New mix: the business

Did you ever notice how many songs there are about the music business itself? I think the popular music industry is possibly even more self-referential than the newspaper industry (though not nearly as self-referential as the Internet…). I started hearing the connection a few years ago and began collecting examples in a playlist, and I finally have enough to share with you in this mix (see also Art of the Mix).

Of special note is the hip-hop section (coming just after Joe Pernice’s wry anti-anthem decrying touring, “We Love the Stage”), featuring “Check the Rhime,” origin of “Music industry rule #4080/record company people are shady,” followed by Steinski’s record industry slag off mix of “Hit the Disco,” wrapping up with J-Live’s epochal “Them That’s Not,” which features the most astonishing bit of tempo bending that I’m aware of.


  1. Radio SongR.E.M. (Out Of Time)
  2. Legend of Paul ReverePaul Revere & The Raiders (Paul Revere & The Raiders: Greatest Hits)
  3. Suits Are Picking Up The BillSquirrel Nut Zippers (Perennial Favorites)
  4. A SermonThe Police (Message In A Box: The Complete Recordings)
  5. Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had A DealThey Might Be Giants (Miscellaneous T: B Side / Remix Compilation)
  6. Radio, RadioElvis Costello (The Very Best of Elvis Costello And The Attractions)
  7. Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?The Ramones (Mania)
  8. I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song on the RadioMonty Python (Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation Album)
  9. Hello RadioThey Might Be Giants (Miscellaneous T: B Side / Remix Compilation)
  10. Spirit of RadioRush (Permanent Waves)
  11. Formed A BandArt Brut (Bang Bang Rock & Roll)
  12. Rock NotesMonty Python (Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation Album)
  13. So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll StarThe Byrds (The Byrds: Greatest Hits (Remastered))
  14. Playing Your SongHole (Celebrity Skin)
  15. Left Of The DialThe Replacements (Tim [Expanded Edition])
  16. We Love the StagePernice Brothers (Goodbye, Killer)
  17. Check The RhimeA Tribe Called Quest (The Low End Theory)
  18. Hit The Disco (Mc Enuff Mix)Steinski (What Does It All Mean?: 1983-2006 Retrospective)
  19. Them That’s NotJ-Live (The Best Part)
  20. Pay to PlayNirvana (DGC Rarities, Vol. 1)
  21. The Late GreatsWilco (A Ghost Is Born)

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