I realize this doesn’t help a bit / but what can I do what can I do

Real Down Town,” Vigilantes of Love
Real Girls,” Daniel Amos
Real Long Distance,” Josh Ritter
Real Love,” Smashing Pumpkins

Real Love,” Regina Spektor
Real World,” Matchbox Twenty
“Really,” Nellie McKay
Really Mystified,” Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Reason to Believe,” Aimee Mann & Michael Penn
Reason to Believe,” Bruce Springsteen
Reason to Believe,” Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Reason to Believe,” Billy Bragg
Reasons,” Earth Wind & Fire

Yes, I own that Matchbox Twenty CD, because I was alive in 1997. “Real World” isn’t a bad song, and I’m not displeased to own it, unlike some friends of mine who occasionally stumble across their copies of Yourself or Someone Like You, mystified and a little frightened, with no clear memory of how it was they came to own such a thing.

Three of the four “Reason to Believes” above are the Springsteen song from Nebraska. The Billy Bragg track is a cover of the Rod Stewart Tim Hardin song, made famous by Rod Stewart, which I used to think was called “Someone Like You.” I don’t have Stewart’s version. Rod’s got a great voice, but his decisions in recent years for how to employ that voice have diminished my ability to enjoy his older songs as much as I once did. (His “People Get Ready” with Jeff Beck, though, is still one of my favorite things.)

"Everyone! North Korea's still an extraordinary threat, everyone!"

LBCF, No. 190: ‘Something happens’
"OT: It's Saturday. You check out the Showcase while I go back to my Luke ..."

LBCF, No. 190: ‘Something happens’
"Eh, even hair of a color other than red counts as a blemish on the ..."

LBCF, No. 190: ‘Something happens’
"People like her are why I remain optimistic. It's not that the times aren't dark; ..."

LBCF, No. 190: ‘Something happens’

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • picklefactory

    “Real Earth,” Cannibal Ox
    “Real Estate,” Cypress Hill
    “Real Eyes,” Quasimoto
    “Real Love,” Regina Spektor
    “Real Music vs. Bullshit,” Count Bass D
    “Real People,” Common
    “Real Raw,” Dr. Octagon
    “The Real Thing,” Gwen Stefani
    “A Really Good Time,” Roxy Music
    “Reanimator,” Amon Tobin
    “Reanimator,” John Zorn
    “The Reason,” Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
    “Reasons,” Nomo

    I am somehow not surprised that (almost) all my “Real” songs are hip-hop. It is an important theme.

  • GuestLurker

    I refuse to be ashamed of Matchbox 20! I have all of their CDs… 1997 was a good year for me.

  • Brent White

    I hear you about Rod Stewart, but his first three or four solo albums in the early ’70s, which featured Ron Wood on guitar, were of a piece, and uniformly excellent. They featured the same band on each, even though they were “solo” albums. You should check them out.

  • Eva_Noel

    I still have all my Matchbox 20 CDs.  I regret nothing.

    On a related note, on a long drive over Fourth of July weekend, the radio station I was listening to announced they were having a “Way Back Weekend” and then played “Real World.”  There was some cursing.

  • “Real Bad News”- Aimee Mann
    “The Real Me”- The Who
    “Real Men” Tori Amos
    “Real Naked Girls”- Margot and the Nuclear So So’s
    “Really Mystified”- Elvis Costello and the Attractions
    “Reason to Believe”- Bruce Springsteen

    How do I not have that Regina Spektor song?

  • “A Real Country Song,” Dale Watson
    “The Real Deal,” Billy Joe Shaver
    “Real Deal,” George Jones
    “The Real Mr. Heartache,” Johnny Paycheck
    “The Reason,” Tim Stafford
    “Reason for Being,” The Seldom Scene
    “Reason to Believe,” Rod Stewart
    “Reasons I Cheat,” Randy Travis

    Pretty much all of the records Rod Stewart did for Mercury were worth listening to, although by the time of Smiler (1974) he’d definitely begun his decline. “Reason to Believe” is off Every Picture Tells a Story, though — no amount of “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” could make me stop listening to that one.

  • ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’, Ian Dury & The Blockheads

  • Mike J

    Skipping those on Fred’s list:

    The Real – Tracey Bonham
    The Real American Folk Song – Ella Fitzgerald
    Real Black Angel – MC 900 Ft. Jesus
    Real by Reel – XTC
    Real Cool Time – The Feelies
    Real Good Time Together – Lou Reed
    The Real Me – Rosanne Cash
    The Real Me – The Who
    Real Men – Joe Jackson
    Real Nice Time – Sparkle Jets UK
    Real Real Gone – Van Morrison
    Real Thing – Pearl Jam and Cyprus Hill
    Real World – Hüsker Dü
    Real World – Pere Ubu
    Reanimator – Meat Beat Manifesto
    The Reason – Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
    Reasons – Teens
    Reasons to be Beautiful – Hole
    Reasons Why – Chewy Marble

  • The Carpenters did a very creditable version of the Tim Hardin song “Reason to Believe”:

  • Real Live Girl — Sid Caesar & Soldiers’ Chorus (from the musical Little Me)
    Real Man — Bonnie Raitt    
    Real Woman — Rosanne Cash    
    Reason To Believe — The Carpenters

  • But… you don’t have Springsteen’s Real World? :) 

  • Ganimed

    Real Good Looking Boy – The Who
    Real Great Britain – Asian Dub Foundation
    Real Grrrl – The Cult
    Real Love – Smashing Pumpkins
    Real Real – Nina Simone
    The Real Snow White – The Cure
    Real Thing – Alice in Chains
    Reality – David Bowie
    Really Real – Tricky
    Reason is Treason – Kasabian
    The Reasons Why – The Cure

  • I was thinking Etta James did a version of this “Reason to Believe”, but I was thinking of [I Would] Rather Go Blind (which doesn’t QUITE fit.  A version that does is Sum41 [trigger warning: punk].

  • Amaryllis

    Ha! I’m so old that I’m too old to know who Matchbox 20 even is. The ’90s are my personal lost decade, musically speaking.

    if reason were as plenty as raspberries, I would give no man a reason…

    Real Love – Lucinda Williams
    Real Man – Bonnie Raitt
    Reaphook and Sickle – Waterson:Carthy

  • I was alive in 1997, yet I’ve never owned any Matchbox 20.  Just sayin’.

    “Real Solution #9” – White Zombie
    “Real Thing” – Alice In Chains
    “The Real Thing” – Faith No More
    “Real World” – Queensryche

  • Tonio

    I thought of two other “Real Love” songs not mentioned here, by the Doobie Brothers and Jody Watley. I would name the John Lennon track that the surviving Beatles reworked, but that song and “Free as a Bird” creep me out, sounding almost like musical necrophilia.

  • See I always liked Wilson Philips’ version of “A Reason To Believe.” but that’s just me. 

  • Yay… I have quite a few not on anyone’s lists so far.

    “Real Change” – Benny Hester
    “Real Down Town” – Vigilantes of Love
    “Real Illusion” – PolyGroovers
    “Real Life” – Simple Minds
    “The Real McCoy” – The Silencers
    “Real Wild Child (Wild One)” – Iggy Pop
    “Real World” – Steve Scott
    “Realize the Ghost” – Silver Swans
    “Really Enough” – Single Cell Orchestra
    “The Reason Why” – Ladytron
    “Reason with Me” – Adam Again
    “Reasons for Living” – Duncan Sheik

  • konrad_arflane

    I was alive in 1997 and young enough to still follow rock music, and I’ve never even heard of Matchbox Twenty (and the song doesn’t ring any bells at all). I suspect they were big in the States, but never really made it across the Atlantic.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    The Real Thing — Russell Morris

    Ooh mau ma mau mau ohh mau ma mau mau

  • Jonathan Pinyan

    I know you might roll your eyes at this / But I’m so glad that you exist

    “The Real Thing”, Bo Bice
    “Real World”, Matchbox Twenty
    “Real World ’09”, Rob Thomas
    “Realize”, Colbie Caillat
    “Really Might Be Gone”, Bowling For Soup
    “The Reason”, Hoobastank
    “Reason”, Kirsten Thien
    “The Reasons”, The Weakerthans

    I’ve got no shame about “Real World”, but it annoyed me that Rob Thomas–lead singer of Matchbox 20–then released a solo album with a WHOLLY UNRELATED SONG titled “Real World ’09” apparently unable to come up with any other potential title. Also no shame about “The Reason”. The rule of thumb may be that everyone thinks the best music ever was from when they were 12 or 13, but for me, my fondest memories are of songs from the year I was 17 and 18.

  • Real As An Animal – Alejandro Escovedo
    Real Danger – The Red River
    Real Great Britain – Asian Dub Foundation
    Real Life – Joan As Police Woman
    Real Love – John Lennon
    Real School – The Sycamores
    Realist Alive – Clams Casino
    Reap What You Sow – Converge
    The Reasons – The Weakerthans

  • Theo

    Real Cool Time – the Stooges
    A Real Cool Time – the Ramones
    The Real Me – the Who
    Real Wild Child – Iggy Pop
    Real World – the Buzzcocks