Rock and roll bands are known for coming up with creative and eye-catching names that draw listeners into their music. But what are the ultimate coolest band names in rock and roll history? A popular online music forum user posed the question, and music lovers replied with their opinions in the comments.
1. Rage Against the Machine
One of the most popular band names mentioned on the forum is Rage Against the Machine. The name evokes ideas of revolting against the powers that control us in society. “They’ve always been in my top ten, but the irony is I’ve worked for the federal government my entire adult life,” writes one commenter. “Meh, don’t sweat it. They’ve been signed to a major record label for decades,” replied another.
2. Black Sabbath
The ’70s band Black Sabbath changed its name from Earth to its current name in 1969, and fans were pleased with the change. It’s based on a foreign horror movie of the same title. Some users say the name makes them think of black magic which ties in fantastically with their music.
3. Led Zeppelin
When Led Zeppelin began performing together, Keith Moon of The Who didn’t think they would make it far. He even claimed the band would “go down like a lead balloon.” To spite him and his rude comments, the band took the name Led Zeppelin, and the rest is history. “Mythbusters also successfully made a lead balloon float. So take that, Keith!” comments one Led Zeppelin fan.
4. Dead Kennedys
Some band names stand out because they were so controversial when they were formed. “People were so upset when they first saw this name in 1978. It was pretty transgressive,” argues one respondent. But Dead Kennedys’ name wasn’t intended to insult the Kennedy family but to provide commentary on the death of the American Dream after John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
5. We Were Promised Jetpacks
We Were Promised Jetpacks is a band name so excellent that people seek out their music simply because the name is so awesome. “I checked out that band’s live show just because of their name. Glad I did,” notes one contributor. “Their name sums up exactly how I feel about how the world has gone,” adds another.
This ’80s band’s name comes from an art exhibit in Seattle. It comprises a series of multi-length pipes that make music when the wind hits it correctly. Not only is the band’s namesake cool, but on its own, the name evokes an image of a beautiful garden filled with music.
7. Sonic Youth
Sonic Youth’s music may not stick out in some commenters’ memories, but the name sure does. “I can’t name a single song by them, but I’ve always liked the name,” someone states. “The name represents what this band was all about,” asserts one respondent. But for younger people, the name Sonic reminds them of the blue hedgehog or the drive-up fast food chain.
8. The Smashing Pumpkins
While fans agree that The Smashing Pumpkins is an excellent band name, some wonder why sometimes they’re known as simply Smashing Pumpkins, but other times you can find “the” at the beginning of their name. One respondent shares the reason for this mishap: “The band opted to add ‘The’ to their name as people usually misinterpreted ‘Smashing’ as a verb instead of an adjective, so, in many occasions, people used to take pumpkins to smash at their concerts.” No matter how you prefer the name, fans can agree that “It’s such a simple phrase, But it encompasses everything about teen angst and those perfect beautiful years.”
You may never have noticed this trippy rock band’s name is very clever. A group of gorillas in the wild is called a band, which is one of the reasons this musical band decided to use the name of that great ape. The “z” at the end of the name also adds a little pizzazz.
10. Electric Light Orchestra
Fans of Electric Light Orchestra love the name because “it perfectly describes the vibe of their music,” according to one user. “The name works multiple ways: ‘electric light’ orchestra works, and electric ‘light orchestra’ works even better. Because that’s what it is, it’s an electric, light orchestra. All-time cool name,” explains another.
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