Chapter 3: I Hold the Title (And You Are the Challenger)

My friend James used to have a simple litmus test with a band’s debut album: if it was self-titled, he wouldn’t buy it. His logic: if they were already out of ideas when it came time to name the record, why should he expect that they would have anything creative going on in their music? Strictly adhering to James’s no-eponyms policy means you’ll miss out on some great albums, of course (The Clash, Van Halen, The La’s, Run-D.M.C., The Velvet Underground and Nico), but his point remains: when it comes to songs and albums, the titles can range from the mundane to the sublime to the ridiculous. You decide which category “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” falls into.