Follow TV Tropes


Music / The Afghan Whigs

Go To

Founded in 1986, The Afghan Whigs are a long-running American rock band founded in Cincinnati by Greg Dulli (vocals, rhythm guitar), Rick McCollum (lead guitar) and John Curley (bass), though the lineup would change repeatedly through the years. With a sound that's something of a mix between punk, soul, funk and rock and Greg Dulli's love of dark, introspective lyrics dealing with topics like abusive relationships, drug addictions and self-loathing, the Afghan Whigs released six albums in the time between 1986 and 2001, when they broke up. They would temporarily reform several times in the years following until 2014, when they made and released their first new album in over 15 years, Do To The Beast. They continued this trend with In Spades, which was released in 2017.

During their hiatus, Dulli would go on to found The Twilight Singers, with whom he would release five albums, and The Gutter Twins, who would release one album and one EP.


  • Big Top Halloween (1988)
  • Up In It (1990)
  • Congregation (1992)
  • Gentlemen (1993)
  • Black Love (1996)
  • 1965 (1998)
  • Do To The Beast (2014)
  • In Spades (2017)
  • How Do You Burn? (2022)

Faded! This I trope!:

  • A God Am I: The narrator of "Congregation" proclaims that he is "your creator".
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: All the tracks on Gentlemen are from the viewpoint of the abusive boyfriend in the relationship, excepting "My Curse", which abruptly switches to the viewpoint of his partner, and is sung by Marcy Mays of the band Scrawl instead of by Dulli.
  • Anti-Love Song: Rather than give specific examples, we'll just say most of Gentlemen and quite a bit of Congregation.
  • Book Ends: Black Love (and more specifically, "Faded") starts and ends with the sound of a train running.
  • The Cameo: Greg Dulli played guitar on "X-Static" by Foo Fighters- the only part on their first album that wasn't played by Dave Grohl.
  • Careful with That Axe: "Faded", "Bulletproof", "White Trash Party".
  • Concept Album: Gentlemen is about an abusive relationship.
  • Cover Album: They released a cover EP called Uptown Avondale.
  • Cover Version: In spades, no pun intended. Apart from the aforementioned Uptown Avondale, they've covered dozens of songs, both live and on their CDs.
    • Congregation had a cover of "The Temple" from Jesus Christ Superstar and Gentlemen had a cover of "I Keep Coming Back" by Tyrone Davis.
    • They released a cover of "Lovecrimes" by Frank Ocean as a single, and added a cover of New Order's "Regret" to the rerelease of Black Love.
  • Epic Rocking: "Faded" (8:21) and "Bulletproof" (6:37).
  • Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: "Conjure Me" proclaims "I'm gonna turn on you/'fore you turn on me".
  • Intercourse with You: "Somethin' Hot", "I'm Her Slave", "Neglekted", "66", "Demon In Profile", "Kiss The Floor", "Step Into The Light", "Bulletproof".
  • Jerkass: The protagonists of "Hated", "Double Day" and "Be Sweet". The latter straight up admits it in the opening of the song.
    • "Fountain And Fairfax" was written about some douchebags Greg saw at an AA meeting.
  • Love Makes You Evil: "You My Flower", wherein the narrator murders his lover, who seemed to be planning to kill him first.
  • Long-Runners: Even if one excludes the period in which they broke up.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Half of Gentlemen, and quite a lot of Black Love.
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: "I'm Her Slave".
  • Ode to Intoxication: "Milez Is Ded".
  • Precision F-Strike: There's one in the first few lines of "Honky's Ladder", where the narrator proclaims "Got you where I want you, motherfucker".
    • Similarly, the opening of "Be Sweet": "Ladies let me tell you about myself/I got a dick for a brain/and my brain is gonna sell my ass to you".
  • Pyromaniac: "Going To Town", where the narrator and his lover rob a bank and set the place on fire before riding off into the sunset.
  • Recycled Lyrics: On Black Love, the lines 'A lie/the truth/which one will I use?' are used in both "Crime Scene Part One" and "Blame, Etc". On Gentlemen, the chorus of "If I Were Going" is reused in "Debonair".
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Crime Scene Part One" mentions "the chains I forged in life".
    • 1965 features two songs with hip hop references: During the intro to "Crazy", Greg Dulli ad-libs "Who's hot, who's not?", which were also the opening lines of Mase's verse on "Mo' Money Mo' Problems" by The Notorious B.I.G.. Meanwhile "Omerta" quotes "NY State Of Mind" by Nas - "I never sleep, 'cause sleep is the cousin of death".
  • The Something Song: "The Slide Song".
  • Take That!: "Neglekted" is one to Elektra Records (and more specifically, their executive Sylvia Rhone), who had treated the band very badly and repeatedly lied to them. Spelling "Neglected" with a "k" wasn't just Xtreme Kool Letterz - supposedly other musicians who had poor experiences with the label had coined the punny nickname "Neglektra".