Fans who thought they’d seen nearly every possible band reference in previous installments of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure really haven’t seen nothin’ yet. Stone Ocean is just as filled with references to musical acts from all over the spectrum, including the biggest decades for music in the 20th century.
Band and music references are pretty much everywhere in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, so fans shouldn’t feel bad if they missed more than just a few. Since there are so many, including some that may be obscure for modern audiences, there are sure to be some references in Stone Ocean that went undiscovered.
Updated January 13th, 2023 by Brittanie Maldonado: While it’s clear why anime fans love JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure so much, there are also really good reasons for music aficionados to take notice. JoJo’s has been referencing music groups like Led Zeppelin (Zeppeli), REO Speedwagon (Robert E. O. Speedwagon), and the Cars (Kars) since its earliest installments. With the recent conclusion of Stone Ocean‘s anime adaptation, it’s worth updating and revisiting its most obscure band references.
10/10 “Desolation Row” Refers To A Bob Dylan Song
One of the more difficult band references to spot is in a really inconspicuous part of the manga. DIO left behind a diary, which now serves as an artifact that Pucci is absolutely obsessed with, to the point he treats it almost as if it’s sacred.
Fourteen words in DIO’s diary serve as something DIO told Pucci to say to a mysterious baby that would pop up after he had started to enact DIO’s plan to bring Pucci to “heaven.” “Desolation Row” are two of those fourteen words, and they’re a direct reference to the title of a Bob Dylan song.
9/10 “Like A Virgin” Is One Of Madonna’s Biggest Hits
The Green Dolphin Street prisoners are sent to search a farm at one point, noticing in the process that one of the other prisoners died. They proceed to spend tons of time blaming each other for it, doing their best to figure out how the unfortunate captive lost their life.
While the prisoners are searching, fans can see on their wrists some bracelets that have the phrase “Like A Virgin,” which is the title of one of Madonna’s songs. Madonna is perhaps one of the biggest pop stars of all time, and this was one of her biggest hits.
8/10 Russ Colombo’s “Prisoner Of Love” Has Been Covered By Many Groups
“Prisoner of Love” is the title of both a Stone Ocean chapter and one of the entire JoJo’s manga volumes themselves. The title “Prisoner of Love” is also known for being famous in the music world, as it’s a classic tune by none other than Russ Colombo.
For fans who skim quickly through a manga to get to the meat and potatoes rather than take their time probably didn’t notice the titles, so only those who paid close attention would have noticed the title. “Prisoner of Love” has been covered by The Ink Spots, Perry Como, and many other musicians over the years.
7/10 Jolyne’s Name Is Inspired By Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”
While it’s pretty obvious to anyone who’s a big fan of country music, Jolyne’s namesake seems like an alternate spelling of the hit single “Jolene” by country/pop megastar Dolly Parton — but that’s not enough evidence to prove it as a direct reference. There’s a more significant scene to make this connection in the series.
Jolyne’s name wouldn’t be such a clear reference to Dolly Parton’s music if it weren’t for a specific part in the manga where Gwess is yelling at Jolyne, where readers can practically hear the song in the text. This scene was also recreated in Stone Ocean‘s anime adaptation, and longtime JoJo’s fans finally got to hear Gwess’ aggressive rendition of Dolly Parton’s famous hit.
6/10 “Burning Down The House” Is By The Hit ’80s Group Talking Heads
When fans first hear the name of Emporio’s Stand, it would be easy to assume that his name is just a direct reference to the fact that Green Dolphin Street Prison once had a huge fire that destroyed a lot of the property. While it is most definitely a nod to his Stand allowing him to see anything that existed before the fire, it’s also a music reference.
“Burning Down the House” is a popular song by the ’80s New Wave band Talking Heads. To make this reference even better, Talking Heads is also the inspiration for a Stand in another part of JoJo’s. Called “Talking Head” instead of Talking Heads, Tizzano used this Stand in Golden Wind.
5/10 Weather Report’s Appearance Is Based On Jamiroquai’s Buffalo Man
Weather Report might not be a character that’s altogether well-designed, but his character and his appearance are nothing if not consistent. The musical group Weather Report is a band that focused on a few jazz-related genres, namely Jazz Fusion, but they also incorporate a lot of electronic elements.
Jamiroquai, a musician who played really similar music but just a little newer sounding, used a character called Buffalo Man in a lot of his artwork. Weather Report’s appearance is based on Buffalo Man, making this a double musical reference as both his name and appearance tie to musical groups.
4/10 Dragon’s Dream Was A Mystery To Untangle
Dragon’s Dream is one of the most interesting references that Araki’s ever made, whether that’s in Phantom Blood or any of his other works. Dragon’s Dream is a Stand that has the ability to figure out where lucky and unlucky spots are in combat, using these to its advantage in battle to know how to avoid and where to target his enemy.
Fans initially thought this name was a reference to electronic ambient music artist Thom Brennan, but it turns out that The Dragon’s Dream is an unfinished Thom Brennan album that was never released to the media. Instead, “Dragon’s Dream” is likely a reference to album artist Robert Dean, who did the artwork for one of Araki’s favorite band’s albums.
3/10 Under World Is Also The Name Of A British Band
Under World is one of the most impressively powerful Stands in JoJo’s, regardless of the fact that its power was technically surpassed pretty quickly after it was introduced. Under World is able to unearth memories and even make anyone in the area surrounding it experience traumatic events that happened there.
Under World’s trauma-inducing power manifests in the manga as a plane crash. The Stand is named after an ’80s electronic group from Britain called Underworld, which perfectly aligns with Araki’s habit of referencing ’80s music.
2/10 Green Dolphin Street Prison References A Jazz Classic
Green Dolphin Street Prison, filled with Stand users, is the place that almost all the series takes place in — at least until it transitions to a launchpad in America towards the end. “On Green Dolphin Street” is the name of a song with a really rich history, which any jazz nerd will be familiar with.
Not only did jazz legend Miles Davis record a masterful version of “On Green Dolphin Street,” but the song was also a jazz standard long before he got his hands on it. Originally, “On Green Dolphin Street” was actually a song from the soundtrack of the 1947 film Green Dolphin Street.
1/10 Yo-Yo Ma Likes R.E.M.
This reference kind of ignores the easier option, which is pointing out that Yo-Yo Ma is a famous cellist and not just a reference to a yo-yo or something like that. Yo-Yo Ma, a stand with an unwilling drive to kill, is actually seen mentioning that it has a R.E.M. sticker, implying that for some reason this Stand can obtain a taste in music.
While Yo-Yo Ma is likely the first Stand to ever be given its own distinct personality in this way, this is nevertheless another tucked-away music ’80s music reference. R.E.M. is a rock band formed in 1980 and became famous for hits like 1991’s “Losing My Religion.”
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