The top ten: Great bands with terrible names
John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting professor at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches contemporary history. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.
Sunday 29 September 2013
We have to start on this Top 10, as Tom Doran suggested, with The Beatles, "as it's just a rubbish pun". Beat, Beatles, see? Although that does suppose that the Beatles are a great band. This week's list was a hotly contested, highly subjective affair. A bit like many words, if you look at band names long enough, you realise how peculiar they have been all along…
1. Humble Pie “Steve Marriott’s post-Small Faces band. Epically awful name; reminds me of Creme Brulée, which was Les McQueen’s former band in The League of Gentlemen,” says Tom Doran.
2. Oasis Nominated by Joshua, who also nominated Suede, but I don't like them.
3. The Jesus and Mary Chain Nominated by William French.
4. Echo and the Bunnymen Several nominations.
5. Mott the Hoople Mind you, the band was called Silence before that.
6. Teenage Fanclub "I've got all the T-shirts, but boy am I ashamed to wear them." Stuart Ritchie.
7. Joy Division Also nominated by William French. Not my thing, but people like them and I've always thought it an unusually daft name.
8. Supertramp Taken from the title of a book by WH Davies, The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp.
9. Coldplay Anyone know why?
10. Led Zeppelin "When you think of it…" Peter A Russell.
Next week: Party conference speeches
Coming soon: Journalese. My friend Rob Hutton has just published his guide, 'Romps, Tots and Boffins'. What should be in it? Send suggestions (by 8 October), and ideas for any future Top 10s, to email@example.com
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