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.
- 1after Muddy Waters' "Rolling Stone"
after Talking Heads's "Radio Head"
- 3after the Bing Crosby song "Deep Purple."
- 4after Bob Dylan's "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest"
- 5Originally called Earth, the band changed its name after it's own song of the same, which reflected the band's new musical direction
- 6after Hawkwind's "Motorhead"
- 7Named after The Platters 1956 No.1 hit "The Great Pretender".
- 8after the name of the fictional band in the music video for the New Order song "Crystal"
- 9after the name of a song that Zack de la Rocha performed with his old band, Inside Out.
- 10after Queen's "Radio Ga Ga"
- 11from a line in Name Taken's "Panic"
- 12after Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band's "Death Cab for Cutie" on their album Gorilla
- 13after Alice in Chains' "God Smack"
- 14after New Edition's "Boys to Men"
- 15after David Bowie's "Kooks" from his album Hunky Dory
- 16a misspelling of Nirvana's "Sliver" and You Am I's "Berlin Chair"
- 17A tribute to the Leonard Cohen song "Sisters Of Mercy" from his 1967 debut album Songs of Leonard Cohen
- 18after The Smiths song by the same name.
- 19after the 1970s German avant-garde band Can's song "Spoon"
- 21after Buddy Holly's "Rave On"
- 22This name came from a song they wrote under the name The Dust Brothers called "Chemical Beat."
- 23after 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."
- 24named after Kiss's "Firehouse"
- 25after Roxy Music's "Ladytron"