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Continuity Nod / Music

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  • Occurs on a comedy album, of all things. The Lonely Island's Incredibad opens with a song about Carlos Santana's champagne brand, which is referenced in the Memetic Mutation-level I'm on a Boat.
    • And again in the interlude Normal Guy.
    • At the end of Dick in a Box, Andy and Justin Timberlake get sent to jail for indecent exposure. The video for Motherlover opens with them coming out of jail and dropping some boxes in the trash. Towards the end, Justin says, "This is the second-best idea that we've ever had!"
    • Building on the same continuity, 3-Way (The Golden Rule) starts immediately after Motherlover, as they are each leaving the other's house after spending the night with the other's mom; the song starts with both saying "Your mom says hi. Jinx!"
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    • During the bridge in Threw it on the Ground, Andy talks about how there are "so many things to throw on the ground". One is a boiled goose, a reference to Boombox.
  • Meat Loaf has the song "Blind as a Bat", with a title blatantly designed to remind of his great hit "Bat Out of Hell", even though the songs have nothing really to do with one another. (One might argue that this applies to the entire Bat Out of Hell "trilogy"...)
  • The Beatles' "Glass Onion" from The White Album actually approaches Continuity Porn levels, referring directly to "Strawberry Fields Forever", "I Am the Walrus" (with a twist), "Lady Madonna", "The Fool on the Hill", and "Fixing a Hole".
    • "I Am The Walrus" itself contains the line, "See how they fly like Lucy In The Sky."
    • And "Lady Madonna" references "I Am the Walrus" with the line "see how they run."
    • During the fadeout on "All You Need Is Love" from Magical Mystery Tour, Paul starts to sing, "She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah..."
    • "If I Fell" from A Hard Day's Night has a subtler one: "'Cause I've been in love before, and I found that love was more than just holding hands..."
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    • "Mean Mr. Mustard"'s sister is named Pam. The followup song on Abbey Road is "Polythene Pam". The name originally read "Shirley", but John Lennon changed it to "Pam" to invoke this trope.
    • "Savoy Truffle" from The White Album contains the line, "We all know 'Ob-la-di-bla-da', but can you tell me where you are", referencing "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" from the same album.
  • The lyrics of the Megadeth song "Victory" consist of previous Megadeth song titles written in a Previously On… form.
    • They nodded to "Sweating Bullets" and its video with "Mastermind" ("slightly schizophrenic - me and me and me agree"), and also with "Dread And The Fugitive Mind" which is a similar song about the same thing.
      • Megadeth have numerous nods to Dave Mustaine's Metallica past starting with his own rendition of "Mechanix" on their first album Killing Is My Business (which was his original song Metallica rewrote as "The Four Horsemen" for Kill Em All), right up until "Don't Turn Your Back" on their (as of 2013) most recent album Super Collider. Of note amongst these is "Of Mice And Men" from 2004's The System Has Failed, which puts Mustaine's life story in context, no doubt inspired by his conversation with Lars in 2001 which eventually made it into Metallica's movie Some Kind Of Monster in 2004.
  • Axel Rudi Pell uses this trope very frequently.
    • "Dark Waves of the Sea" features the exact chorus from "Oceans of Time" as an interlude, along with a similar melody overall.
    • The title track of Mystica refers directly to previous songs and albums by title, such as Kings and Queens, Oceans of Time, and "Edge of the World", among many others.
  • In 1996, R. Kelly had a song featuring the Isley Brothers about a man cheating with "Mr. Biggs'" woman. In 2001, the Isley Brothers had a song featuring R Kelly concerning the same issue and the same characters. Or as Mr Biggs puts it, "Don't I know you from somewhere a long time ago?"
  • George Clinton has a habit of recycling his older melodies in new contexts while making it seem more like creative fun than lack of originality. For example: The Funkadelic song "Red Hot Mama" borrows the melody from their older song "I Bet You", and the Parliament Song "Do That Stuff" takes a riff from "You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure" by Funkadelic.
    • The Thompson Twins' "Love on Your Side" has the line "I've played you all my favorite records" followed by a short recap of the melody line from an earlier single of the band's "In the Name of Love" (They felt it was the only one they could legally use).
  • David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" from Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) revisits the main character of "Space Oddity", Major Tom. The Major is also mentioned in the Pet Shop Boys remix of "Hallo Spaceboy".
  • Bon Jovi makes a nod to Tommy and Gina, the characters from "Livin' on a Prayer", in their song "It's my Life".
    • "99 In The Shade", from Slippery When Wet's followup album New Jersey, also name checks Tommy and Gina.
    • "Wanted Dead Or Alive" from Slippery mentions "I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride". "Ride Cowboy Ride" and "Stick To Your Guns" from New Jersey also mention cowboys, as (obviously) does Jon Bon Jovi's solo hit, "Blaze Of Glory" (from the Young Guns II soundtrack).
  • Queen have a b-side called 'Soul Brother' that's pretty much entirely continuity nods; "He's my best friend, he's my champion, and he will rock you, rock you, rock you"... it goes on like that.
  • "Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had A Deal" by They Might Be Giants features numerous continuity nods to various TMBG in the third verse.
  • Even classical music features the occasional Continuity Nod by composers to earlier works. Just to name a few examples:
    • Robert Schumann's early piano suite Carnaval features, in the movement entitled "Florestan", a quote from his suite Papillons, written two or three years earlier. The autograph manuscript (and most published editions) lampshades this by inserting the word "(Papillon?)" in the passage containing the quote.
    • Dmitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No.8 is something of an autobiographical work; as well as featuring innumerable quotes of his musical monogram (D E-flat C B = D Es C H (German note names) = D.Sch. = Д.Ш., Shostakovich's initials), it quotes the opening bars of his Symphony No.1, the "Jewish" theme from the finale of his Piano Trio No.2, the opening bars of his Cello Concerto No.1, and an aria from his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District among others.
    • The String Quartet No.11 of Shostakovich's fellow countryman Nikolai Myaskovsky features quotes from numerous songs and piano pieces which Myaskovsky wrote earlier in his career; the quartet is sometimes subtitled "Reminiscences".
    • The Russian Romantic composer Anton Rubinstein wrote three sonatas for violin and piano. The third sonata, written more than twenty years after the other sonatas, begins by alternating sustained notes in the piano with the opening phrases of the first and second sonatas in the violin before moving on to new material.
    • In the aptly-titled "Four Last Songs", Richard Strauss included a musical quotation of his work Death and Transfiguration, which he had composed sixty years earlier.
    • Sergei Rachmaninoff published twenty-four preludes in his lifetime, one for each of the major and minor keys. The last to be written, Op.32 No.13 in D-flat major, contains a number of references to the first to be written, Op.3 No.2 in C-sharp minor (the relative minor of D-flat major), including several major-key quotes of the earlier prelude's three-note motif, a shortened version of the chord progression from the coda, and an ascending fifth in the final measure.
    • In his piece, Shepherd's Hey, Percy Grainger briefly features the 7-note melody of arguably his most popular piece, Country Gardens.
  • Gilbert and Sullivan indulged in this on a few occasions. In their seldom-performed penultimate collaboration, Utopia Limited, a nod is made to H.M.S. Pinafore as one of the British Flowers of Progress is a naval officer named Captain Corcoran - which is also the name of the captain of the Pinafore (for most of the operetta, at least). In his introductory song in the Act I finale of Utopia Limited, there is even a direct musical quote from the similarly named character's introductory song in HMS Pinafore, "I am the captain of the Pinafore". It is somewhat uncertain whether they are intended to be the same character.
    • Utopia Limited also has a nod to The Mikado, specifically the title character's song about his Cool And Unusual Punishments:
      King Paramount: I am waiting until a punishment is discovered that will exactly meet the enormity of the case. I am in constant communication with the Mikado of Japan, who is a leading authority on such points.
  • Secondhand Serenade creator John Vesely references the chorus of his song "Your Call" in the first verse of the prior track, "Vulnerable" and even lampshades it, saying "...Isn't that a song already? I get a B in originality."
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers make references to a girl called Dani in the songs "Californication", "By the Way", and "Dani California".
  • In Usher's music video for "Hey Daddy (Daddy's Home)" there are scenes with a group of female back-up dancers rehearsing. His following video "OMG" brings back the same dancers in full costume performing the rehearsed moves.
  • The Faith No More song "Last Cup Of Sorrow" features the lyric "Raise your glass and let's propose a toast to the thing that hurts you most," almost identical to a lyric in the song Bloody Mary from an early demo by FNM singer Mike Patton's first band, Mr. Bungle.
  • Yusuke Nakamura occasionally does this with Asian Kung-Fu Generation's album art.
    • The wire on the cover of Houkai Amplifier connects to the string on Kimi Tsunagi Five M.
    • The guy on the cover of "Solanin" is wearing a Fanclub T-shirt.
    • There's a doll dressed up as the girl on Sol-fa on the cover of "Maigo Inu To Ame no Beat".
    • There's a Houkai Amplifier CD on Magic Disk's album art. If you squint, you can tell that the boy on the cover has been replaced with Gotoh.
  • "The Joker", title track of the 1973 album by the Steve Miller Band: "Some people call me the Space Cowboynote , yeah / Some call me the Gangster of Lovenote  / Some people call me Mauricenote ..."
    • "Space Cowboy" did this as well, with its opening line: "I told you 'bout Livin' In The US of Anote  / And you know that I'm a Gangster Of Love..."
  • In an interview, songwriter Dennis Linde said that the Earl whom the Dixie Chicks kill off in "Goodbye Earl" is the same antagonist as in the much earlier "Queen of My Double Wide Trailer" by Sammy Kershaw. In the former song, Earl takes the narrator's woman off, and he takes her back.
  • Clint Black's 1994 single "No Time to Kill" makes several callbacks to his 1989 single "Killin' Time".
  • Keith Urban did this with two songs in a row: "Put You in a Song" is a Heavy Meta about how he wants to write a song about his lover. "Without You" has the line "And up until you came along / No one ever heard my song / Now it's climbing with a bullet".
  • Zac Brown Band created a fictional character called "Floaty Boatwood" for the video to their tropical-themed "Toes". Floaty shows up again in the video for the similar "Knee Deep" (a Jimmy Buffett duet).
  • KMFDM's "Oh Shit", the last track on Don't Blow Your Top, reprises a lyric from the title track, as well as reprising the instrumental of "Oh Look".
  • In 2010, country singer Lee Brice had a hit with "Love Like Crazy". A year later, he co-wrote the Eli Young Band's "Crazy Girl", which has the line "I love you like crazy, girl."
  • In Fear and Faith's 2010 song "Bought The Ticket, Took The Ride" references their previous album Your World On Fire with the lyric "watch my world caught on fire!"
  • AC/DC mentions the title tracks of their first two Australian albums, "T.N.T." and "High Voltage," in "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap."
  • Aerosmith's "What It Takes" references "F.I.N.E." (which is on the same album) and "Heart's Done Time."
    • Both "F.I.N.E." and "Intro" reference the outtake song "Right Key, Wrong Key Hole."
    • "Amazing" contains the line "That one last shot's a Permanent Vacation."
    • The chorus of "Adam's Apple" includes the line "Lordy it was love at first bite." Twelve years later, "Dude (Looks Like a Lady" contained the line "She a long lost love at first bite."
  • Ayreon's 01 album is largely made up of continuity nods.
    • Outside of the above album, the Forever character from Into the Electric Castle is revisited in a single song in Universal Migrator and is revealed at the end of The Human Equation.
  • Panic! at the Disco's music video for "The Ballad of Mona Lisa" begins with shots of dusty and cobweb-laden church pews—clearly the same setting from their first big hit, "I Write Sins Not Tragedies."
  • Frank Zappa made continuity nods to his entire oeuvre all the time. He even had a special name for it: "conceptual continuity".
  • Sting does this with his music, both in his solo works and as part of The Police.
    • In the album Synchronicity, part of the lyrics from "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" appear in the song "O My God".
    • In the ending for "Love Is The Seventh Wave", Sting does a brief reprise of the lyrics from "Every Breath You Take" from Synchronicity.
    • In the ending for "We'll Be Together", Sting briefly reprises the lyrics of "If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free".
  • AOA's dance unit's "Chocolate" contains some shout-outs to their previous songs - Jimin's rap is the first verse of her solo rap song "Puss", and lines and dance moves from the "Like A Cat" and "Confused" choruses also appear.
  • Poets of the Fall:
    • The video for Signs of Life track "Lift," sees a prisoner declared "Illusionist," and "Dreamer," a reference to "Illusion & Dream," another track on the album.
    • The music video for Title Track "Carnival of Rust" contains references to other songs on the album. Among them:
      • "Fire"-eaters ply their trade
      • The Ferris wheel is called The Great "Gravity" Wheel, and fragments of its lyrics serve as slogans on Zoltar the fortune-telling automaton's case.
      • The customer's fortune ticket bears a number "4" for "All the Way/4U"
      • The Bearded Lady is being tattooed with the word "Delicious."
  • Famous Swedish band Kent: The announcing video for their last album, Då som nu för alltid, is basically consisting of this trope: It's full of references to old songs, albums and music videos by the band, in an amazing way.
  • Kids Praise: In the 10th album, Risky Rat reappears. Charity recognizes him, though it takes her a little while to realize exactly who he is.


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