If Kanye West’s new album really is called ‘Yeezus’ – and we know the single is ‘I Am A God’ – then he’s unleashing the ego motherlode. It’s been coming, let’s be honest. The man has never had a low opinion of himself. Even when he was moaning about how unlucky in love he was on ‘808s & Heartbreak’, Kanye still found time to tell us, “My reign is as far as your eyes can see/It’s amazing, so amazing…” on, yes, ‘Amazing’.
Kanye might be the world leader in bigging oneself up (and would doubtless claim to be too), but there have been plenty of other artists willing to tell us how awesome they are through the medium of album titles. And, yep, here’s 10 of them.
On first reading this misappropriation of Isaac Newton’s quote seems the soul of humility – Oasis are mere specks on the epaulettes of the greats. On the other hand, it implies they’re taking up the mantle of the ‘giants’ before them, basically carrying on The Beatles’ good work. The chosen ones, the natural successors, the writers of ‘Go Let It Out’.
No, man, that’s Yeezus. Well, what are we supposed to think? This is a title that screams self-belief of Jose Mourinho proportions, but hey, aren’t we all God’s children? Nas is everyman, observing life as it unfolds around him and dishing out vignettes of its ups, downs and skirmishes with Jay-Z.
You can’t get through a list of pop egomaniacs without doffing the cap to Terence Trent D’Arby, a singer who emerged in 1987 with a vanity so complete and almost tangible it could probably have performed on Top Of The Pops by itself. A series of self-regarding interviews and preening performances were followed by a debut album-as-manifesto, with a title that genuinely seemed to believe everyone would care about the message. And it sold millions. Drat.
The arrogance! The chutzpah! The annoying thing was, The Hives were probably right, at least for five minutes. This compilation was designed to break the UK and US markets; it did the job and the title ended up both true and charming. It’s a gamble, kids.
Having your cake and eating it. We know Chan Marshall isn’t really trying to pass herself off as a blue-eyed soul Muhammad Ali, but the title glows with ‘accidental’ self-assurance. You might want to find out if she lives up to it.
Did you know: 24 albums entitled ‘Golden Greats’ had charted in the UK before Ian Brown’s effort and they were, of course, greatest hits compilations by the likes of Glen Campbell, The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, The Supremes, Nat ‘King’ Cole, you know the drill. Brown’s was just his second album, with ‘Dolphins Were Monkeys’ on it. Tongue-in-cheek, yeah, but then again…
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Yes, there’s a fine line between ‘tongue-in-cheek’ and just knowing, deep down, that you’re the cat’s pyjamas. At the end of the 90s – and really up until that humbling return to Take That – Robbie Williams liked to pretend everything he did was ironic, so calling his hits-and-bits intro to the US market ‘The Ego Has Landed’ was just a hilarious in-joke, right? Except there’s no way the States would’ve been in on it. And frankly, they’ve never tried to get it since.
Back in 1989, Scottish pop-rockers Deacon Blue were pretty sure of their place in the scheme of things. Globally famous, basically. And yes, ‘When The World Knows Your Name’ did get to No.45 in Sweden, so maybe they were right. When it went all the way to No.1 over here, it looked like a self-fulfilling prophecy… Um, Deacon who?
You can get away with it in the lyrics to ‘Mr Boombastic’ – you can say it’s in character. But taking ‘Mr Lover Lover’ out of context and slapping it on the front of your best of (is it an EP etc?) is to reposition the whole meaning. Shaggy, j’accuse.
Just no, Kid.
Honourable mention for R Kelly’s single ‘The World’s Greatest’. Any more?