Tuesday, 7 December 2010

What’s in a name?

We’ve all got one, we may not tell anyone what it is, we may deny it, but we know that if we for some inexplicable reason we were to get the call to headline Glastonbury, the name we would have to give our fictional band be one less thing to decide.  

Concerns such as being entirely tone deaf, completely without musical talent and, primary school recorder concerts aside, having never performed before, may trouble us; but the name of our imaginary band would have been committed to memory well in advance.

Having a name is crucial to this fantasy. No matter how unlikely, implausible and outright insane it would be for Michael Eavis to ask someone who wasn’t in a band, never had been in a band and didn’t even really want to be in a band, to headline the world’s most famous music festival, without that band having a name it is incomprehensible. A name gives the daydream the slightest semblance of reality: no name, no game.

Real, non-imaginary bands, those with actual members and songs, know this more than anyone. And as such they place great importance on trying to devise names that are suitably original, memorable and frequently outright terrible. You only have to hear the words, Gaslight Anthem, The Twang or Test Icicles to think: ‘what a fucking awful band name’ and that’s before you even tackle the unpronounceable and let’s face it, attention seeking, ‘!!!’. That’s not a typo by the way; there really is a group of aspiring musicians out there who thought using the same punctuation mark three times would be a good way to launch their music careers. I’ll go out on a limb here and say they won’t make it!  

Mind you, at least those people have bothered to make the effort to come up with a band name so terrible that people remember it, unlike those lazy bastards on X Factor. Not only do they sing songs written and made famous by other, they now pass of the names of famous musicians as their own. Has nobody told these people that a real person called Cher actually exists and that she used to be quite fond of singing too? Or that Wagner invented modern classical music as we know it?  

These frauds aside though bands can’t put the same amount of creative effort into coming up with the names of each of their songs. Some don’t even bother; they just copy one that already exists. So below, via the most tenuous of tenuous links, are the song titles to have leant their name to more than one great tune. 

Oh and you’ll be pleased to know that none of the bands mentioned above are included, for the simple reason that they’re all rubbish.


Come Together 

Rule number 1 of any kind of music comparison game is you don’t win against The Beatles. However, if you listen to the Scream Team’s Jesse Jackson infused dance anthem, its pretty obvious they don’t play by the rules.


Cast get a bad rep and should easily be considered in the same calibre as the other much lauded bands of the Britpop era as this tune shows; mind you as one hit wonders go, this Red Carpet effort ain't bad either.

Stand By Me

Oasis or Ben E King. They couldn't beat King's classic could they? No, but still worth a listen. 


Kanye's got a 34 minute video for this song. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs haven't. Both good. Although I'm never watching the whole video. 

A mournful lament by Leonard Cohen, made (more) famous by Jeff Buckley and covered by every man and his dog in between, or a acid house rave with the Happy Mondays? Depends what mood your in I guess.

No comments:

Post a comment