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The Top Ten: Original band names

From Ambrose Slade and On A Friday to Seymour and The Obelisk...

John Rentoul
Sunday 24 January 2016 01:41 GMT
Change for the better: Seymour became Blur
Change for the better: Seymour became Blur (Getty Images)

The Prime Minister was recently overheard sounding a bit embarrassed about the revelation that he had a taste for Supertramp as a student. Nothing to be ashamed of, I thought. But I was surprised when I looked them up to find that they had originally been called Daddy

1. The 'N Betweens

Then Ambrose Slade, from a record-company secretary who named her handbag Ambrose and her shoes Slade. Then they dropped the Ambrose. From Mark Bassett.

2. The Rollin' Stones

After a Muddy Waters song, "Rollin' Stone". The "g" was restored when they signed to Decca Records.

3. The Guildford Stranglers

"None of them was actually from Guildford, and a mere place name was not tasteless enough," says Tom.

4. On a Friday

Radiohead. "Because that's when they rehearsed," according to Peter.

5. Seymour

Blur. Nominated by Jim Parr, maintaining the unbroken run of changes for the better.

6. Bastard

Lemmy's original choice of name for Motörhead. Brought up by Ken Wing.

7. Westside

"It's shameful that I know this, but that is what Westlife were originally called," says Sarah Bridgman.

8. The Obelisk

Then Malice, Easy Cure and finally the Cure. Thanks to Mary Novakovich.

9. Smile

Queen. Another from Her Highness Mary Novakovich.

10. Angel and the Snake


Next week: Sieges

Coming soon: Songs that begin with "And" (starting with "Jerusalem"). Send your suggestions, and ideas for future Top 10s, to

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