Music
663 voters

The Best Bands Named After Real Places

Updated June 14, 2019 4.7k votes 663 voters 124.6k views62 items

List RulesVote up the bands that chose the right place.

An ultimate list of bands named after places with details on how they came up with their band name. While it's hard to keep track of all of the new bands names these days, it's equally hard to forget the name of a city that you already know. Rock groups use this trick all the time and name their group after towns, cities, countries or other real places.

It's tough to hack it as a musician. With thousands (millions!) of other acts out there competing for the same audience and record sales, music groups need to define themselves as unique in everything that they do. One of the hardest parts of starting out is thinking of a good band name. Musicians draw inspiration from everywhere to think of the perfect name--be it fond childhood memories, high school teachers, or first loves. But some of the most common influences on naming a band are locations and settings. Bands love to name themselves after places.

Some of the bands on this list were inspired by a brief visit to a far-flung location, like A Sunny Day in Glasgow, others found their inspiration from their hometowns, like Chicago and Boston, or neighborhoods in their cities of residence, like Cypress Hill. Still other bands who named themselves after places picked locations that they had nothing to do with or had never been to - like Phoenix or I'm From Barcelona.

Check out the interesting back stories of where these bands-who-are-named-after-real-places thought of their musical group names and vote up your favorites! Which bands with city names do you like the most? Let us know with your votes!
Photo:
...more
  • Kansas
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Kansas is an American rock band that became popular in the 1970s initially on album-oriented rock charts and later with hit singles such as "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind". The band has produced eight gold albums, three sextuple-platinum albums, one platinum live album and a million-selling single, "Dust in the Wind". Kansas appeared on the Billboard charts for over 200 weeks throughout the 1970s and 1980s and played to sold-out arenas and stadiums throughout North America, Europe and Japan. "Carry On Wayward Son" was the second-most-played track on classic rock radio in 1995 and No. 1 in 1997....  more
    165
    82
    Is their name effective?
  • Chicago
    Photo: Mike Coppola / Getty Images
    Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, calling themselves the Chicago Transit Authority in 1968 before shortening the name in 1969. The self-described “rock and roll band with horns” blended elements of classical music, jazz, R&B, and pop music. They began writing songs with politically charged lyrics, and later moved to a softer sound, generating several hit ballads. The group had a steady stream of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In September 2008, Billboard ranked Chicago at number thirteen in a list of the top 100 artists of all time for Hot 100 singles chart success, and ranked them at number fifteen on the same list produced in October 2015....  more
    175
    91
    Is their name effective?
  • Boston
    Photo: Ron Pownall / Getty Images
    Boston is an American rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, which had its most notable successes during the 1970s and 1980s. Centered on multi-instrumentalist founder and leader Tom Scholz, who played the majority of instruments on the debut album, the band is a staple of classic rock radio playlists. Boston's best-known works include the songs "More Than a Feeling", "Peace of Mind", "Foreplay/Long Time", "Rock and Roll Band", "Smokin'", "Don't Look Back", "A Man I'll Never Be", and "Amanda". The band has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, including 31 million albums in the United States, of which 17 million were from its self-titled debut album and seven million were for its...  more
    203
    113
    Is their name effective?

    More Boston 

    #47 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time#2 of 356 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame#92 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

  • Alabama
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    Alabama is an American country and Southern rock band formed in Fort Payne, Alabama, in 1969. The band was founded by Randy Owen (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and his cousin Teddy Gentry (bass, backing vocals). They were soon joined by their other cousin, Jeff Cook (lead guitar, fiddle, and keyboards). First operating under the name Wildcountry, the group toured the Southeast bar circuit in the early 1970s, and began writing original songs. They changed their name to Alabama in 1977 and following the chart success of two singles, were approached by RCA Records for a record deal. Alabama's biggest success came in the 1980s, where the band had over 27 number one hits, seven multi-platinum...  more
    102
    75
    Is their name effective?

    More Alabama 

    #7 of 291 The Top Country Artists of All Time#191 of 279 The Greatest American Rock Bands#203 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands