anti-youth-culture.
    • His "Six O'Clock News" is a Take That at the television networks and how they covered the Vietnam War.
  • Another Christian Rock Take That at the genre's critics came from DeGarmo and Key, specifically soon-to-be-disgraced televangelist Jimmy Swaggart on a couple of instances.
    • The first was a direct reference in the song "Don't Stop the Music".
    • Later, they released a song called "Brother Against Brother" with a gag credit in the liner notes with the words "dedicated to Jimmy Swaggart" blacked out (but visible upon close inspection).
  • Queen's "Death on Two Legs" was written as a hate letter against their former manager, Norman Sheffield and is quite possibly one of the most bitter screeds to ever be etched into a vinyl disc.
    • "Scandal" is one big Take That against the celebrity-obsessed media.
    • "Fight From The Inside" was a Take That at punk bands who Queen had verbally clashed with in the past.
  • The Pink Floyd album Wish You Were Here is full of jabs at the executives that pressured them into coming up with a follow-up to Dark Side of the Moon, especially the songs "Welcome to the Machine" and "Have a Cigar" ("The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think / Oh, by the way, which one's Pink?").
  • Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry" is aimed at music journalists that seemed to delight in the infighting that preceded the breakup of The Eagles. He occasionally dedicated the song in live performances "To Mr. Bill O'Reilly" or "To Mr. Rupert Murdoch".
  • In a business-related Take That, The Rolling Stones once met a contractual obligation to a former record company by delivering an unreleasable song: "Cocksucker Blues".
  • "Californication" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers was a Take That against Hollywood and their values in general (dream of Californication).
  • Barenaked Ladies' latest CD, All In Good Time, has two tracks inspired by the departure of Steven Page; frontman Ed Robertson might say otherwise but the message of the lyrics "I tried to be your brother but you cried and ran for cover", "everyone sees right through you" and "I'd use a metaphor but I'm done with you" is somewhat obvious.
    • Page's response was to release a cover of Leonard Cohen's "A Singer Must Die"; the meaning of the phrase "a singer must die for the lie in his voice" is equally clear.
    • He next wrote the song "A New Shore" which had the telling lyric "I forget if I was pushed or I jumped overboard/And after all this time, what's the difference?". Simply put, he's moved on with his life and wishes that Robertson would do the same.
  • Pavement's "Range Life" included some slightly cryptic take that's at Stone Temple Pilots and The Smashing Pumpkins - the latter had the line "I don't understand what they mean, like I could really give a fuck" directed at them, which Billy Corgan took pretty personally. Stephen Malkmus did claim the whole song was written from the perspective of a cranky old hipster and didn't reflect his own views, but still made a habit of making digs at Corgan when it came up in interviews, and in live performances of the song he occasionally updated the lyrics to include more current take that's ("Out on tour with the Counting Crows / did you hear their new album blows?" for instance).
  • "Paint a Vulgar Picture" by The Smiths is a shot at record companies.
  • A portion of Thrice's song "Lullaby" might be a Take That directed at the famous John Lennon song "Imagine": "No right or wrong / Can you imagine? / A world where there's no more need to cry / But no joy or passion / It seems like the price is much too high."
    • Steely Dan's "Only A Fool Would Say That" is possibly a Take That to the same song - at very least it's directed at rich pop singers and celebrities espousing Utopian ideals in general.
  • Ben Folds' "Rockin' The Suburbs" (the original version, not the Over the Hedge version) was a Take That targeted at rock/metal musicians who write angsty, self-pitying songs and are overly-reliant upon curse words for shock value.
  • Due to their refusing to lip sync for a TV performance, Wheatus' second album, Hand Over Your Loved Ones was poorly promoted in the UK and never saw release in the US. Once the band was free from their record contract, they self-released a revised version of the album and changed the title to Suck Fony.
  • Elvis Costello's "The Other Side Of Summer" has Take That's at John Lennon's "Imagine" ("Was it a millionaire who said 'Imagine no possessions'"), Pink Floyd ("A poor little schoolboy who said 'We don't need no lessons'"), David Bowie ("The rabid rebel dogs outside the shampoo shop"), Madonna ("The pop princess is downtown shooting up"), and Neil Young ("Madman standing on the side of the road, saying, 'Look at my eyes, look at my eyes, look at my eyes, look at my eyes.'"), alongside drug users, shallow teenage girls, corrupt politicians and pollutants. All set to a tune paying tribute to the 1970's Beach Boys.
    • 'Tramp The Dirt Down' is one long 'fuck you' to Margaret Thatcher.
  • Supertramp's Breakfast in America has two, done by and directed at each of the singers. Rick Davies' "Casual Conversations" is a take that towards Roger Hodgson, and Roger's "Child of Vision" is one toward Rick.
    • The entire Crime of the Century album appears to consist of the two trading potshots at each other ("Hide in Your Shell", "Dreamer", etc.)
  • Tom Petty's "The Last DJ" is an instant classic Take That at corporate-owned radio.
  • Spoon's single "The Agony of Lafitte", and it's b-side "Lafitte Don't Fail Me Now" are both about their former A&R man Ron Laffitte. Laffitte quit his job shortly after their album A Series Of Sneaks met with disappointing sales, despite his promise to the band he'd stick with them, and Spoon were subsequently dropped from Elektra Records.
  • Bob Dylan's 1971 re-recording of "You Ain't Going Nowhere" included a gentle jab at The Byrds' cover of the song: Roger McGuinn switched a couple of verbs around, mistakenly rendering one lyric as "Pack up your money, pick up your tent". Therefor Dylan's re-recording changed it to "Pick up your money, pack up your tent, McGuinn".
  • "You're all just pissing in the wind. You don't know it, but you are/ And there ain't nothin' like a friend, who can tell you you're just pissing in the wind". Allegedly about Crosby, Stills & Nash. Neil Young has quite a few for each album, especially the Ditch Trilogy. His anti-Reagan/Bush rant-set-to-music known as "Rockin' In The Free World" comes to mind, then there's the ENTIRE "Living With War" album, with every song being a Take That towards George Bush jr. and his policies.
  • "Los Angeles, I'm Yours" by The Decemberists is a comprehensive list of everything Colin Meloy dislikes about the City of Angels.
  • Heart's track Barracuda was a scathing dig at a rapacious former music company who, to boost sales wih a bit of controversy, performed a Black Op by spreading potentially libellious, damaging, and above all salacious rumours, that Ann and Nancy Wilson were not only gay, their particular form of lesbian preference involved getting off with each other. With people proving ready to beleive this and adding imaginative bits of their own as the rumour spread, the humiliated singing sisters wrote and delivered the track as a scathing comeback on Portrait's executives and marketeers who had originated the rumours in a cynical bid to sell more product.


Others[edit | hide]

  • The Religion Rant Song, in its various forms, is this to... you guessed it, religion.
  • Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" is one of music's most famous Take Thats, but nobody knows who's the receptor of the song. Warren Beatty said that he's pretty sure its about him. Beatty remains the most popular choice from the hints she's dropped over the years, but she's also stated that the song was a composite and that Beatty was one of several men she wrote the song about. Another name that's frequently tossed out is Mick Jagger...which would be deliciously ironic, since he provides backup vocals on the song. But only one person other than Simon knows for sure: NBC television producer Dick Ebersol, who not only won the secret, but also a peanut butter sandwich and a personal performance, in a charity auction. He is, sadly, sworn to secrecy.
  • Johnny Cash and his 1996 album Unchained won great critical acclaim, but few at country music radio were willing to even so much as play anything from the album ... the main reason being their fascination with "new" country artists of the time, including Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Shania Twain. So when Unchained won a Grammy for Best Country Album in 1998, Cash and the album's producer, Rick Rubin, decided to show their "appreciation" for country radio's non-support by taking out a full-page advertisement in a March 1998 issue of Billboard magazine. The ad featured a photograph of a circa-mid 1960s Cash sticking up his middle finger, along with a message reinforcing country radio's lack of support. Cash's statement triggered a renewed debate over what constitutes country music.
  • Brad Paisley did a shot on shallow celebrities in "Celebrity". Paisley also takes a dig at country radio -- with help from classic country artists Bill Anderson, George Jones and Buck Owens -- on "Too Country."
  • George Strait and Alan Jackson take their own frustrations out on country radio -- specifically, the lack of airplay of perfectly viable new material by George Jones and Merle Haggard, among others -- in the 2000 hit "Murder On Music Row."
  • Pretty much all of the Dixie Chicks' Taking the Long Way is a Take That to those who criticized lead singer Natalie Maines after she made a negative comment about then-president George W. Bush in 2003 (a move which torpedoed the Chicks' career). In "Not Ready to Make Nice", she even expresses anger at the death threats the band got.
  • "Mean," a No. 2 country hit in 2011 for country-pop megastar Taylor Swift. Some say the song's lyrics -- about rising above adversity, particularly that induced by naysayers -- is a sly dig at conservative critics of country music, particularly those who have critically panned (some say disparaged or worse) Swift's vocal and musical style, and abilities.
  • Done with a fair bit of This Loser Is You included in "Fan Song" by Dethklok, mocking their fans throughout and even calling them "brainless mutants" at the start of the track.
  • Mojo Nixon's 1989 song "Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child" includes in its lyrics a slam at then-MTV golden boy Rick Astley. Because of Astley's all-too-fleeting but immensely profitable popularity at the time, MTV's management refused to broadcast the video. In response, Nixon broke with the network, which had previously featured him in several promotional spots; his refusal to work with MTV continues to this day. The lines that were so offensive?

Rick Astley is a pantywaist, match my butt with his face
He's teeny tiny two inches of terror, they're all gonna scare you
Hairbrained cockamamie knuckleheaded idjit galoot

    • Has anybody ever turned this song into a Rickroll?
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic mostly avoids Take That in his parodies, but there are a few exceptions. One of the reasons Al's songs are as good as they are is that indeed, most of the time they're not even a Take That; they tend to be statements in their own right. Which is far, far more than most parodies we hear on the radio can say for themselves. Of course, Yankovic asks permission of the artists before he does parodies of their work, and his Take Thats are rather gentle compared to most of these examples.
    • His parody "Achy Breaky Song" is about someone who would rather listen to anything other than Billy Ray Cyrus's "Achy Breaky Heart."
    • "This Song's Just Six Words Long" is also a jab at the song it parodies, "Got My Mind Set On You" by George Harrison, the chorus of which is simply the title sung over and over.
    • "Smells Like Nirvana" is about Nirvana's mumbled lyrics. Kurt Cobain's comment was something to the effect that this was the moment he truly realized that Nirvana had hit the big time: Weird Al wanted to do a parody of one of their songs.
    • The unreleased song "It's Still Billy Joel To Me", which probably should stay unreleased.
    • Weird Al's original song "One More Minute" was written in reaction to a real-life romantic breakup; in the video version, he tears up a photo of the ex-girlfriend in question.
    • Then there's "Don't Download This Song", which is a parody of anti-digital-piracy sentiment. The kicker? He put it up on his website for free.
    • The video for "White & Nerdy," at the line "I edit Wikipedia," has Weird Al vandalizing the Atlantic Records page on That Other Wiki, replacing the article with "YOU SUCK!" AMV Hell noticed. In Number 4, there is a clip for "White & Nerdy", where a character edits the Wikipedia page on Obesity, changing it to "YOU'RE FAT!!!" This shot at Atlantic Records was actually the end of an extended Take That. See below.
    • Originally, Al's plan for the album Straight Outta Lynwood was to include "You're Pitiful," a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful", and make that the first single from the album. Blunt was perfectly fine with this and gave Al permission to go forward. At the last minute, Atlantic, Blunt's label, threatened legal action to keep the song off the album. Al, not wanting to deal with a lawsuit, complied... by proceeding to distribute the track for free on the Internet. At live shows, when Al performs "You're Pitiful", he parodies Blunt's disrobing in the original music video by removing layer upon layer of T-shirts. One of the shirts reads "ATLANTIC RECORDS SUCKS".
    • Couch Potato is Al's rant against mediocre and poor tv shows to the tune of Eminem's Lose Yourself. Shows lambasted include King of Queens (which Jumped the Shark in the first minute) and Everybody Tolerates Raymond.
    • Weird Al has made one specific verbal Take That, in an interview rather than in a song, and even then its a really, really mild Take That. In response to rapper Coolio saying that he did not authorize "Amish Paradise" (a parody of the rapper's own "Gangster's Paradise"), Weird Al said, "Yeah, well... I notice he is still cashing the royalty checks we send him."
  • Adam Buxton released a song about Piracy which, using bits of music from a bombastic anti-piracy commercial, depicts a pirate as an overblown villain. The Take That is not against them however, but against the entertainment industry for apparently only caring about creating things if they know they're getting paid for it.
  • Famous songwriters Rodgers and Hart wrote "I Like To Recognize The Tune" as a Take That at jazz bands. Inevitably, jazz had its way with this song.
  • Some of the songs on Emilie Autumn's album "Opheliac" seem to be Take Thats against one person or another.
    • "I Know Where You Sleep" is a threatening song to a former lover.
    • "Misery Loves Company" is another song to a former lover in a similar vein, telling him "You're so easy to read/But the book is boring me" also may double as a song mocking her own mental issues. (According to her website)
    • "Gothic Lolita" is a song about a girl raped as a child saying that the man who did it "should be killed by an army of little girls".
    • Thank God I'm Pretty is a song mocking rape culture, female inferiority in public and the trials and tribulations of being one of the Beautiful People.
    • Miss Lucy Has Some Leeches is about her experiences in the asylum.
    • Liar is an Ironic Echo of a former lover/friend who wanted her to suffer for reasons she does not understand.
  • One example that's Older Than Radio is the "1812 Overture" by Tchaikovsky. After the failed invasion of Russia by the French Army, Tchaikovsky wrote this piece of music to celebrate Russia's victory ... and used quotes of the French national anthem as a repeated motif. Take that, Napoleon!
  • Mitch Benn song parodies:
    • "I Never Went Through A Smiths Phase":

I sat through the song, as he droned on and on,
Like some pale, intellectual outlaw.
And when he was done, I thought "That wasn't much fun,
That fella needs to get out more."

    • "I May Just Have To Murder James Blunt":

Because it's on-ly two notes,
They just go up and down,
And they don't have a tune,
They just sound like they do.

    • And, of course, "Everything Sounds Like Coldplay Now":

This could be Embrace, Keane or Snow Patrol,
Thirteen Senses sound like this as well, I'm told.
It could be anyone, it's so hard to say,
Maybe this is actually Coldplay.

  • MGMT's instrumental "Lady Dada's Nightmare," a creepy but self-consciously elaborate orchestral, instrumental song.
  • The 1984 song Where's The Dress by Moe Bandy and Joe Stampley is one aimed at the Culture Club.
  • Calypso music from Trinidad (not to be confused with Western Calypso) was full of Take Thats and it was the natural precursor to the rap diss track. A famous example of a rivalry in Calypso is that of Lord Melody and The Mighty Sparrow. Melody would frequently insult Sparrow by saying he was stupid, a criminal and that his girlfriend/wife was ugly, and Sparrow would reply to Melody by calling him ugly, dirty and rude. Melody and Sparrow were known to have calypso battles as part of calypso shows, and Sparrow usually won due to the public favoring his more passive aggressive nature. Some lyrics and description can be found here
  • The score album of The Avengers can be considered a Take That in a sense to downloaders - several soundtracks of late have had additional material that's only available digitally (like Tron: Legacy and Captain America: The First Avenger). But while the download album clocks in at 64:25, the physical one not only has several of its tracks running longer (in particular "Tunnel Chase" and "Stark Goes Green," both of which run over two minutes longer on the CD than the download), there's also one whole extra track ("Interrogation") which brings it all in at 76:17. This went down well with soundtrack fans (especially those of Alan Silvestri), and as Intrada's Roger Feigelson stated that they specifically wanted the download to be shorter than the CD it also counts as a Crowning Moment of Awesome for the label.
  • The world of Opera has more than one Take That.
    • Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Richard Wagner features a fussy, conservative, old-fashioned antagonist named Sixtus Beckmesser who was a parody of Wagner's enemy, the music critic Eduard Hanslick (early drafts of the libretto named the character Hans Lich).
    • Elegy for Young Lovers by Hans Werner Henze features as its protagonist, a poet named Mittenhoffer who uses and discards people in his life who are useful to him. Co-librettist WH Auden may or may not have intended Mittenhoffer to be a portrait of Benjamin Britten.
    • Intermezzo by Richard Strauss features the domestic story of a conductor with the initials "RS" who has a demanding, nagging wife. Pauline Strauss, the real-life composer's wife, was not amused.
  • The fourth movement of Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra notably features a mocking parody of Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony, a piece that Bartók particularly disliked.


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  • Dan le Sac/Scroobius Pip's song "Fixed" is a Take That against mainstream British hip-hop -- particularly the output of Channel U -- sung over a remix of Dizzie Rascal's "Fix Up, Look Sharp".
  • Just about all of Tom Lehrer's songs could be said to be examples of this trope, but the one that really stands out is his "ode" to the Nazi German rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun.

Don't say that he's hypocritical/Say rather that he's a-political/"Once ze rockets are up, who cares where zey come down?"/"Zat's not my department," says Wernher Von Braun.

    • Let's not forget his classic "Send the Marines," about US foreign policy.
  • "Je Veux te Voir" by YELLE is four minutes of her insulting this other rapper, Cuizinier.
  • Jay Foreman's "Calypso" is a hilariously vicious song about cheap fruit-flavoured juice drinks.

Calypso, Calypso, get that filthy drink away from me
Calypso, Calypso, water, sugar and E163
Calypso, Calypso, poison in a carton, child abuse
Calypso, Calypso, curiously orange plastic juice

  • After legal problems left him unable to record for five years; Al Stewart wrote 'Licence to Steal' as an attack against the entire legal profession, in which he suggested the only way to deal with lawyers was by means of a direct nuclear strike.
  • When Dave Carroll of the Sons of Maxwell got his guitar broken by United Airlines luggage handlers who were literally throwing them around and got only the stonewalling runaround from the business when he complained; he wrote and sang a song called "United Breaks Guitars" and posted the video on YouTube. The video became an instant media sensation and a PR nightmare for United.
    • Later, musician Bing Futch referenced this incident when he described Northwest breaking his dulcimer in "Only a Northwest Song.
  • The first verse of the opening track to Rilo Kiley's More Adventurous, "It's A Hit," is a massive Take That to George W. Bush. More Adventurous having been released in 2004, this is understandable.
  • Tim Minchin's "The Song For Phil Daoust" is pretty much an entire Take That to a journalist who gave him a bad review.
  • Self's "Moronic" is a parody of Alanis Morissette's "Ironic", and despite never actually mentioning her by name, it's clearly all a take that to Morissette herself:

It's pure pain when she hits the airwaves
With a pack of lies that she wrote in the third grade
She's a head of lice that you just can't shake
And each single makes me sicker

  • When held up against the falling-out between the band Pendulum and the web-community Dogs On Acid, the entire opening to the first track of the album In Silico, Showdown, can been seen as one giant Take That to the users:

Well, it's been such a long time coming
I thought you'd understand.

    • (referring to the perceived change in style from Hold Your Colour)

That's over
Ahead all the lines
You've been drawing in the sand.

    • (referring to most of their critics claiming their music was no longer drum and bass, as it did not follow its common conventions.)

'Cause it's simple:
You were wrong.
You must have known that we did not belong.

    • (In his penultimate post on the website, Rob Swire claimed that Pendulum's change in sound came from a simple change in taste and inspiration that many bands undergo, and not an attempt to sell out.)

I know you thought I'd sold my soul,
But you never told me to my face.

    • (Another shot at posters calling the band sell-outs)

I just had to leave you cold,
And blow this shit away!

    • (Self-explanatory)
  • Legendary record producer Phil Spector -- the same Phil Spector recently convicted of murder -- once created a record called "(Let's Dance) The Screw", apparently for the sole purpose of pissing off his former business partner. Snopes has the whole story.
  • A good 90% of traditional Irish music is a Take That at England and British imperialism (with songs such as "Rifles Of The IRA" or "Come Out Ye Black And Tans"). Given Anglo/Irish history... not surprising.
  • Hedley's "Cha-Ching" is comprised entirely of Take Thats against various reality shows and celebrities.
  • The Manic Street Preachers have digs in most of their songs... one of them covers Boris Yeltsin, Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Zhirinovski, Jean Marie Le Pen, Myra Hindley, Ian Brady, Colin Ireland, Beverly Allit, Peter Sutcliffe, Jeffrey Dahmer, Denis Nielsen, Yoshinori Ueda, Eugene Terra Blanche, James Pickles, Idi Amin and Slobodan Milosevic... Or maybe it's all one big Take That to the mass media.
  • Bob Ricci's parody of Nickelback's song "Photograph" is a big Take That to the original artist.
  • Carter USM's "Sheriff Fatman" is a vitriol-soaked Take That against shady slum landlords. Word of God is that the corrupt character in the song is based on two real people.
  • The Happy Mondays' "God's Cop" is a Take That directed at the controversial then-Chief Constable of Greater Manchester James Anderton, who became known as "God's copper" since he claimed to speak with God. The Fall, another Manchester band, also took a dig at him in their song "Hit The North" ("Cops can't catch criminals, but what the heck, they're not so bad... they talk to God!")
  • "Fuck You" by Lily Allen is one big Take That to former U.S. President George W. Bush.
  • George Michael's "Freedom '90", anyone? That was GM's purest Take That to his 80's Mr. Fanservice persona. From exploding wurlitzers to burning leather jackets and quite the ironic lyrics...
  • Jermaine Jackson, Michael Jackson's older brother, is an odd example. He wrote a song known as "Word to the Badd" that was a big 'Take That' at his brother Michael about a feud they were having. This, however, backfired big time and caused what was left of his music career to implode in his face. It did not helped that the song was released the same year that Dangerous came out.
  • The musical comedy duo Kit and the Widow have a song which (without actually mentioning him by name) directly accuses Andrew Lloyd Webber of plagiarism, with examples. They have another one with some less than flattering comments on Stephen Sondheim and his fans.
  • Cracker's "It Ain't Gonna Suck Itself" is the only original song on the Cover Album Countrysides, their first album after leaving Virgin records. It's part Shaggy Dog Story, part take that at Virgin, specifically calling out executive Roy Lott. They felt their last album for the label, Forever, got Screwed by the Network, since all marketing funds for it were cut off immediately after it's release.
  • Sara Bareilles' "Love Song" is to her record company, about how she's not gonna write them a love song. "King of Anything" is about the unsolicited advice she keeps getting.

You sound so innocent, all full of good intent
Swear you know best

  • The English Commonwealth-era Royalist song 'The Downfall of Charing Cross', written after the pulling-down of the eponymous cross by order of Parliament, finishes with these words ('Tyburn' refers to the gallows upon which the leading figures of the Parliamentary regime could expect to be hanged for treason in the event of a royal restoration.):

Since crosses you so much distain, 'faith, if I were as you
For fear the king should rule again, I'd pull down Tyburn too.

  • The 1966 Dutch protest song Welterusten Mijnheer de President (Sleep tight, Mister President) by Boudewijn de Groot balances between this and an outright "The Villain Sucks" Song. The song is listing several of the horrors of the Vietnam War, but tells President Johnson not to worry about it all and have a good night's sleep.
  • The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus's new EP "The Hell or High Water" is pretty much a giant attack on their former record label.
  • Annoyed by his behavior in the late '70s, The Police recorded their early song, "Peanuts," as a Take That to Sting's onetime hero, Rod Stewart.
  • Everybody suspects that at least parts of Arcade Fire's The Suburbs are Take Thats against their primary fanbase, but how insulting Win Butler wanted to be and which parts were meant as insults and which as mere observation is something nobody can agree on.
  • The B-52s took a poke at the whole backmasking controversy, where people were accusing artists of hiding backwards messages in their songs, and backmasked this message in Detour Thru Your Mind: "I buried my parakeet in the backyard. Oh no, you're playing the record backwards. Watch out, you might ruin your needle."
    • Overkill had a similar backwards message near the end of their debut Feel the Fire: "There's no message here; you're going to ruin your needle, asshole!"
  • American Music Club's "The President's Test For Physical Fitness" is a very snarky account of two band members meeting an unnamed Small Name, Big Ego rock star.
  • Atomic Rooster's song And So To Bed is a Take That against groupies who throw themselves at the band in the hopes that having sex with someone famous will make them special.
  • Sugar's "Granny Cool" is a snarky take on an aging female hipster - the prevailing theory is that it's specifically about Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon.
  • the Ohgr (side project of Skinny Puppy singer Nivek Ogre) song Cracker is a bit hard to understand at some points, but the music video makes it clear that it's a take that at Trent Reznor (with whom he performed on Pigface albums), Eminem and (arguably) the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  • "I Didn't Just Kiss Her" by Jen Foster takes a hit at the "girls kissing goys for attention" sort of faux-bicuriosity, and takes a hit at Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl".
  • Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know" is one long, rage-inspired Take That over her treatment at the hands of actor Dave Coulier.
  • In recent performances of "Misirlou", which was the basis for the Black Eyed Peas' "Pump It", Dick Dale sometimes sings the line "Turn up your radio, blast your stereo right now" from the BEP song. He is quite pissed at their sampling of it.
  • Tokio Hotel beat out Katy Perry (among other artists, arguably more well-known) in the 2008 MTV EM As, and Katy went on to dedicate Ur So Gay (numerous times) to the band, specifically Bill Kaulitz. Amusingly enough, they went on to beat her out AGAIN.
  • Catatonia were so angry with Warner Brothers threatening to drop them that they wrote 'That's All Folks', a six-minute Take That to the label, complete with One-Woman Wail. In the chorus, Cerys Matthews sings 'warn us', 'want us' and 'warm to us' to sound suspiciously similar to Warners. It was going to be the final track on 'International Velvet', but the record company cottoned on and had it replaced with 'My Selfish Gene'. The song ended up as a B-side on 'Strange Glue'. 'I Am The Mob' is another, more subtle dig at Warners.
    • One album later, there was 'Storm The Palace', an anti-monarchist song.
  • Roy Orbison wrote "Tweeter and the Monkeyman" for Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 to mock the song stylings of Bruce Springsteen after Bruce kept trying to upstage him on Orbison's own TV special A Black and White Night.
  1. both Argentinean Heavy Metal bands from The Eighties and first half of The Nineties
  2. My rejection towards your love ballads
  3. came to me since my youth
  4. When V8 was a swear word
  5. they tried with you ti brainwash us
  6. You were supporter of jazz-rock
  7. reggae, pop, new wave, modern
  8. Now you sing your love songs
  9. with rockstar fanfares
  10. I, who never shared your Stone pose
  11. I'm going to ruin your game
  12. You're a fanboy of fashion, and I'm not surprised
  13. that tomorrow, you'll wake up as a metalhead.
  14. Keith Moon of The Who told the band that they'd go down "like a lead zeppelin", which became an Appropriated Appellation
  15. (Ani DiFranco gets the harshest treatment, and yet she's apparently the only artist mentioned in the song who hasn't played Lilith Fair - it's unclear if they Did Not Do the Research or if they just brought her up in connection because she has the same kind of audience)