15 bands that named themselves after other people's songs
6 August 2023, 19:00
Need a name for your band? Then why not take a look through the track listing of your favourite album...
Listen to this article
Finding an original band name is always tricky - surely all the best ones have been taken? Well, no - you can always take a look at the track list of your favourite album for inspiration.
Here are 15 bands that have used another artist's song title for their name - some famous, some rather obscure...
The Brighton indie rockers named themselves after the 1971 David Bowie song Kooks - which is dedicated to the superstar's son, Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones.
Kooks (2015 Remaster)
The Ordinary Boys
Morrissey's 1988 debut solo album Viva Hate had a song that gave some inspiration to Preston and co.
Morrissey (the voice !) -The Ordinary Boys -
Originally called On A Friday, Thom Yorke and his bandmates were told by their label to change their name - so they picked a song from the Talking Heads album True Stories, called Radio Head.
Radio Head (2005 Remaster)
Lemmy decided to name his new heavy rock band after a track by his old band, Hawkwind. It was the last song that the musician wrote for the space rockers, before he was fired in 1975.
Hawkwind - Motörhead - HD Promo Video
The great early 00s rock band were inspired by the folk balladeer Tim Buckley (father of Jeff) and the avant garde title track of his 1970 album of the same name.
Tim Buckley - Starsailor
Suggs and his ska-pop crew took their name from a song in their live set: a cover of Prince Buster's Madness.
Prince Buster - Madness
Sisters Of Mercy
Sisters Of Mercy is the song that ends side one of Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen's 1967 debut album Songs Of Leonard Cohen. The name came in handy when Andrew Eldritch was looking for a name for his influential goth band in 1980.
Leonard Cohen Sisters of Mercy
Death Cab For Cutie
Ben Gibbard's alt rock project took its name from a song by The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, which appeared on their debut album Gorilla in 1967. This parody of rock 'n' roll crooners was performed by the Bonzos in The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour film.
Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - Death Cab For Cutie (DNAYS)
The early 90s shoegazing stalwarts - who reformed in 2014 - were named after a track on Siouxsie & The Banshees' 1982 album A Kiss In The Dreamhouse.
Siouxsie And The Banshees - Slowdive
The Liverpool electronic quartet of Helen Marnie, Mira Aroyo, Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu are named after the second track on Roxy Music's self-titled debut album from 1972.
Roxy Music - Ladytron (Old Grey Whistle Test, 1972)
Former Bananarama member Siobhan Fahey and singer-songwriter Marcella Detroit's duo was named after a 1985 single by The Smiths - itself named after a section of the book-length essay A Room Of One's Own by Virginia Woolf. The misspelling was a mistake when a friend tried to design a logo for the band, but the pair kept the error to make the name more distinctive.
The Smiths - Shakespeare's Sister (Official Audio)
The Rolling Stones
Founding member Brian Jones had to come up with a name for his group of blues enthusiasts for an impending show at the Marquee in London in 1962. Luckily he had a copy of the 1959 compilation LP The Best Of Muddy Waters to hand and spotted the title Rollin’ Stone. They're still using the name 60 years later.
Funeral For A Friend
The Welsh rock band took their name from a track by Illinois punk act Planes Mistaken For Stars on their 2001 debut album F**k With Fire. We should also mention that Elton John also included a song with that title on his 1973 classic Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.
Funeral for a Friend
Pretty Girls Make Graves
The Seattle-based post-punkers are named after a song on The Smiths' self-titled debut album from 1984.
The Smiths - Pretty Girls Make Graves (Official Audio)
A band named after a song that was never officially released? The London post-punk group took their name from a track played by The Cure in a John Peel session in May 1979. The song was essentially a Cure album track - Grinding Halt - with Robert Smith altering the lyrics to mock NME journalist Paul Morley's dismissive review of the band's debut album Three Imaginary Boys.
The Cure - Desperate Journalist... (1979 05 16 Peel Session)