Bands with similar names

I have been noticing this phenomenon for many years. When a particular band becomes popular, often there are other bands who are popular at the same time with similar names. Some examples:

Yazz | Yazoo – both popular in the 80s

U2 | UB40 – both big 80s bands

Steeleye Span | Steely Dan – late 70s

Radiohead | Portishead – both became popular in the mid-nineties

Hot Hot Heat | Hot Chip – rose to fame early 2000s (followed closely by Hot Club de Paris!)

Blur | Pulp | Cast – there are a whole heap of 90s bands with 4 letter names

Kasabian | Klaxons | Kieser Chiefs – all in the mid 00s.

Wheezer | Wilco – formed mid nineties

There are many others who I can’t remember right now. I’ll come back and add them when I remember, but you can add them in the comments.

I have two theories to explain this, both of which probably have some truth to them:

  1. There is a fashion to band names. There are a lot of bands from the early 00s who had “the” in their name. This probably explains a lot of the similarities.
  2. I also think there might be some cases where one band name is confused for another, so that one band becomes famous on the back of another because people get confused about which ones are being hyped. I have no evidence for this!

Another interesting thing to consider is that bands of similar genres have similar names – most of the bands above share genres.

Can you think of other bands who have similar names? What about similar named songs popular at the same time?

4 responses to “Bands with similar names”

  1. Yes. All the Bear bands — there are around 47 hipster bands with Bear in their name that have started up in the past six years or so. I am too lazy to list them out, but trust me on this one. 😉


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