It seems such a ridiculous thing, that nobody really pays attention. However, choosing a band’s name is quite important. Some people claim that the name must be simple, but sometimes it’s more important that it sounds good than that it is simple.
Mötley Crüe is weird, but it sounds good. Def Leppard is actually horrible, but it sounds great. Lynyrd Skynyrd has all the ingredients to be a total failure, but it worked.
The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Who and AC/DC (to name just four) don’t actually mean anything, but it doesn’t seem to me that they prevented those bands of reaching stardom.
However, the other way around is also true: Ramones, Kiss, Rush and Cream do have a lot to thank their names for their success. These are all simple, direct names that anybody in the world can say and understand.
Therefore, the band’s name is not actually a recipe for success, but it does help. I, personally, think that in today’s world with tough competition, a good name is crucial.
And as you gonna see by my list of great names, I love short and direct names, with one exception. Let’s take a look.
#5: Bad Religion
And here’s the exception right on fifth place. You can’t get any punkier than naming your band Bad Religion. It’s a direct slap in the face of the system much more than Sex Pistols, The Damned, Buzzcocks or even Dead Kennedys (although I love this one as well). It can have a tough competitor in The Clash, but I thing Bad Religion is more outrageous.
Is there anybody on Earth that doesn’t know what Rainbow means? I don’t think so and that’s why Ritchie Blackmore’s outfit after his exit from Deep Purple gets the number 4 spot. Besides, it fits the music and the lyrics perfectly. A rainbow is always associated with magic, dragons, kings, queens, fairies, etc. It’s impossible hearing this name and not thinking epic music and fantasy lyrics.
This one’s not only short and easily recognizable anywhere in the world. It also shows cockiness and royalty flair, two indispensable ingredients in the band’s attitude on and off stage. The name Queen oozes richness, self-confidence, elegance and power. It gets even more importance given that the band was British. And it’s so perfect that if you think about it, were they named King, it wouldn’t sound so right.
Now, how can you come up with a name more understandable in the whole planet than Yes? I can safely say that there isn’t a word more easily remembered and understood than yes. Besides, it also fits the music perfectly. I mean it gives you the feeling of certainty and confidence. It is like the band is saying that they are so sure of what they are doing that all you can do is watch and say: yes.
That’s the most perfect name ever. I mean, how can a Heavy Metal band have a name better than one that sports Metal itself in the name? Yes, I know there are hundreds of band with this characteristic (Metal Church, Metalucifer, Metalsteel…) but none of those names sound like Metallica. You can almost hear the sound of metal being forged when you say it. It brings you the feeling of a metallic thing that shelters you and gives you comfort, in this case, through Heavy Metal music.
Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal”.
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