Talk:Traded Tracks

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"Swapped Vocals" was the best name for this category I could think of; if anyone else has something better please feel free to change it. Thanks. -Martorano


Would Cowtown belong here? I know JL wrote it and also sings on it, but to me, it just seems like Flans is more dominating the song.

You mean his voice is more prominent? I agree with you there, but I don't know if it belongs on this page because they share the vocal. Hmm... -Martorano
Then how come 'Spolier Alert' falls into this category? SamuelMan36 14:53, 18 October 2011 (EDT)
With the exception of the "we yearn to swim for home" verse, there's not really a part of Cowtown that Linnell totally sacrifices to Flansburgh (they sing the choruses together after the first), whereas Spoiler Alert is essentially two separate songs with one sung by Flans and one sung by Linnell. I'm not necessarily saying Cowtown shouldn't be on this page, but I don't think Spoiler Alert's inclusion can be a precedent for the decision, whatever it may be. -Apollo (colloquia!) 15:31, 18 October 2011 (EDT)


I figured fom the footage in Gigantic, Flans wrote (co-wrote, I've heard somewhere) Man, It's So Loud in here... should it be added? Figured I'd check with someone. Where did you guys find out who wrote what song? Inteviews? Jade

The footage is just Linnell hearing the mix for the first time in Gigantic, I believe it's pretty much his song. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 00:01, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Alright, I figured Flans wrote it because they said it was the first time, thanks for letting me know user:jadeybeans
So wait, I'm confused, what about the rock version they demo'd and played live in 1999? That was sung by Linnell too... maybe Flans just arranged it? I don't have a copy of the film with me, but I'm kind of skeptical - although I don't mean to be, because I always think it's SO COOL when one guy sings a thing the other guy wrote. So I don't know. -j2 who hasn't logged in
Dude this SO does not belong here, no way. I'm totally taking it out. Judging from these comments I don't understand why it's even still here. --Self Called Nowhere 22:05, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. The footage in Gigantic makes one thing clear: Flansburgh was trying to be in charge of the Mink Car production of MISLIH (giving it a "disco thing", in his own words); even putting his own voice on the demo. However, the song was being sung live by Linnell as early as 1999, which invalidates any further speculation. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 22:43, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Rat Patrol[edit]

How do you people know this stuff? I never knew Flans wrote Rat Patrol. Mr. 77

Well, Rat Patrol's first demo was a simple a capella rendition of the song sung by Flans. Same with When It Rains It Snows and World's Address-- the demo was first sung by Linnell but later became a Flans-sung song. As for Subliminal, I personally only know that because of Vovat's edit to the wiki. And while we're on the subject: what's the story on Reprehensible? ~ magbatz 23:02, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
I dunno about Reprehensible, but it sure does sound like a Linnell-written song. Anybody want to confirm this fact? (note: I did not add Reprehensible to this page) --Lemita 21:06, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Now That I Have Everything[edit]

Yeh, John Andrews told me Linnell wrote this in the Mundanes days. Is he considered a reliable enough source for it to be included? (I think so...) --Self Called Nowhere 00:38, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

I think would John Andrews would know his stuff, so to speak. -Apollo (oh no) 01:07, 1 March 2010 (UTC)


What's the source for including Reprehensible here? If there isn't one, it shouldn't be included.

Does anyone active on the wiki now remember the interview where it was said that Linnell wrote Reprehensible but felt that it did not work with his voice so Flansburgh sang it? I don't remember when this was but I know I've heard this information before. -- Sonderling (talk) 12:27, 11 February 2015 (EST)

I don't know what the grounds were for adding this song again but I'm now in possession of a private Tumblr message from tmbgareok confirming Linnell wrote the song, in case anyone questions it. -- 13:12, 2 July 2017 (EDT)


I just changed the description of this page to say "songs with lyrics written by one John" rather than "songs written by one John" so people understand that in some cases (e.g. "Subliminal") the non-singing John only wrote the lyrics but not the music. But thinking about it more, I'm ready to propose that we should actually have two separate sections on this page--one for songs that were entirely written by the non-singing John and one for songs where the non-singing John wrote the lyrics but not the music. To me the second category is just as worthy of being noted as the first. Thoughts? --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 21:35, 14 April 2015 (EDT)

I support this; I think it's interesting to see who wrote what parts of songs and have that more distinctly outlined. ~ veggieman 22:33, 14 April 2015 (EDT)
I CAN'T BELIEVE I MADE THAT WHOLE COMMENT WITHOUT READING WHAT WAS ALREADY HERE. All that I'm gonna keep is the list I came up with: Puppet Head and My Evil Twin (written by JL and passed to JF for completion), Piece of Dirt and Mink Car (came together spontaneously in the studio)... I guess Never Knew Love would count too?
Sorry guys. --j2
So a year and a half later I finally did this. Now I don't think "Swapped Vocals" is a good name for the page anymore, but I can't think of a better one. Any ideas? --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 18:09, 6 November 2016 (EST)

Man, It's So Loud In Here: It's pretty obvious from the movie A Tale of Two Johns that this song is in some way either a collaboration or was completely written by Flans and sung by JL. (If you haven't seen the film, Flans enters the studio with a demo tape of the song, which he then plays for JL and other band members.) I've searched the net and have found no further info, but it's my hope that someone reading this with access to either of them could find out how much, if any, writing input JL had and add that song in its proper sub-category of swapped vocals...?

No it isn't. We've already talked about this. See the discussion above. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 18:06, 1 March 2018 (EST)

Hate the Villanelle[edit]

Flans said in an interview that he wrote this, but I have no idea about the music.

I believe that he said he wrote the lyrics and handed it over to Linnell, who wrote the music. -TDK (talk) 21:05, 7 November 2016 (EST)

Renaming Proposal[edit]

Because there's already Category:Collaborations With Other Artists (and Category:Songs_(Collaborations), for that matter, yeesh), how about "Collaborations Within TMBG"? This would let us include Damn Good Times (with MartyDan Industries). It could also include swapped music as well as swapped lyrics like Mink Car, written by both of them at the same time, and McCafferty's Bib, where JF did the weird rhythm track and JL did the clarinet and vocals on top, etc etc.

If I get the OK (and maybe a suggestion about how to handle the already existing two "Collaborations" pages-- maybe Collaborations With Other Artists should be "Collaborators" and Songs_(Collaborations) should become the new "Collaborations With Other Artists"? would that make more sense?) I'll go ahead, but I'm a little nervous about initiating three page moves without admin approval!

--Bluef00t (talk) 00:12, 18 February 2020 (EST)

i agree the current name is a little odd, but not sure if “collaborations” makes sense; while most TMBG songs are written by one John or the other, i think the majority of them also have some element of collaboration musically. (btw, might be best to start a new section for this discussion for temporal clarity). apollo (hiya) 09:01, 18 February 2020 (EST)
Also a good point. It's kind of a fuzzy line, but if it had to be drawn, I was going to propose drawing it between, say, JF's recent talk about suggesting the guitar part on Birdhouse which changed the song's sound significantly (doesn't count) and JL's purposefully giving the drum track and vocals of I'm Impressed to JF for him to fill in a completely new backing track (does count). They seem to be pretty clear about songs that were handed off vs. just affected by each other; there's a definite feeling of "ownership" or shared ownership of some songs.
I did consider "Songs Handed Back and Forth" (because that's the term they usually seem to use), but that seems a little long. --Bluef00t (talk) 15:22, 18 February 2020 (EST)
Per some off-wiki discussion at Misc T, I'm a fan of the idea of moving this page to a name like "Traded Tracks" that allows us to include bits about instrumental beds, backstories like I Palindrome I, and everything currently on Swapped Vocals. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 20:40, 18 February 2020 (EST)

Never Knew Love[edit]

Does Never Knew Love fit here somewhere? JL said "There's a song, for example, where I had a chorus and verse, and I didn't like the verse, so I erased the vocals on the verse and gave the whole thing to Mr. Flansburgh, and he cooked up a completely different melody and lyric for that section. That's the one where one of us sings the chorus and the other sings the verse. That worked, I thought. That’s the song "Never Knew Love."" Sounds like Linnell wrote the music to the whole thing. —The thing Talk 10:52, 2 April 2021 (EDT)

Agreed. Added it! Rather than a new section for tracks sung by both Johns, I put it under sung by JF since the relevant parts specifically are his verses. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 11:12, 2 April 2021 (EDT)