9 Famous Songs That Are Actually Responses To Other Famous Songs

5. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart

What is it a response to? Captain & Tennille - Love Will Keep Us Together

Yes, you read that correctly. Joy Division, one of the most depressing bands in the history of sadness, was inspired by a Captain & Tennille song.

Love Will Tear Us Apart, arguably the group's most famous song, is the antithetical view of what is perhaps the cheesiest song of all time, Love Will Keep Us Together. The story goes that lead singer Ian Curtis, a married man, had fallen in love with a woman who wasn't his wife. That guilt was adding to an already tumultuous time in Curtis' life, and the ignorant cheeriness of the Captain & Tennille ballad - with lyrics pointedly condemning the idea of cheating on your spouse - only made him feel worse about his own relationship.

So in response to sugary sweet lines like "When those girls start hanging around, talking me down, hear with your heart and you won't hear a sound," Curtis sat down and wrote lyrics about how easy it is to feel unfulfilled in a long-term relationship that never strays from the routine. It's not pretty, but it's certainly a more realistic approach to a love song.


Jacob is a part-time contributor for WhatCulture, specializing in music, movies, and really, really dumb humor.