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Thom Yorke of…On A Friday? Photo: tanaka

Have you ever heard “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Composition Of Sound? Of course you haven’t because they changed their name to Depeche Mode in 1980, when Dave Gahan joined the band. Paul Sullivan smacks us with a list of 25 band names that almost were (and, in many cases, should never have been).

Talking Heads – Vague Dots
Police – Strontium 90
Earth, Wind And Fire – The Salty Peppers
Culture Club – Sex Gang Children
Dire Straits – Café Racers
Beach Boys – Carl And The Passions
Abba – The Engaged Couples
Spice Girls – Touch
Bee Gees – Wee Johnnie Hayes And The Bluecats
Nirvana – Fecal Matter
U2 – Feedback
Radiohead – On A Friday
Led Zeppelin – New Yardbirds
Blondie – The Stilettos
Depeche Mode – Composition Of Sound
Kajagoogoo – Art Neauvou
The Byrds – The Beefeaters
Status Quo – The Spectres
Oasis – Rain
Queen – Smile
Simon And Garfunkel – Tom And Jerry
Motorhead – Bastard
Wham! – The Executive
Teenage Fanclub – The Boy Hairdressers
Blur – Seymour

Community Connection:

Dig music lists? Be sure to check out Ten Motown Musts and our recent article about our Favorite Music Blogs.

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About The Author

Paul Sullivan

Paul Sullivan is a freelance writer, author, editor and photographer covering music, travel and culture. His writing and photography work has been published in The Guardian, Sunday Times Travel, National Geographic UK, Matador Network, Wax Poetics, XLR8R and more, and he has scribed/snapped several guidebooks for Time Out, HG2, Rough Guide, Cool Camping and others. He currently lives in Berlin, where he runs the sustainable travel portal Slow Travel Berlin. Check out his photography website, follow him on Twitter or join hisFacebook photography page.

  • Kate Sedgwick

    The engaged couples. Ha! I knew those sons of bitches had no taste.

  • Adam

    REM was originally The Twisted Kites, until they realized that there was another band with that name already. Then they almost changed their name to The Negro Wives.

    • Kate Sedgwick

      WTF? I just heard some guy on the radio saying he’d been in a band called REM. The story was that there was a battle of the bands for the name in which the winner got to rename the losing band. The REM we know supposedly renamed the other band Egoslavia. Who knew?

  • Hal

    These are great. Turn up the Fecal Matter!

  • Michelle

    Lol…Nirvana should’ve kept that name. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

    This is hilarious!

  • Eva

    And of course there’s always Canadian alt-rockers Finger 11… Formerly known as The Rainbow Butt-Monkeys.

    Great list, Paul!

  • Emma

    The band Coheed and Cambria were originally called Shabutie. Pronounced sha-booty. They are from my hometown in new york

  • LiallGams

    Great post, good looking weblog, added it to my favorites.

  • 3wheelerbuggy

    You cannot believe how long ive been googling for something like this. Scrolled through 9 pages of Yahoo results without finding anything. Quick search on Bing. There this is… Really have to start using it more often!

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