Popular Bands with Names Taken from Famous Songs

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In the vast landscape of popular music, the naming of a band is a crucial step in defining its identity and ethos. Interestingly, some bands have turned to already famous songs for inspiration when choosing their names. This phenomenon has led to a unique intersection where a band’s identity becomes intertwined with a piece of music that preceded its formation. 

In this article, we take a closer look at various bands that have adopted their names from popular songs, examining the stories behind these choices and how they reflect each band’s musical influence and style. From rock legends to contemporary pop groups, these names are not just labels but gateways into the history and inspiration that fuel the creativity of these artists.

Radiohead

Originally known as ‘On a Friday,’ the members of Radiohead renamed their band after the song “Radio Head” by Talking Heads. This change marked a new phase in their career, aligning with their signing to a record label. Radiohead, fronted by Thom Yorke, is known for their experimental approach to music, evident in landmark albums like “OK Computer” and “Kid A.” Their innovative use of technology and exploration of various musical styles have made them one of the most respected and influential bands of their generation.

The Rolling Stones

Stratocaster 

This legendary rock band took its name from Muddy Waters’ song “Rollin’ Stone.” Formed in 1962, The Rolling Stones, led by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, became one of the leading figures in the British Invasion of the US. Known for their blues-influenced rock and roll, they have delivered timeless hits like “Paint It Black” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” solidifying their status as rock icons.

Deep Purple

The band Deep Purple was inspired by the song “Deep Purple” by Nino Tempo & April Stevens, which was a favorite of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore’s grandmother. Formed in Hertford, England, in 1968, Deep Purple became pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock. Their sound, characterized by the heavy riffs and organ playing, is epitomized in songs like “Smoke on the Water” and “Highway Star.”

Sister Sledge

This American musical group, known for their R&B and disco music, took their name from the song “Sister Sledge” by Leonard Cohen. The group, made up of four sisters, achieved international fame with their album “We Are Family” in 1979, which included hits like “We Are Family” and “He’s the Greatest Dancer.” Their music became emblematic of the disco era and continues to be celebrated.

Death Cab for Cutie

This American alternative rock band chose their name from a song performed by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band in The Beatles’ film “Magical Mystery Tour.” Formed in Bellingham, Washington, in 1997, Death Cab for Cutie gained popularity with their introspective lyrics and melodic sound, especially with albums like “Transatlanticism” and “Plans.”

Ladytron

The name Ladytron was taken from the song “Ladytron” by Roxy Music. This electronic pop band, formed in Liverpool in 1999, is known for their new wave-influenced sound. Their albums “604” and “Light & Magic” received critical acclaim, placing them at the forefront of the early 2000s electronic revival.

Sisters of Mercy

electric bass

This British rock band’s name comes from Leonard Cohen’s song “Sisters of Mercy.” Formed in 1980, they became a part of the gothic rock movement, known for their deep baritone vocals and complex, layered guitar compositions.

Right Said Fred

This London-based band, formed by brothers Fred and Richard Fairbrass, took their name from the novelty song “Right Said Fred” by Bernard Cribbins. They gained international fame with their hit “I’m Too Sexy” in the 1990s.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the practice of bands choosing their names from popular songs is more than just a nod to musical influences; it’s a reflection of the interconnectedness of the music world. These bands, ranging from rock icons like The Rolling Stones to electronic pioneers like Ladytron, demonstrate how a name can be both a tribute and a starting point for a band’s own unique journey. 

Each group, while paying homage to the songs that inspired them, has carved out its own distinct path in the music industry. This naming tradition not only links different eras and genres but also adds a layer of depth and history to the band’s identity. As we look at these bands and their stories, it becomes clear that their names are not just labels but bridges connecting the past, present, and future of music.

The tradition of musical homage through band names underscores the deep connections within the music industry’s history. What Are the Oldest Recorded Songs and Their Historical Contexts? delves into the origins of musical recording, offering insights into the earliest songs that set the stage for the rich tapestry of modern music, where even band names carry echoes of the past.

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