A band’s name is vital to their identity. It is a statement of the personality of their music. Finding that band name that is just right is a difficult task though. These 80′s bands looked for inspiration in the music of others when deciding what to name their band.
Chrissie Hynde has to be one of the best front women of all time never mind just in 80′s music. It is said that when Hynde and pals were looking for a name, they looked to the music of The Platters and their song The Great Pretender.
Take a listen to the original song and see if you can blame them for loving the beauty of the song. Perhaps not a load in common with the music produced by the Pretenders other than both groups have done some great songs.
The band behind such 80′s belters such as Broken Wings and Kyrie are said to have looked to the works of the legendary Marc Bolan and his band T-Rex for their eventual name. The song is called Mister Mister and is from T-Rex’s Tanx album.
You aren’t a fully paid up 80′s child if the Simple Minds song Don’t You Forget About Me doesn’t leave you reaching for your DVD of The Breakfast Club. Heck, a few misty eyed tears while thinking of the passing of John Hughes would be more than acceptable.
Jim Kerr and Simple Minds were far more than that (great) song though. They have produced some of the best music to come out of Scotland and not just in the 80′s.
When Simple Minds was searching for a band name they gave their nod to their appreciation of David Bowie’s music. The term ‘simple minds’ comes from a line in his Jean Genie song. A true masterpiece of a song so nobody can blame them for that choice!
Have a listen to David Bowie’s Jean Genie and see if you can spot the simple mind line.
Sisters Of Mercy
If you dyed your hair black in the 80′s and called yourself a goth than chances are Sisters of Mercy were on your personal play list. Did you know, however, that the band that brought us Temple Of Love , were inspired to name themselves after a Leonard Cohen song.
That’s right, the graveled voice Cohen had a song called Sisters of Mercy and the band adopted the name from there. It is a very gentle song that doesn’t have a whole lot in common with the image of the band but you can see why it might appeal to a goth minded band.
For many of us, Wet Wet Wet may cause involuntary shivers as we recall *that* song from Four Weddings and a Funeral. There is no denying they had their fans in the 80′s and 90′s though. Clearly they were fans themselves of other bands too. Wet Wet Wet took their name from a lyric in a song from the band Scritti Politti.
The lyric is in the Scritti Politti song Gettin, havin’ and holdin.
The classic 80′s Britsh ska band tried on a few different names including Moris and the Minors before finally settling on Madness. The musical roots of Suggs and the rest of the band are clear to anybody that has listened to their music. The influence of Jamaican music made itself known in their name too.
Madness took their band name from a song of the same name by Prince Buster. Here is the original version of the song by Prince Buster himself.