Bands named after songs
June 28, 2005 6:52 AM   Subscribe

I'm concocting a list of (musical) artists whose songs have inspired band names. For example: Muddy Waters (Rolling Stones), Brian Eno (A Certain Ratio, Burning Airlines). Preferably the song title is the band name, but I'll also consider things like: Beatles (Yeah Yeah Yeahs). All contributions welcome!
posted by TiredStarling to Media & Arts (48 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Big Country
Bad Company
Bo Diddley

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
posted by Aknaton at 6:56 AM on June 28, 2005

Morrissey (Ordinary Boys)
The Smiths (Gene)
posted by the cuban at 7:01 AM on June 28, 2005

World Leader Pretend (REM)
posted by k8t at 7:05 AM on June 28, 2005

Sonic Youth (Eric's Trip)
Syd Barrett (Gigolo Aunts)
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:11 AM on June 28, 2005

Bonzo Dog Band (Death Cab for Cutie)
posted by thayerg at 7:13 AM on June 28, 2005

The Old Ceremony (Leonard Cohen, "New Skin for the Old Ceremony."
posted by Jeanne at 7:14 AM on June 28, 2005

Pretty Girls Make Graves (Smiths)
Paint It Black (Rolling Stones)
None More Black (Spinal Tap, sort of)
posted by elisabeth r at 7:16 AM on June 28, 2005

A Roman Scandal (Brian Eno yet again)
posted by item at 7:33 AM on June 28, 2005

Talking Heads (Radiohead)
Roxy Music (Ladytron)
posted by anagrama at 7:35 AM on June 28, 2005

Deacon Blue (Stealy Dan)
Radiohead (Talking Heads)
posted by handybitesize at 7:37 AM on June 28, 2005

Syd Barrett (Gigolo Aunts)

And Baby Lemonade too.
posted by scratch at 7:37 AM on June 28, 2005

Stealy Dan??? - I'm so sorry. Steely Dan of course
posted by handybitesize at 7:39 AM on June 28, 2005

Sister Machine Gun (a lyric from Skinny Puppy's 'Tim Omen')
posted by sid at 7:44 AM on June 28, 2005

Madness, named after a Prince Buster song.
Mussolini Headkick, named after a Cabaret Voltaire song.
Negativeland, named after a Neu! song.
posted by Otis at 7:47 AM on June 28, 2005

The Hollies and the Beatles are varying degrees of related to Buddy Holly and the Crickets.
posted by librarina at 7:48 AM on June 28, 2005

Deep Purple - named after a Bing Crosby song called Deep Purple
Pretty Things - named after a Bo Diddley song called Pretty Thing
Boys Don't Cry - named after a Cure song
posted by iconomy at 7:51 AM on June 28, 2005

There's a newish band called Funeral For A Friend, also an Elton John track. No idea if it came from that though.
posted by wackybrit at 9:20 AM on June 28, 2005

Rancid (Sick Boys)
posted by davey_darling at 9:22 AM on June 28, 2005

The Mountain Goats - named after Screaming Jay Hawkins' "Big Yellow Coat"
posted by togdon at 9:26 AM on June 28, 2005

Primal Scream (Velocity Girl)
posted by dinah at 9:39 AM on June 28, 2005

- Urge Overkill comes from a lyric in a Parliament song (it's on Funkentelechy vs. The Placebo Syndrome, but I can't remember which song right now)
- the newish band Go-Kart Mozart takes its name from Springsteen's "Blinded by the Light," so far as I can tell
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:45 AM on June 28, 2005

Just an FYI, there's no E in Negativland (the song or the band).
posted by dobbs at 9:49 AM on June 28, 2005

Bonzo Dog Band (Death Cab for Cutie)

Via The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:50 AM on June 28, 2005

In My Eyes (Minor Threat)
posted by honeyx at 9:51 AM on June 28, 2005

Texas is the Reason is named after a Misfits song.
posted by saladin at 9:57 AM on June 28, 2005

Leonard Cohen (Sisters of Mercy)
posted by annathea at 10:00 AM on June 28, 2005

Umm. Toad the Wet Sprocket, named after a band in a Monty Python skit on a record (which is *like* a song...). Rex Stardust, lead electric triangle for Toad the Wet Sprocket...
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:05 AM on June 28, 2005

Radio Birdman (from a song on the Stooges Fun House album)
The Shins was the name of a song on Flake Music's only album. But Flake Music turned into the Shins, so I don't know if that counts for your purposes.
Johnny Thunders took his name from a Kinks song (not exactly what you're looking for)
posted by dmo at 10:19 AM on June 28, 2005

I just learned that "radio birdman" is probably a mishearing of "radio burnin". For what it's worth.
posted by dmo at 10:29 AM on June 28, 2005

Also, googling for "bands named after songs" (without quotes) brought up a lot of promising looking results. That's all, I promise.
posted by dmo at 10:31 AM on June 28, 2005

Cocteau Twins is a Simple Minds song.
Moonshake is a Can song.
Rip Rig & Panic is a Rahsaan Roland Kirk song (and album).
Kids Who Tell On Other Kids Are Dead Kids is a Nation of Ulysses song.
Interzone is a Joy Division song.
Sweet Exorcist is a Curtis Mayfield song.
Scott 4 are named after a Scott Walker album.
Slowdive are often thought to be named after a Siouxsie & the Banshees song, but they aren't.
Kylie Minogue is a SATANICPORNOCULTSHOP song.*

*ha ha, see what I'm doing there? I'm messing around with cause and effect. This one doesn't actually count at all.
posted by nylon at 10:48 AM on June 28, 2005

Tragically Hip (Elvis Costello)
posted by doctor_negative at 10:55 AM on June 28, 2005

- Ian Broudie's one-man band The Lightning Seeds took its name from a misheard lyric in Prince's "Raspberry Beret": "The thunder drowns out what the lightning sees."
- I seem to dimly recall the existence of a band called Ella Guru, named after the Beefheart song of the same name.
posted by Dr. Wu at 11:00 AM on June 28, 2005

Motörhead / Hawkwind
Blonde Redhead / DNA
Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her / XTC
Warsaw - early name of Joy Division / variation of David Bowie's "Warszawa"
Radio 4 / PiL
Spoon / Can (and I would like to take this opportunity to exclaim that Spoon may just be the most overrated band of the last 20 years)
posted by item at 11:03 AM on June 28, 2005

The Old 97's are named after "The Wreck of the Old 97." It's not a Johnny Cash-penned song, but they took their name from his version of it.
posted by UKnowForKids at 11:11 AM on June 28, 2005

I have heard that the Tragically Hip got their name from a Mike Nesmith (of the Monkees) song.
posted by orange swan at 11:12 AM on June 28, 2005

Back in the 1960's there was a band called Mystery Trend. They misheard Dylan's lyric about the "Mystery Tramp".

Also - The song "Funkentelechy" by Parliament features the phrase "Urge Overkill".
posted by barjo at 11:25 AM on June 28, 2005

Henry Cow (Ruins)
Magma (Wiedorje, but "Wiedorje" the Magma song was written by the guy who left and founded Wiedorje the band)
King Crimson (Happy Family)
Captain Beefheart (Fast 'n' Bulbous, brass Beefheart cover band)
posted by kenko at 11:28 AM on June 28, 2005

Dr. Wu reminds me of another:
Dali's Car, who I guess are named after the Captain Beefheart song.
(btw, Dr. Wu - Ella Guru is a band as well as a female solo artist - they're both named after the Beefheart track)

If Six Was Nine are named after the Jimi Hendrix song.
Mainliner is a High Rise song (as with Magma though, personnel are shared between the two bands).
I imagine that Transona Five were named after the Stereolab song, but I'm not certain.
posted by nylon at 11:46 AM on June 28, 2005

John Wesley Harding aftery Dylan's John Wesley Harding.
posted by weiailei at 12:05 PM on June 28, 2005

The Sea & Cake were named after a misinterpretation of a Gastr De Sol song that was actually titled "The C in Cake"
posted by .kobayashi. at 12:24 PM on June 28, 2005

Suburban Kids With Biblical Names is ripped out of the Silver Jews song "People."

Bonus: The name Silver Jews itself wasn't inspired by a song, but by two band names: the Silver Apples and the Silver Beatles.
posted by themadjuggler at 1:39 PM on June 28, 2005

I think Sky Cries Mary was a mishearing/remembering of Wind Cries Mary (Hedrix).

I think there's a band playing in SF these days (though they may not be local) called Aqua Lung (a Jethro Tull song)
posted by stevil at 1:45 PM on June 28, 2005

I don't want to nitpick but wouldn't that be:

Traditional [as performed by Muddy Waters] (Rolling Stones)

Though I guess he did call the song "Rollin' Stone". Then again Robert Wilkins did put out the song "Rolling Stone" in 1928. Maybe it should be Robert Wilkins (Rolling Stones), they did make versions of his song "That's no way to get along" and called it Prodigal Son." I guess we should be glad they didn't call themselves the Mannish Boys.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:50 PM on June 28, 2005

Eno again - wasn't there a band called The Warm Jets?
posted by Grangousier at 2:17 PM on June 28, 2005

Dr. Feelgood's song "Roxette" inspired... Roxette.
posted by Skyanth at 10:42 PM on June 28, 2005

Great answers, folks! Thanks!

Pollomacho: I guess we should be glad they didn't call themselves the Mannish Boys

Oo-er! That reminds me! David Bowie/Jones's first band was the Mannish Boys.
posted by TiredStarling at 12:20 AM on June 29, 2005

Godsmack got their name from an Alice in Chains song, I believe.
posted by kokogiak at 7:22 PM on July 4, 2005

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