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  • Lady Gaga is very keen on this trend:
    • Monster's line "I wanted to Just Dance" referencing Just Dance
    • Bloody Mary's line "I'll tell my religion's you" echoes the line from Teeth "My religion is you"
    • Gypsy's "I don't speak German but I try" to Scheibe's opening "I don't speak German but I can if you like"
    • Fashion's "Married to the night" references Marry The Night
    • Cake's "Singing Paparazzi in this bitch"
  • In Joe Diffe's Third Rock from the Sun a man in Smokey's Bar sees a beautiful woman walks into the bar and calls up his wife to tell her he is working late (so he can make time with the lady in question). The wife calls up her sister and asks her to come over to comfort her, which gives her boyfriend time to go out and get a beer from a nearby store. He leaves the keys in his car, allowing some teenagers to take a joyride in his car. The teenagers end up in the path of a semi truck, which crashes into them, goes across a bank parking lot, and hits the bank's clock. The clock goes flying and takes out a powerline, making the entire town go dark. A waitress calls the police in panic, claiming a giant alien has landed, and the police call the mayor, waking him up, because they can't find the sheriff. The mayor tells the police to use their heads - if he isn't in his car, he's probably hiding from his wife down at Smokey's Bar. So he is going to have to work late after all.
  • Marilyn Manson has a habit of doing this, although with a few of the examples, Foreshadowing is an alternative explanation.
    • In the song 1996, there is the lyric "Anti the things I fucked and ate." In Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon, "First you try to fuck it, then you try to eat it, and if it hasn't learned your name you better kill it before they see it."
    • In Heart-Shaped Glasses, "That blue is getting me high and making me low." The next album was The High End of Low.
    • In If I was Your Vampire, "6 a.m. Christmas morning. No shadows, no reflections here." Then, two albums later, there is the Grammy-nominated song No Reflection.
    • In the pre-Portrait of An American Family (their first album) song Luci in the Sky With Demons, there is the lyric "I'll spread me open, stuck to my ribs, Are all your infants in abortion cribs?". This is reused completely in The Man That You Fear. In fact, this song has been called-back to multiple times, with the lyric "Cut, cut, cut" from it recreated almost identically (over fifteen years later) in I Want To Kill You Like They Do In The Movies.
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  • In DMX's Damien III, Damien mentions "What happened to the right hand, Light Man?", referring to DMX's line in the first Damien, "For that nigga, I would bleed, give him my right hand, now that I think about it, yo, that's my man!"
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers' music video for the lead single "Scar Tissue" off of their album Californication is this. It references their previous video for their massive 1991 hit "Give it Away" (from Blood Sugar Sex Magik, involving the band dancing crazily in the desert) by showing the members instead bloody and beaten from their struggles with drug addiction while riding through the same desert from the previous video. It's a nice metaphor for the maturation and strength of the band.
  • Britney Spears does this quite nicely in the song "Stronger", where she sings, "The loneliness ain't killing me no more," a call back to "My loneliness is killing me" from her debut single "Baby One More Time."
  • Bon Jovi's song "It's My Life" (2000) mentions Tommy and Gina from Living on a Prayer (1986). Both songs are similar in terms of arrangement (with the talk-box and a climatic guitar solo) and they were both huge hits for the band.
    • Tommy and Gina are also called back in the lyrics to the New Jersey album track, "99 In The Shade".
  • Although it could be far-fetched, Queen could count as well:
    • In terms of videos, "One Vision" begins similarly to "Bohemian Rhapsody", which itself is based on the cover of their second album; in terms of lyrics, "These Are the Days of Our Lives" (1991) ends with "I still love you" — "Love of My Life" (1975) had the lyric: "when I grow older, I will be there at your side to remind you how I still love you."
    • And in "Lily of the Valley" on their third album Sheer Heart Attack, the lines: Messenger from seven seas has flown, To tell the king of Rhye he's lost his throne — a reference to the song "Seven Seas of Rhye" on their first and second albums.
      • The connection goes further; Seven Seas of Rhye (as it appears on Queen II) ends that album with a crowd singing the music hall song "I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside" over the fadeout. The opening song on Sheer Heart Attack ("Brighton Rock") begins with some crowd noise, over which careful listeners may notice someone briefly whistling... "I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside".
    • "Seaside Rendezvous" has "I love you madly"; "Was It All Worth It" has "we love you madly".
    • "Dead On Time" mentions "Better keep yourself alive, better leave on time", a reference to the similar-sounding "Keep Yourself Alive", their first hit.
    • The cover of Queen II, the opening shot of the video to "Bohemian Rhapsody", and the opening shot of the video of "One Vision" feature Queen lined up in the same shadowy, diamond-esque formation.
    • The music video to Freddie Mercury's cover of The Platters' "The Great Pretender" has a split-second, split-screen homage to the diamond image lineup, with Mercury himself in all four corners!
  • Beirut's song "Cherbourg" has the same chorus as the earlier song "Nantes," only sang in a different sense, suggesting his longing for the events portrayed in the former.
  • If examples on the same album count, Nine Inch Nails's "The Downward Spiral" uses part of the same melody from "Closer" in a very different context.
  • Sting was fond of quoting his own lyrics from earlier works, both in his solo career and while part of The Police:
    • "Love Is The Seventh Wave": Every ripple on the ocean / Every leaf on every tree / Every sand dune in the desert / Every breath you take from me / Every breath you take / Every move you make...
    • "We'll Be Together": We'll be together tonight / If you need somebody / If you wanna keep something precious / [If You] Love Somebody [Set Them Free]...
    • "Seven Days": Saturday could wait / But Sunday'd be too late / Do I have to tell the story of a thousand rainy days since we first met...
  • Frank Zappa's body of work is Made of this, and he called it "Conceptual Continuity". Lampshaded by name in "Stinkfoot". On Overnite Sensation, "Camarillo Brillo" Calls back to "The Toads of the Short Forest" on Weasels Ripped my Flesh.
  • The Format
    • "The First Single" included the line "I hate what I've become". "Dog Problems", the title track to their next album, calls back to it with "When I said 'I hate what I've become', I lied, I hated who I was".
    • Nate Ruess, former lead singer of The Format and current lead singer of fun. is arguably the callback king of modern music:
      • In addition to the callback in "Dog Problems", Ruess calls back to "The First Single" (which included the line "let's cause a scene...") in fun.'s "Take Your Time (Coming Home)", referring to the breakup of The Format as "I'm through with causing a scene."
      • In several fun. songs ("Take Your Time (Coming Home)", "Some Nights" and "Why Am I The One?") "the desert" and "the sun" are used to refer to Arizona and California, respectively. This is a callback to The Format's "On Your Porch".
      • A callback to two songs from fun.'s debut album is present in the song "Stars", with the line "Some nights I rule the world with "Barlights" and "Pretty Girls"." The titles are even in quotations in the lyrics, so it's a pretty obvious reference. It's also probably not a coincidence that the debut had a song called "I Want To Be The One", while Some Nights had "Why Am I The One?".
  • The refrain of Shiny Toy Guns' "You are the One" reprises the lyrics of Jeremy Dawson and Chad Petree's old trance production "Neo (The One)" under the name Slyder, featured in Grand Theft Auto III.
  • Enter Shikari
    • The song "Solidarity" of their second album Common Dreads ends with a chorus singing "and still we will be here / standing like statues", a phrase which is repeated multiple times during their debut album, Take To The Skies.
    • "Havok A", also from Common Dreads, makes reference to their song Acid Nation, B-side to Jonny Sniper (also from TTTS).
  • In Mariah Carey's "Fantasy", which Sampled Up Tom Tom Club's "Genius of Love", she interpolates the first verse of the original song for the bridge.
  • Cascada's cover of Nik Kershaw's "Wouldn't It Be Good" reprises the verse melody of "Everytime We Touch". Also, "Runaway" is melodically a Call Back to "Bad Boy", which in turn was a Suspiciously Similar Song version of a Groove Coverage song also titled "Runaway".
  • Two versions of Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari, the Morning Musume original and one of the Elder Club versions, contain references to the song Koi no Dance Site, also by Morning Musume during the part sung about or by Yaguchi Mari.
  • The Beatles
    • They liked this trope a lot. "I Am The Walrus" references "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", and "Glass Onion" references "Strawberry Fields", "I Am The Walrus", "The Fool on the Hill", and "Lady Madonna".
    • Later, on the "Abbey Road Medley", certain parts of "You Never Give Me Your Money" resemble the "Here Comes the Sun" melody, and "Carry that Weight" has a verse straight out of "You Never Give Me Your Money".
    • And directly inspired by "Glass Onion", Veruca Salt's "Volcano Girls" references their first hit "Seether":
    Well here's another clue if you please,
    The seether's Louise.
    • "She loves you, yeeeeeah, yeah, yeah!" in "All You Need Is Love".
    • The promo of their Hello Goodbye" video show the group wearing their old matching suits from 1963, waving at the camera, and their "Sgt. Pepper" clothing in the main performance clips.
    • And speaking of Sgt. Pepper, the penultimate song, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) is not only a call-back to the first song on the album, but the intro-countdown ("One two three fouh") is a throw back to the first song (I Saw Her Standing There) on their first album, Please Please Me.
    • By mid-1964 they'd grown enough musically to likely call back on an earlier hit in "If I Fell" singing "'Cause I've been in love before/and I found that love was more/than just holding hands".
    • John's son Julian Lennon used the intro of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" as the outro to his own song "Lucy".
    • In its Word Salad Lyrics, "Come Together" mentions "walrus gumboot", while "Mean Mr. Mustard" deliberately changec the name of his sister to "Pam" to connect it conceptually to "Polythene Pam" in the Abbey Road medley.
  • Future Perfect's "Solitary Star" refers back to "Queen of the Dance Floor", a previous song on the same album with the lines "You wanted your life to be queen of the dance floor, now all you want is the life from before", and "diamonds and bling that are losing their gleam".
  • Dropkick Murphys have a couple on the title track to Going Out In Style. The narrator mentions apologizing to Slugger and the Flannigans, presumably Slugger O'Toole (mentioned later in the album's cover of "The Irish Rover"), and Flannigans presumably being the hosts of "Flannigan's Ball" on their earlier album, The Meanest of Times. The Flannigans one is particularly evocative, as the second half of "Flannigan's Ball" details the general havoc and destruction after a few too many people have a few too many drinks at the titular party.
  • The title of Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain" recalls the paper cityscape being set on fire by pyrotechnics in the video to "Rolling in the Deep".
  • Devin Townsend loves this so much fans actually whipped up a chart with about every Call Back they could think of. And it's still missing a few.
  • Sound Horizon songs often feature Call Backs to previous songs and albums, usually cued as such by the use of a Recurring Riff or line.
  • Mindless Self Indulgence references an old song Panty Shot in their later song I Hate Jimmy Page"
    "Who like that song five year-old panty shot / Yeah, yeah, that could be a real big record / Cause it got the bump with the molestation"
  • The prog band Pure Reason Revolution have one in the song "Black Mourning", in which they sing «million lives» much the same as how they sung «million bright» in the chorus for their single "The Intention Craft" five years earlier.
    • A more obvious one happens within their first album The Dark Third with the songs "The Bright Ambassadors of Morning" and "Ambassadors Return".
  • Though the Gaelic Storm song "Don't Let the Truth Get in the Way (of a Good Story)" is a long string of completely implausible fish tales, there's a noticeable Beat after the line "I was in some blockbuster movie and I didn't make a dime."
  • Tom Waits' "Army Ants" makes reference to a line in his earlier song "Earth Died Screaming": "And as we discussed last semester, the army ants will leave nothing but your bones"
  • Towards the end of Ministry's "Ghoul Diggers", Al Jourgensen starts singing the first few lines of The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" — this is both because Jim Morrison was mentioned earlier in the song and because Ministry covered that particular song in full on their previous studio album.
  • Emilie Autumn's gone out of her way to make sure Opheliac and Fight Like A Girl are two related concept albums.
    • The middle eight of "Fight Like a Girl" is the same melody as the middle eight of "Misery Loves Company", albeit with different lyrics.
    • "Goodnight, Sweet Ladies" samples "4 O'Clock", "The Art of Suicide" and "If I Burn".
    • "Gaslight" calls back "Art Of Suicide" in its opening notes.
    • "I Don't Understand" refers to the "Opheliac" theme of the prior album.
    • "If I Burn" has a chant at the end which is the same style as "Let The Record Show" chant on "Opheliac"
    • "4 O clock Reprise" refers explicitly to a song which came out before Fight Like A Girl.
    • The various call backs within Fight Like A Girl Album. (What Will I Remember-Start Another Story, Gaslight-Gaslight reprise)
    • "Take The Pill" reminds many listeners of "Liar."
    • Judas Priest included so many of these on their 2005 "comeback" album Angel of Retribution that the whole thing almost became Continuity Porn.
  • The lyrics for Veruca Salt's "Volcano Girls" references "Seether," with the speaker revealing "another clue" that "the Seether's Louise." The band's co-vocalist is Louise Post.
  • "I Don't Give A Honk" from The Lonely Island's third release, The Wack Album, is a clear Spiritual Successor to "Punch You In The Jeans" from their first album, Incredibad. "Punch You In The Jeans" is directly name-dropped in one of the last lines of the former song.
  • The coda of SlyphStorm's "Pegasus Device" calls back to both WoodenToaster's original "Rainbow Factory" song and its previous Sequel Song, "Awoken".
  • The first word in a refrain in "The Remembering High The Memory" in Yes's Tales From Topographic Oceans is "Relayer". Relayer became the band's followup album.
    • "Change We Must", a phrase used in "Ritual" from TFTO, was the title of a 1994 solo album by Yes vocalist Jon Anderson.
  • The Vocaloid song "And then the Girl Went Mad -End of a Moonlit Night-" from the Evillious Chronicles franchise contains multiple callbacks to a previous song, "Abandoned on a Moonlit Night". The title, the use of "Otsuki-sama" to refer to the moon, the overall theme of abandonment, and the singers from the latter song even sing two lines in it.
  • The liner notes to Cunning Stunts by Cows included a completely fictional discography for the band, consisting of absurd album titles like Sexy Pee Story. A year later, they actually did call their next album Sexy Pee Story.
  • The Steve Miller Band references "Livin' in the USA" and "Gangster of Love" in the opening line of "Space Cowboy"; "I told you 'bout living in the U-S-of-A, and you know that I'm the Gangster of Love". They then start "The Joker" with the line "Some people call me the Space Cowboy, some call me the Gangster of Love."
  • Seal: in his cover of Steve Miller's "Fly Like An Eagle", he closes with a line from his hit "Crazy": "In a world full of people only some want to fly, isn't that crazy?"
  • Axis: Bold as Love by The Jimi Hendrix Experience begins with a radio skit that starts with the opening six notes of "Stone Free", a single that was recorded and released during the Are You Experienced sessions.
  • GaMetal's fiftieth song was a medley entirely made up of remade versions of particularly popular or otherwise significant old songs.
  • Poets of the Fall
  • Teena Marie was very fond of this trope:
    • 1983's "Cassanova Brown" and 1994's "Slow Grind" both reference her 1979 song "I'm Gonna Have My Cake (And Eat It Too)."
    • The first two tracks on her 1990 album Ivory, "Here's Looking at You" and "The Sugar Shack," both reference her 1981 song "Square Biz," while the former song also references her 1979 debut single "I'm a Sucker for Your Love."
    • Her 2004 comeback single "Still in Love" references her 1981 song "It Must Be Magic" and her 1994 song "Main Squeeze."
    • "Ooh Wee," the lead single from her 2006 album Sapphire, is built on a sample from her 1980 song "Young Love."
    • Also from Sapphire, "Baby Who's is It?" references 1984's "Out on a Limb" and 1979's "I'm a Sucker for Your Love," "Somebody Just Like You" references 2004's "Honey Call," and "You Blow Me Away" references her 1981 collaboration with Rick James, "Fire and Desire."
    • "Maria Bonita (For My Mother)", which was originally recorded for her shelved Black Rain album but eventually surfaced on her 2013 posthumous release Beautiful, references 1981's "Portuguese Love."
  • Weezer's 2019 single "The End Of The Game" includes the lyric "I'm on an island with no sun", referencing their 2001 single "Island In The Sun".
  • The Megas decided to put quite a few references to their older songs on History Repeating to fit with that Central Theme of the fight against Wily being cyclic.
    • Needle Man ("The Haystack Principle") slightly edits a line from Air Man ("The Annihilation of Monsteropolis") to fit his situation, and much like Bomb Man ("Beneath the Steel"), Wily's reprogrammed him with destructive madness.
    • Gemini Man ("GeminEye"), like Quick Man ("The Quick and the Blue"), references a genre that's closely tied to a historical period - although Gemini Man's noir is more recent than Quick Man's Western.
    • Magnet Man ("Don't Mess with Magnet Man"), like Flash Man ("Blue Like You"), is trying to seduce a member of Dr Light's family, it's just that this time it's Roll rather than Mega Man.
    • Spark Man ("Sparked a War") is essentially a Darker and Edgier version of robot rights campaigner Elec Man ("Evolution of Circuitry"); for bonus points, the last line of "Evolution" is about sending "the spark of war along the wire".
    • Both Shadow Man ("Afraid of the Dark") and Needle Man (see above) are slowly succumbing to Wily's programming, much like Crash Man ("Programmed to Fight").
    • Top Man ("Can't Stop the Top") is a Dance Battler akin to Metal Man ("Metal Dance").
    • Snake Man ("Walk Away from Light") has demonic/hellish symbolism, much like Heat Man ("Man on Fire").
    • Mega Man's "I Want To Be The One" gets a darker revisit with Dr Light's "I Want To Be The One...To Watch You Die". It also references a line from Wily's "Look What You've Done":
      Wily: Our battle is ending/True war is just beginning...
      Light: You wanted war, now I just want revenge.
  • Nightwish sometimes has Tuomas play a riff from another son in the middle of his keyboard solo, like in the video of Anette singing Planet Hell, which features both Stargazers and Gethsemane.
  • BTS make a point of telling their own stories through their music, with overarching themes of growth and introspection. Thus, they often make Call Backs to previous songs (as well as everything from inside jokes to tweets, if relevant).
    • The strings from the beginning of the "Boy in Luv" music video (an aggressive, immature song about wanting a girl) get sampled again during the first part of "Intro: Who Am I to You?", where RM raps about newfound love before later in the song it all goes downhill. Similarly, the piano from the start of "Outro: Propose" appears at the beginning of the "Danger" music video, with each being from Skool Love Affair (where "Boy in Luv" comes from) and Dark & Wild (which has "Intro: What Am I to You?"), respectively.
    • "Magic Shop" makes one to "Best of Me" (which has dependent lyrics such as "you got the best of me/so please just don't leave me") in the verse "You gave me the best of me/so you'll give you the best of you".
    • "I'm Fine" is this to "Save Me". Not only does the former take reversed melodies from the "Save Me", but it is a mirror to the song both in themes and lyrics (almost verse-to-verse), with even the rappers' parts being in the reverse ordernote . While "Save Me" was about a person depending emotionally on another, in "I'm Fine", the person looks back and finds that they really can be fine and happy on their own.
    • "IDOL" has the line "sometimes I become your superhero/Keep spinning, you Anpanman", referencing "Anpanman" from the previous album.
    • The MAP OF THE SOUL series is an introspective look from BTS at themselves, which is represented by the rap line solo tracks and their respective music videos (which are also comeback trailers).
      • The introspective track "Intro: Persona" samples "Intro: Skool Luv Affair" from the homonymous EP. The lyrics also reference the "dogs and pigs" line from "Am I Wrong" (itself a response to the controversial statements of a government official during the Park Geun-Hye administration), has the line "I dreamt of becoming a superhero/ Now it feels like I really became one" referencing "Anpanman", and repeats the line "what's your dream?" from "No More Dream".
      • "Interlude: Shadow" has a number of them, including many visual and lyrical parallels to "Intro: Persona" (both RM and Suga stand on platforms in front of their fans, pairing the lyrics "I just wanna fly" and "don't let me fly"), and to 2013's "O!RUL8,2?" (sampling the instrumentals of "Intro: O!RUL8,2?", making several visual references to its Comeback Trailer video, and retroactively answering said intro's question of "What's your dream?" from the perspective of someone who has already achieved it). Additionally, the hooded figures from "Fake Love", "Mic Drop" and "Fire" are back.
      • "Outro: Ego" follows the theme of "Persona" (which references their 3rd album trailer) and "Shadow" (which references their 2nd album trailer) by going all the way back (literally in the music video, with a quick montage of all previous BTS music videos in reverse) to BTS' debut trailer. The track itself samples "Intro: 2 Cool 4 Skool" (the first track from the first BTS album, featured in said debut trailer), with the beat morphing into a fun African-based rhythm. The lyrics reference the reflections surrounding fame touched on "Persona" and "Shadow" and makes a new conclusion, where the doubts and pain and darker feelings underneath fame became instead an impulse to grow and keep going forward.
    • "Boy With Luv" is by title a clear Call Back to "Boy In Luv" - drawing an implicit comparison between the representation of love and gender roles in their earlier work and now and highlighting their later maturity as artists and as people.
  • Slayer threw in a callback to the song "Disciple", in their song "Implode" on their album, Repentless.
    Society will bleed
    So watch the violence breed
    And deconstruct the protocol
    And if I'm proven wrong
    I think you know the song
    I'm pretty sure that God still hates us all


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