10
Bands Named After Places

Do you know what popular bands were named after places? See the next page to get started.

With all the pressure that comes with starting a band, who has time to labor over a name? The following 10 musical groups decided to keep things simple and named their bands after places.

 

1: Alabama

One of the best-selling country music acts of the 1980s continues to hold ground as one of the most commercially successful music groups ever. The four-piece group, named for their home state, might be known to noncountry listeners via their hit "If You're Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)."

 

    2: Boston

    When their self-titled debut album was released in 1976, members of the rock 'n' roll band Boston had no idea how popular their progressive new sound would be. The record would become one of the best-selling debut albums in U.S. history, selling more than 17 million copies. Boston's distinctive sound can be heard in songs such as "More Than a Feelin'" and "Don't Look Back."

     

    3: Chicago

    The band Chicago was originally named "Chicago Transit Authority."

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    When Chicago formed in 1967, they actually called themselves Chicago Transit Authority. Trouble was, that was the name of the, uh, Chicago Transit Authority. The powers that be didn't want any confusion about what was a rock band and what was a public transportation system, so they made the guys change their name. After becoming Chicago, hits such as "25 or 6 to 4" and "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" made the band a household name.

     

    4: E Street Band

    Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band Perform at Madison Square Garden

    Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images

    Named after a street in New Jersey, The E Street Band garnered major media attention while backing Bruce Springsteen in the 1980s, most notably on the Boss's mega-popular album Born in the U.S.A., which sold 15 million copies. But the band has played with many other musical giants since they formed in 1972, including Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Aretha Franklin.

     

     

      5: Europe

      Swedish band Europe had a big influence on the heavy metal, hair-band rock scene that was growing in the 1970s and 1980s. With hits such as "Carrie" and "The Final Countdown" these rockers have sold more than ten million albums worldwide and released a new album, Secret Society, in 2006.

       

      6: Kansas

      The guitar-driven, boogie-rock sound of Kansas filled arenas and stadiums at the height of their popularity. Hits such as "Dust in the Wind" and "Carry on Wayward Son" made stars out of this Topeka-based group in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

       

      7: Sugarhill Gang

      The Sugarhill Gang's Rapper's Delight was the first hip-hop song to go gold.

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      Named for the Sugar Hill section of Harlem, the Sugarhill Gang was the first group to land a hip-hop song on Billboard's Top 40 chart. The song was "Rapper's Delight," and it sold more than eight million copies. Music hasn't been the same since.

       

        8: Asia

        Named for the vast continent, the supergroup Asia formed in 1981 and was made up of members of Yes; Emerson, Lake & Palmer; King Crimson; and The Buggles. Known for their visually graphic album covers, Asia topped the charts with early 1980s hits "Heat of the Moment" and "Don't Cry."

         

        9: Backstreet Boys

        The Backstreet Boys are named after a street in Orlando.

        Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect/Getty Images

        Named after the Back Street Market, a shopping area in their hometown of Orlando, Florida, this mega-popular boy band took the world by storm in the late 1990s. With massive hits like "Quit Playin' Games (With My Heart)" and "I Want It That Way," the Backstreet Boys have sold more than 90 million albums worldwide.

         

        10: Bay City Rollers

        In 1967, two brothers from Edinburgh, Scotland, formed a band called The Saxons, but they wanted a more American-sounding name, so they allegedly threw a dart at a map of the United States and when it landed on Bay City, Michigan, the Bay City Rollers were born.

        Known for boogie-worthy music that makes you want to take a spin around a roller rink, the Bay City Rollers reached the top of the U.S. charts in 1976 with their hit "Saturday Night."

         

          CONTRIBUTING WRITERS:

          Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen

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