Match These Bands With Their Awful Original Names

Provided they didn't take the easy way out and name themselves after a song (Rolling Stones), their hometown (Boston) or each other (Hall & Oates), almost every band that went on to sell millions of records, get tons of radio play and sell out arenas has had some form of the following conversation:

Band Member 1: Man, no one will come see us play/book us/buy our records if we keep calling ourselves [insert lame band name here].

Band Member 2: [hits joint] Yeah, man... but what should we call ourselves?

Band Member 3: [the "quiet one"] How about...

And eureka, another star is born.

noname feb8.jpg
The other day, thanks to our trusty Rhino Records 2011 calendar, Rocks Off noticed that the anniversary of a Very Famous Band forming under a Much Different Name was coming up. We got to thinking, and a few mouse-clicks later, here are 25 famous bands and their not-so-famous original names, although a few are semi-famous enough that you may recognize them.

By the way, we say "original" - these are all names that at least some of the groups' core members took on before the better-known moniker, but not always the very, very first. One is a certain singer-songwriter's group before he (wisely) decided to strike out on his own. And sometimes the change to the more famous name was due to a key addition or subtraction of personnel, but just as often it wasn't.

But anyways. How many can you guess?

1. Chicago

2. U2

3. Radiohead

4. Oasis

5. Billy Joel

6. The Kinks

7. Grateful Dead

8. Paul Revere & the Raiders

9. Van Halen

10. The Beach Boys

11. INXS

12. KISS

13. Drive-By Truckers

14. Coldplay

15. Earth, Wind & Fire

16. The Temptations

17. Psychedelic Furs

18. Depeche Mode

19. Pearl Jam

20. Joy Division

21. Lynyrd Skynyrd

22. Poison

23. Huey Lewis & the News

24. Cameo

25. Black Sabbath

OK, that was the easy part. Who did they used to be?

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John St Lee
John St Lee

1. Chicago = Chicago Transit Authority = The Big Thing

2. U2 = The Hype

3. Radiohead = On a Friday

4. Oasis = The Rain

5. Billy Joel = Attila

6. The Kinks = The Ravens

7. Grateful Dead = The Warlocks

8. Paul Revere & the Raiders = The Downbeats

9. Van Halen = Mammoth

10. The Beach Boys = The Pendletones

11. INXS = The Farriss Brothers

12. KISS = Wicked Lester

13. Drive-By Truckers = Adam's House Cat

14. Coldplay = Starfish

15. Earth, Wind & Fire = Salty Peppers

16. The Temptations = The Elgins

17. Psychedelic Furs = RKO = Radio = The Young Europeans

18. Depeche Mode = Composition of Sound

19. Pearl Jam = Mookie Blaylock

20. Joy Division = Warsaw

21. Lynyrd Skynyrd = One Percent = The Noble Five

22. Poison = Paris

23. Huey Lewis & the News = Huey Lewis and the American Express

24. Cameo =The New York City Players

25. Black Sabbath = Earth

David Sadof
David Sadof

Some of these I know. For the rest, I've taken an educated guess. I'm not expecting a high score on this. 1L, 2B, 3M, 4T, 5P, 6R, 7K, 8A, 9W, 10E, 11H, 12Y, 13U, 14F, 15C, 16D, 17O, 18X, 19Q, 20V, 21N, 22G, 23I, 24J, 25S.

Lacy Jono
Lacy Jono

Radiohead were On A Friday and U2 were The Hype

Josh Webster
Josh Webster

Joy Division = Warsaw. Black Sabbath = Earth. PJ = Mookie Blaylock. That's all I got without going to Google. I also have a Chicago record where they are called "Chicago Transit Authority."


Billy Joel/Atilla


I know Pearl Jam used to be Mookie Blaylock but that's about it...

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