Complete list of bands named after songs performed by other musicians (or, in some cases, bands named after their own songs). Looking at where rock groups get their names can be fun because band name etymology reveals a lot about how the musicians see themselves and who their early influences were.
The most famous band named after other performers' songs is Radiohead, named after Talking Heads song "Radio Head." Some of the best rock groups/performers of all time that have huge name recognition now--like the Rolling Stones and Boyz II Men--borrowed their names from song titles or lyrics that were written by other performers. In some cases, bands used titles from their own songs to help them name their bands. Rage Against the Machine is named after an earlier song that Zack de la Rocha performed with his old band and The Chemical Brothers also named their band after their own song.
Test yourself to see how many of these name etymologies you know, vote on your favorites and feel free to add any to the list that may not be on there yet.
- 23166after Muddy Waters' "Rolling Stone"
- 11264after Bob Dylan's "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest"
after Talking Heads's "Radio Head"
- 12763after Hawkwind's "Motorhead"
- 13773after the Bing Crosby song "Deep Purple."
- 17666Originally called Earth, the band changed its name after it's own song of the same, which reflected the band's new musical direction
- after the name of a song that Zack de la Rocha performed with his old band, Inside Out.
- 8174after the name of the fictional band in the music video for the New Order song "Crystal"
- 10155Named after The Platters 1956 No.1 hit "The Great Pretender".
- 126109after Queen's "Radio Ga Ga"
- 99106from a line in Name Taken's "Panic"
- after Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band's "Death Cab for Cutie" on their album Gorilla
- 7176after Alice in Chains' "God Smack"
- 5696after New Edition's "Boys to Men"
- 4068after David Bowie's "Kooks" from his album Hunky Dory
- 4562a misspelling of Nirvana's "Sliver" and You Am I's "Berlin Chair"
- A tribute to the Leonard Cohen song "Sisters Of Mercy" from his 1967 debut album Songs of Leonard Cohen
- 2545after Buddy Holly's "Rave On"
- 3156after the song "The Cocteau Twins" penned by fellow Scotsmen 'Johnny and the Self-Abusers', who later renamed themselves Simple Minds; the song "The Cocteau Twins" was also re-penned as "No Cure."
- after The Smiths song by the same name.
- This name came from a song they wrote under the name The Dust Brothers called "Chemical Beat."
- 2860after the 1970s German avant-garde band Can's song "Spoon"
- 4080after Roxy Music's "Ladytron"