5 Bands Named After Other Bands’ Songs

For most bands, honing their sound is the first thing they tackle when just starting out. You’re nothing without the songs, right? But, deciding what name to wrap up all of your pursuits under is equally as important. It has to be memorable. It has to be unique. Without those two things covered, audiences will be left asking, “wait, who sings this again?”

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The music industry has been up and running for decades upon decades, yet bands still manage to come up with memorable and unique names. Inspiration can come from many places. For the bands below, inspiration came from their favorite records.

Find five bands that named themselves after other artists’ songs, below.

1. Rage Against the Machine

Namesake Song: Inside Out – “Rage Against the Machine”

Before Zach de la Rocha was pumping out rap-rock jams with Rage Against the Machine, he was a part of the short-lived, hardcore band Inside Out. Though RATM proved to be a more lucrative endeavor for de la Rocha, Inside Out delivered the song that became their namesake, “Rage Against the Machine.”

2. The Kooks

Namesake Song: David Bowie – “Kooks”

English rockers The Kooks were heavily inspired by ’60s “British Invasion” music—in both their sound and their name. Particularly, the band—Luke Pritchard, Hugh Harris, and Alexis Nunez—took inspiration from David Bowie. Their name comes from Bowie’s song “Kooks,” which appears on his 1971 album, Hunky Dory.

3. Radiohead

Namesake Song: Talking Heads – “Radio Head”

Thom Yorke and his bandmates originally performed under the name On A Friday. After earning a record deal EMI, the label told them to change their name. Their enduring moniker came from a Talking Heads track called “Radio Head.” The Englishmen chose to name themselves after the song as a tribute to the New York experimentalists.

4. Motörhead

Namesake Song: Hawkwind – “Motorhead”

In a similar vein to de la Rocha, Lemmy Kilmister named his heavy metal outfit after a song from a previous band he played with, Hawkwind. Kilmister was booted from the psych-rock band. The bassist took the letdown in stride, forming another band and naming it after a song he penned for Hawkind titled “Motorhead.” Just to mix it up a little, Kilmister added an umlaut to the “o.” He later re-recorded the song under his new banner.

5. The Rolling Stones

Namesake Song: Muddy Waters – “Rollin’ Stone”

The Rolling Stones are likely one of the first bands that come to mind when thinking of groups that took their name from songs. The rockers have long expressed their love for the blues—particularly that of B.B King, Howlin’ Wolf, and of course, Muddy Waters. Founding member Brian Jones took the name of the group from Waters’ song “Rollin’ Stone,” prior to a show in London in 1962. Though the moniker was chosen out of necessity, it has since become one of the most iconic names in rock history.

Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Getty Images

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