"I feel really sorry for James Blunt. Because every morning, he has to wake up and think 'Oh my God, I'm James Blunt.'" —Bill Bailey
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.
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Hard rock and derivatives (including heavy metal, nü metal, and industrial)
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.
Out of the songs Taiji Sawada wrote and performed for Loudness, the band chose "Black Widow" as his memorial song. If you know anything of the events that led to Taiji's death and Kitami Terumi's involvement in them, it becomes fairly obvious why.
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"
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 is, however, apparently a serious Take That at Courtney Love, who has evidently been blamed by both Reznor and Tori Amos for destroying Reznor's friendship with the latter.
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 girlfriend.
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 which includes a long, out-of-nowhere attack on Trent Reznor using titles of his songs. 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. 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."
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:
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 McKagan 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.
Likewise, Iron Maiden criticized the televangelists with "Holy Smoke". Swaggart, who put Lead Bassist Steve Harris on the cover of his book Music: The New Pornography, gets another shot ("Jimmy the Reptile and all his friends") as does Tammy Fae Messner ("'Til the TV Queen gets her make-up clean!").
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:
"Hooker with a Penis" from their album Ćnima 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."
The song "Aenema" is a Take That towards the entire city of Los Angeles. And a pretty good one, at that.
To this day, it's still highly debated if the song "Eulogy" is a Take That towards L Ron Hubbard or Jesus Christ.
Ricardo Iorio, former V8 and Hermeticanote both Argentinean Heavy Metal bands from The Eighties and first half of The Nineties 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 amornote My rejection towards your love ballads
me llegó desde pendejonote came to me since my youth
Cuando V8 era mala palabranote When V8 was a swear word
se intentaba con vos lavarnos cerebrosnote they tried with you ti brainwash us
Fuiste azota del jazz-rocknote You were supporter of jazz-rock
reggae, pop, new wave, modernonote reggae, pop, new wave, modern
Hoy cantás tus amoríosnote Now you sing your love songs
con fanfarria de rockeronote with rockstar fanfares
Yo que nunca compartí tu pose Stonenote I, who never shared your Stone pose
voy a deschavarte el juegonote I'm going to ruin your game
Sos veleta de la moda y no me asombranote You're a fanboy of fashion, and I'm not surprised
que mańana amanezcas metalero.note that tomorrow, you'll wake up as a metalhead.
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 sueńo" ("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")
"Die With Your Boots On" is an attack on people who constantly speculate the end of the world, and suggests that the world's end has been supposedly predicted several times and we're still here ("Terror, death, destruction, all from the eastern sands, for the truth of all predictions is always in your hands.")
The intro to "Still Life" from the same album has Nicko Mc Brain talking, played backwards. This was intended as a take that towards those who accused them of being satanists.
"Weekend Warrior", directed at Irish football hooligans.
"Virus", which is a vicious attack at critics and the fans who accused them for replacing their singer, and those who tried to convince people to stop listening to them for said reason.
"Gates of Tomorrow", which is an attack at Metallica for their anti-piracy tirade. A bit of interesting trivia; Maiden were one of the few bands who didn't give a flying rat's ass about people downloading their music for free and even encouraged bootlegging, as well as telling the audience at their "Give Me Ed 'Til I'm Dead" tour that as long as the audience buys the album, they didn't care if people downloaded the new song, and even said they didn't mind people downloading the new album at all if they didn't like it. The song, on said album, implies that Metallica should have been aware that stuff like this was going to happen and they have nobody but themselves to blame for it ("Suffering evil when you pay the price of fame, there isn't a god to save you and you can't save yourself.")
When The Final Frontier was leaked 8 days before its release date in 2010, that didn't stop it from charting #1 for weeks in 29 countries.
"These Colours Don't Run" is an attack at Sharon Osbourne and Zakk Wylde for, among the many things at the Ozzfest fiasco, running onstage with an American flag during "The Trooper", and Sharon's comments about Maiden swinging the Union Jack being "disrespectful". Which is ironic since she is British.
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!"
"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 Queensr˙che'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.
"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 note Keith Moon of The Who told the band that they'd go down "like a lead zeppelin", which became an Appropriated Appellation, 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.
Robert Plant's 1988 solo hit "Tall Cool One" featured samples from his old band (!) as a cheeky swipe at the Beastie Boys, who sampled their music on Licensed to Ill, and quite possibly also Whitesnake, who had conspicuously mimicked Led Zeppelin.
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!
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.
Kid Rock's "Never Met A Motherfucker Quite Like Me" video included a scene of him using toilet paper with Radiohead's logo on it. In interviews he's been a little less harsh, saying that he just doesn't understand the appeal of their music, and that "If I'm having a party and I've got some chicks over hanging out, and all my boys are hanging out, I'm not grabbing for the Radiohead CD."
Yoshiki Hayashi managed what was perhaps one of the best of these to his record label in 1991. "Stab Me In The Back" was on his tracklist for the album Jealousy, but he had to rewrite the song not to be about male/male Intercourse with You. The Jealousy rewrite of Stab Me In The Back" is about doing drugs, which was and is an even bigger taboo in Japan than homosexuality.
WASP dedicated their notoriously raunchy song "Harder Faster" to the PMRC, who declared them to be "sexual perverts".
Van Halen's OU 812 ("Oh, You Ate One Too?") is reportedly a shot at former singer David Lee Roth's Eat 'Em and Smile. It is rumoured that the previous and following album also fit: DLR's Crazy From the Heat - VH's 5150 (police code for the criminally insane) and VH's For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge followed by DLR's Your Filthy Little Mouth.
GWAR seem to revel in this trope, each time another masked band turns up-
When Lordi became famous in the United States, GWAR began mocking them, occasionally calling them a GWAR tribute band. In some live shows, they 'kill' Mr Lordi, the band's frontman, and one of the band members has the head of Mr Lordi on the guitar headstock. Lordi responded saying they never heard of GWAR, and Lordi's expanding fan base in the US may have unsettled them- something Oderus Urungus (Dave Brockie) denies.
They traded Take Thats with Slipknot as well. They called Slipknot a GWAR tribute band, and mocked them. When Slipknot was on the verge of breaking up, Corey Taylor said he didn't want to stick around after being irrelevant, unlike GWAR. The chief monster, Dave/Oderus, responded with a very long rant of abuses, beginning with "Shut your whiny trap". Corey responded to that, saying he still loves GWAR, but they've not been in the news for releasing any albums and their circus has eclipsed their music.
When Staind collaborated with Fred Durst for a cover of Public Enemy's "Bring The Noise", they altered the original song's reference to Louis Farrakhan, the political activist and leader of the religious movement the Nation Of Islam, changing it from an endorsement to a Take That: "Farrakhan's a prophet, and I think you ought to listen to / what he can say to you" became "Farrakhan's a racist, and I think you ought to listen to / what we can say to you".
Aborted most likely wrote "Your Entitlement Means Nothing" about one of three former members: Ken Sorceron, Eran Segal, or Mike Wilson. All of them left under very poor terms, and while the song doesn't mention any obvious identifying details, they do identify characteristics of a band setting.
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.
Hopsin's "Ill Mind" series has directly attacked several other hip-hop artists, on top of bemoaning the state of the rap industry as shallow, materialistic, misogynistic, violent crap. "Sag My Pants" was a sarcastic take on this, sung in the same style as said crap, mockingly encouraging violence against women and brainwashing kids to be like the violent, materialistic, mainstream artists, among earnest insults at Drake, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and even Lupe Fiasco. (He later clarified that he was attacking Lupe on his claims that he could skate in the song "Skater".)
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 - the entire reason they started feuding is because he asked ICP if they could show up after already printing a poster that said "Featuring appearances from: ICP (maybe)", and ICP felt insulted that he didn't ask them before printing the poster, and told him they would've showed up if he'd asked them first.
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).
The Notorious BIG and 2Pac, the frontrunners of the East Coast vs. West Coast feud in the '90s, had a slew of disses fly between their camps after 2Pac was shot in 1994. The most famous tracks from this beef are Big's "Who Shot Ya?" and Pac's "Hit 'Em Up"; the latter is considered by many to be the Trope Codifier for the modern hip-hop diss track. The beef continued until both guys were dead, which led to a push to keep the violence confined to the music..
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.
Also see "Ghetto Q'uran," the song that got him shot. It wasn't a severe Take That, but it got the attention of the drug kingpin 50 named in it...
"How to Rob" was basically a joke song, but 50 built his career on more serious beefs (Ja Rule, Fat Joe, the Game, etc.). His decline can be traced to the moment when people started thinking he was better at beefing than rapping.
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 Prodigy of Mobb Deep. But on the Unplugged version, Jay rapped the verses over The Roots playing the beats of Mobb Deep's and Nas's songs. Specifically, Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones, Part II" and Nas's "N.Y. State of Mind" and "Oochie Wally".note a collaboration with QB Finest and Bravehearts.
Nas immediately fired back with "Ether", with opens with "Fuck Jay-Z", then goes on to attack Jay's street cred and rapping ability in a similar manner. The line-for-line dismantling of the "Takeover" verse painted Jay into a corner and forced him to respond with "Supa Ugly", a freestyle about him boning Nas' baby momma. It was so nasty it got a Dude, Not Funny!from Jay's own mom and prompted an apology from him.
Due to the above, "ethering" has entered the lexicon as shorthand for absolutely destroying someone.
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!"
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.
Killer Mike's "Reagan" lays into Oliver North, privatized prisons, the War on Drugs, the cops, and his fellow rappers' materialism, but, of course, Ronald Reagan is at the top of his shit-list. Really, how can anybody think otherwise when he says he's glad Reagan's dead and implies Reagan was the Anti-Christ?
German rap group known as Kopfnussmusik made a four-minute take that against former Borrusia Dortmund star Mario Götze, because of his transfer to Bayern. Götze sued them.
Promising rapper Canibus got into a beef with LL Cool J which began after Canibus appeared as a cameo on LL Cool J's song "4,3,2,1" where the green rapper mentioned borrowing LL's mic tattoo from his arm. The rap veteran saw this as an insult and responded with a Take That against Canibus during his verse on the same track. After fans found out, Canibus quickly responded with a hard counter called "Second Round K.O" which featured the heavyweight boxing legend Mike Tyson. Despite mostly positive responses, LL Cool J was seen as a rap pioneer above challenging and the good diss track actually backfired. The rap veteran then finished him off with a strong response called "The Ripper Strikes Back" which was a sequel to the original "Ripper" track which was a Take That towards Kool Moe Dee back in the 1980s. But that's another story.
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.
"Miserablism" is often interpreted as a swipe at Morrissey.
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 Destinys 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 Womansounds 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 ...
Word of God, according to a video interview Billy recently gave, is that it is Billy addressing a list of observations and complaints a Strawman chauvinistic speaking partner finds to be perplexing and frustrating about his strong-willed female partner, then saying he has no problem with the female's behavior, that it's the other guy's problem, defending her by saying "she's always a woman" to Billy.
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."
"The Entertainer" from Streetlife Serenade is a diatribe against his record company for shortening the six-minute-long "Piano Man" to "3:05" to appeal to radio listeners, pressuring Billy to follow up the Piano Man album with another hit album in short notice, and to the music business in general. Granted, Billy was at the time already fed up with living in Los Angeles and the Hollywood lifestyle at the time. He would return to his native New York in time for the following album, Turnstiles, reflecting on this move throughout the album.
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.
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.
Selena Gomez + The Scene recorded a similar song with "Falling Down", at least toward Hollywood in general.
Girls Aloud's "Hoxton Heroes" was a snarky song mocking the British indie scene, or rather the hipsters in the scene who were more obsessed with flaunting their "indie credibility" and fame connections, rather than being musicians. The song was originally slated to be on their album Tangled Up, but Executive Meddling forced it to become a b-side to their single Can't Speak French.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood, it seems, were unhappy about 'Relax' being banned from BBC Radio for apparently promoting homosexuality. How does their 12" version of 'The Power of Love' begin? An impersonation of Mike Read, the man who got the song banned in question, introducing 'Relax' then saying that he wouldn't play the song due to the cover being obscene and walking out of a radio booth. Apparently, it's a spot on impression.
And in at #35, which you can guess the next one, it's Frankie Goes To Hollywood with 'Relax'... Hey, I've just taken a look at this cover. I just looked at the cover. I think it's obscene! This record is absolutely obscene. I'm not going to play this, you know. No, I'm sure that I'm not going to play this. Thank you and goodbye. *Door closing*
In Sting's song "St. Augustine in Hell," when The Devil is listing the types of people that inhabit hell, the last listed is "music critics."
Zazie's song "Tout le monde" ("Everyone") is about people's names, from all origins. The song itself is rather simple, since the lyrics are mainly a list of names, with the title of the song as the chorus (to be accurate, the chorus is "Tout le monde il est beau", which can be roughly translated as "Everyone is beautiful"). The catch? One of the line of the song is "Quitte ŕ faire de la peine ŕ Jean-Marie" ("Even if it saddens Jean-Marie"). Jean-Marie Le Pen is a french right-wing and nationalist politician well-known for his racism. Thus, the song spreads a message of tolerance and takes a jab at Jean-Marie and (his) racism. The song ends with the following lyrics: "Tout le monde il est grand - Assez grand pour tout le monde" ("The world is big - big enough for everyone").
Chris Brown made quite a few Take That songs towards Rihanna. The most popular one is the song "Deuces" which is about him forgetting about the Pop Star and moving on with his new girlfriend, Karrueche Tran. Subverted, however, as soon afterwards he would release another single called "She Ain't You". Chris Brown then left Miss Tran to date Rihanna again, only to end the relationship again when Rihanna wanted to get married. Interestingly, both songs were off the same album, F.A.M.E
Lindsay Lohan did a Take That towards her own father with the song "Daughter To Father" from "A Little More Personal", the music video for the song also featured her sister Ali.
Paramore's new song "Ain't It Fun" is a Take That to people who think living on their own is all fun and games, and that it's easy living alone, but then when it happens you face reality and realize the responsibility that it comes with. And that you can't always have your folks for everything (Don't go crying, to your mama/'Cause you're on your own, in the real world).
The video for Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night" includes Rebecca Black, in a Take That towards people who unfairly attacked the teenaged Black for her infamous song "Friday". When Kathy Beth Terry, annoyed by the noise from a party at Black's house next door, comes over to complain, Black invites her in, gives her a sexy makeover and they play a dance video game together. When Kathy Beth tries to blame Black (who appears as herself) for her own wild behavior later, Kathy Beth's parents don't buy it, and reply: "Rebecca Black is a good girl." There is also a friendly Take That to saxophonist Kenny G., who performs on the song and appears in the video.
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.
"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").
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 Music/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 a label that rejected them (and ironically purchased the album's label and was responsible for some reissues), 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".
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 note The F.U.'s would later claim the album was partially sarcastic, and deliberately written to anger leftist punk fans. Thus explaining the following lines:
'Cause we hate blacks, and we hate Jews
We hate punks, but we love the F.U.'s
Bomb 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 note (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 made a mistake or if they just brought her up in connection because she has the same kind of audience) 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.
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.
The Vandals' "Aging Orange" is a Take That to fellow California punk band Agent Orange. Agent Orange's Mike Palm had accused The Offspring of ripping off the guitar solo from Agent Orange's "Bloodstains" for the main riff of their hit "Come Out And Play". The Vandals' song ridicules him for this, pointing out that the parts only sound similar because they're in Phrygian mode and calling the accusations an act of a bitter has-been trying to get money and free publicity. note Though "Aging Orange" had lyrics that implied Agent Orange themselves were suing The Offspring, in reality no actual suit was ever filed - Robbie Fields, owner of Agent Orange's label Posh Boy Records and publisher of "Bloodstains", simply requested that Epitaph Records pay him a small portion of album sales for The Offspring's Smash, which he would split with Mike Palm. Palm publicly agreed that this request should have been granted, but didn't personally have anything to do with making it.
Another notable take that is "Choosing Your Masters", which mocks MTV's "Rock The Vote" campaign. The song makes the argument that MTV's audience, consisting of "the world's biggest losers", is too unintelligent to make informed voting decisions, and that "...there ought to be a law / if you can sit through a Silverchair video, you shouldn't be allowed to vote at all". Other specific artists mentioned in such a light include Stone Temple Pilots, Blind Melon, and The Rollins Band.
Government Issue had "Rock And Roll Bullshit", which entirely consisted of take that's to other artists. In the first verse there are some gibes you'd more or less expect coming from an early eighties Hardcore Punk band - "Van Halen gives me a pain / and Supertramp gives me a cramp". The second verse is more interesting for denigrating older punk bands because They Changed It, Now It Sucks: "I used to listen to The Clash / now they suck like all the trash / The Ramones used to be a hit / now they're just a pile of shit". Keep in mind the song was released in 1981, when the most recent albums by the latter two artists were out-of-character - Ramones' Pleasant Dreams (1981) sounded more like Power Pop than punk, while The Clash's Sandinista! (1980) was total Genre Roulette.
"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.
However, this is diluted in the acoustic version on the White Album when, after Lennon sings "Don't you know that you can count me out", he suddenly adds "in!"
Another one from the same period, "Sexy Sadie", was originally titled "Maharishi", and was a brutal Take That to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who Lennon had come to view as manipulative and hypocritical. After some intra-band discussion Lennon decided to make it about a fictional girl instead, but he didn't bother to change the lyrics too much.
"And Your Bird Can Sing" is frequently interpreted as a swipe at The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, whose "bird" (girlfriend) at the time was singer Marianne Faithfull.
Lennon's "Hey Bulldog" has been interpreted by at least one critic as an ambiguously affectionate Take That to McCartney, but that didn't stop McCartney from enthusiastically joining in with the production. The same can be said for "You Can't Do That", which the same critic views as being an assertion by Lennon of his leadership of the band — it was written at a time when McCartney was increasingly being viewed as the co-leader.
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 his early Wings hits, "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*.
"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.
Harrison gets in another one at Paul in the song "Savoy Truffle", with the line "We all know Ob-La-Di-Bla-Da, but can you tell me where you are?"
"I Me Mine" and "Run of the Mill" are both widely interpreted as being directed at John and Paul.
Ringo Starr's "Back Off Boogaloo" has sometimes been interpreted as being aimed at McCartney. ("Wake up, meathead / Don't pretend that you are dead...")
They also did a song called "Stacked Actors", which is a dig at the Los Angeles populace (as Grohl's experience living there was miserablenote though he returned residing there after getting married a few years later and has been happy in the city ever since) and Courtney Love in particular.
Grohl tried to distance, but doesn't hide that "I'll Stick Around" is a potshot at Love.
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".
"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.
Primus's "Coattails of a Dead Man" is a particularly vicious Take That directed at Courtney.
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. (Three years later, Bowie and Lennon worked togther on the Young Americans album. 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".
Not to mention "Like a Rolling Stone," "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window," "Dirge," "Idiot Wind," "Cry a While"... the put-down song is a bit of Dylan specialty.
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'tTake Thats at something or other. His concert film/documentary Baby Snakes was a good example of this trope directed at the Warner Bros. Records label, making subtle digs at the label whenever he could and often veering into either refuges in audacity or vulgarity.
The song Jesus He Knows Me by Genesis, is, essentially, one five-and-a-half-minutes long Take That against money-grubbing television evangelists.
The video for "Land of Confusion" isn't particularly subtle about the band's distaste for Ronald Reagan. The lyrics themselves are more subtle but still, if you read between the lines, make it pretty clear that the band aren't too pleased with Reagan or Margaret Thatcher.
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.
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?").
In live performances of the song, the band would fly a giant inflatable pig over the audience. After his split with the band, Roger Waters tried to stop the rest of the band from doing this. The band responded by using a pig with clearly visible male genitals.
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".
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.
"Panic" was a swipe at BBC Radio for following up news reports on Chernobyl with plays of Wham!'s "I'm Your Man", with a child choir joining Morrissey's chants of "Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ".
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, particularly after Jonathan Davis of Korn made fun of him.
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.
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.)
"Cannonball" is directed at a corrupt concert promoter Rick Davies worked with.
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".
Neil Young's "Ambulance Blues" ("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") is allegedly about Crosby, Stills & Nash. 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 W. Bush. and his policies.
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 believe 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.
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!")
The Fall in general have done a lot of these, whether in the form of entire songs or just individual lyrics. A couple of the more blatant examples of the latter are the lines "If I ever end up like U2 / slit my throat with a garden vegetable" (from "A Past Gone Mad") and "But I'm so sick of Snow Patrol" (from "Mask Search")
"Another Hit And Run" by Def Leppard is a Take That to their former UK fans that accused them of "selling out".
Tears For Fears - after Curt Smith left the band, Roland Orzabal put the song "Fish out of Water" on the next album, telling Curt off for leaving the band and generally being difficult to work with. Curt, for his part, releases the song "The Sun King" on his "Mayfield" album that attacks Roland for being a tyrant with an oversized ego. They have since made up, though, and both admit to having an odd sort of affection the other's "take that" tunes.
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."
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 Rick Roll?
Mojo Nixon also recorded a song with the subtle title "Don Henley Must Die" ("...Don't let him get back together/With Glenn Frey!")
"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 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".
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 and how generic and discordant jazz was. Inevitably, jazz had its way with this song by making it a jazz standard.
"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 Elite
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.
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!
Ironically, the French anthem used in the overture, "La Marseillaise", was actually banned in France by Napoleon himself from 1799 to 1815. It did not become the anthem again on a permanent basis until 1870. The Russian anthem used in the piece, "God Save the Tsar", was also not in use in 1812.
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.
La-La Land has subsequently done this with several of their releases, such as Looper and Jack Reacher.
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 W. H. 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.
Mozart's The Impressario—the overture is a parody of Salieri's style, and the two rival singers are portraits of two of his more. . . .difficult. . . leading ladies.
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.
The third movement of Mahler's Ninth Symphony is probably this. The autograph has a dedication "to my brothers in Apollo" which, considering the vicious tone of the movement itself, is likely a sarcastic reference to his critics.
From The Mary Whitehouse Experience Encyclopaedia, which admittedly is a comedy book:
Smiths, The: Seminal 1980s band whose music was born out of the chemistry between its two central figures, Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke. The union of Joyce - quiet, tidy - with Rourke - captain of his local pub team - produced a series of songs more memorable for their drum and bass lines than for their intrusive guitar parts and sometimes silly lyrics.
When John Addison won an Emmy in 1985 for scoring the pilot of Murder, She Wrote, he commented in his acceptance speech it was a surprise this won because the music "was played by people." At the time, synth scores - spearheaded by Miami Vice - were all the rage (and indeed Miami Vice had fielded one of the nominees that year, as did the also-electronically-scored St. Elsewhere).note The other nominated scores came from Cagney & Lacey, Dynasty and Highway To Heaven, if you're wondering.
A very subtle one in Jerry Rivera's song "Amores como el nuestro" ("Love like ours"). The song is all about love in a "pure" way, and one of the verses complains that "de sábanas mojadas hablan las canciones" (songs talk about wet sheets). That line is a reference to Lalo Rodriguez's song "Devórame otra vez" ("Devour me again"), which has the line "He mojado mis sábanas blancas recordandote" ("I wet my white sheets when I remembered you"). At the time, several singers in the salsa scene was doing "romantic" songs so full of Intercourse with You that it generated an offshot dubbed "salsa erotica"; Rivera, then a Teen Idol salsa singer, was singing songs with little to not sexual content.
This is the whole schtick of the Mexican bolero singer Paquita La Del Barrio (and also overlaps with Reality Subtext) since most of her songs deals about failed relationships, misogynistic men, and hard criticism against Mexican male culture towards women, sometimes in a very exaggerated an melodramatic way. Justified, since she suffered about almost all of that in Real Life.
Just to give an idea about how she's still bitter about the whole topic, most of her songs includes pretty offensive lyrics and names like Rata de Dos Patas (You Cheating Rat/Animal!), Viejo Rabo Verde (Dirty Old Man), No Te Hagas el Pendejo (Stop Fuckin' Around) and many others
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.
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)
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!
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.
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 help that the song was released the same year that Dangerous came out.
Cracker's "It Ain't Gonna Suck Itself" is the only original song on the Cover AlbumCountrysides, 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.
Hilarious in Hindsight or Harsher in Hindsight, as there was a royal restoration by the end of the decade... and indeed, many of the people who ordered Charing Cross to be destroyed were, in fact, executed for the regicide of Charles I.
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 boys 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 EMAs, 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.
Fuckemos got their name after the lead singer was kicked out of the Austin, TX club Emo's. When the band soon became popular they played several shows at Emo's and were a favorite on the Emo's jukebox.
Loudon Wainwright III's "T.S.D.H.A.V" (short for This Song Don't Have A Video) is one long Take That to music videos and the artists who make them rather than just letting the songs speak for themselves. (Ironically, this song does have a video.)
Stan Freberg's "The Old Payola Roll Blue$" is part justifiable attack on the payola scandal of the '50s and part - well, mostly - a Take That to popular music which ends with a declaration that "proper" music like jazz is taking back the territory claimed by rock'n'roll (which proved to be a touch inaccurate). Freberg, by his own admission, is a huge fan of swing music and jazz... which, tellingly, he never sent up.