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Band Names

Today we begin a week-long salute to music by examining band names. I made lists of the best band names ever in several categories.

Please note: this does not mean I like the bands. So don't be writing comments hating on how I skipped your favorite bands. For example: I love The Platters, but it's a terrible name for a band. (Not the least reason if because of all the copycats, like The Coasters and Put a Napkin Under It.) I generally tried to stay away from eponymous band names, unless it was done in a neato way.

Anyway, today we look at Back Up bands, Rap, and the just plain weird:


#4 The New Power Generation (Prince) - By now Prince was getting weird, and not even pronounceable, but it's still a pretty sweet name for a band. Too bad they couldn't have made a TV show: Mighty Morphin Power Generation!

#3 The Pussycats (Josie) - It just sounds sexual, which is what you want in a teenage girl band, right?

#2 The Pips (Gladys Knight) - I believe Pips are the markings on dice, so I'm not entirely sure how that translates to a back up band. Sounds good, though.

#1 The New Bohemians (Edie Brickell) - Makes you wonder where the old Bohemians went. Are they hiding in a closet? Do they still hand out at the corner of Haight/Ashbury at the Moulin Rouge?


#4 RUN DMC - Granted these were their names, but it still comes out all decked out.

#3 Sugar Hill Gang - How cool is it to sound sweet and menacing at the same time?

#2 Public Enemy - This was the beginning of the time when Rap was taking over from Rock as the official rebellion music, and what says that better than Public Enemy?

#1 N.W.A. - Possibly the best part was how by using an initial, kids could talk about the group without getting in trouble. N.W.A. was one of the first groups to use the N word (the group's name is Niggaz With Attitude) in a way that wasn't racist, or at least not in the conventional sense. This was a whole new world to suburbia. (Incidentally, one of the funniest mockumentaries of all time is the film FEAR OF A BLACK HAT, which follows the group N.W.H. Highly recommended if you like rap.)

[Note: There are thousands of strange band names, but I tried to stick to ones who'd had at least modest hits]

#4 Chumbawamba - These guys were professing communists, and actually told fans to steal their album. Now that they're all poor and nobodies I bet they wish a few more had actually bought it.

#3 Alien Ant Farm - Do you think this was a metaphor for public school?

#2 Dingoes Ate my Baby - Easily the second-best phrase in Australian history. (Does anyone know the first?)

#1 Betty Doesn't Have a Vitamin - I think the coolest part of this name is that you had to know the story. The Flintstones Vitamins had Fred, Wilma, Pebbles, Barney, Bam-Bam, Dino and even the freaking car. But since they thought people would get confused with Wilma, Betty didn't get a vitamin for like ten years. How does the car get one and not the best thing about the show? Huh??????/

Up next: Pop and Rock band names