Forum Home Forum Home > Progressive Music Lounges > Prog Blogs
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Bandnames of famous progressive rock bands
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Bandnames of famous progressive rock bands

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123 5>
Author
Message
friso View Drop Down
Prog Reviewer
Prog Reviewer
Avatar

Joined: October 24 2007
Location: Netherlands
Status: Offline
Points: 1953
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote friso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Bandnames of famous progressive rock bands
    Posted: August 04 2011 at 09:49
The way bandnames are chosen differs from band to band. Some bands want to have bandname that communicates about the intention or idea behind the music (for instance; Oresund Space Collective), other bandnames are chose 'because they sound cool, strong or perhaps even mystical'. Some professional bands choose names that fit into 'the unwritten laws of bandnames of a genre' (for commercial purposes), we get to see much of that in progressive metal and power metal. There are also bands that choose bandnames that don't say a lot about the music, or a bandname that is just strange for the sake of it (for instance; Godspeed You! Black Emperor).

Of some progressive rockbands the meaning of the band name isn't mentioned to often, so my intention was to make a blog about the meaning of the bandnames of some well-known bands of our beloved genre. Feel free to add information about bandnames of other famous progressive rock bands!

King Crimson
It is said the band was named after it's famous composition 'In the Court of the Crimson King', rather then using the bandname for the main composition of the debut album. Early King Crimson lyricist Peter Sinfield is said to have coined at this bandname, which is said to be a synonym for 'Beelzebub, prince of demons'. According to Rober Fripp 'Beelzebub' translates to 'The Man with an Aim', or 'Man with a Cause'. When looking at other sources this 'Beelzebub' is also being called 'The Lord of the Flies', 'Lord of the (heavenly) Dwelling' or 'High Lord' and is referred to as the original god of the Philistines. In the bible the name 'Beelzebub' is however mentioned in the new testament as being that of a synonym of Satan. In later Christian text Beelzebub is called a part of the 'unholy trinity', consisting of Satan, Beelzebub and Leviathan.

Van der Graaf Generator
The bandname of this Brittish eclectic/psychedelic progressive rock ban was coined at by Smith, who would leave the band after their first single (that was only available for a week) and before their first studio album. A Van de Graaff Generator is actually a scientific instrument that can be used for several causes. In is noteworthy that the instrument is spelled differently then the band itself. This instrument (invented by Robert Van de Graaff in 1929) can be used to accumulate an electrical charge on a metal globe. In science the instrument is used to sterilize food and process materials as well as an accelerator of protons for nuclear experiments. In a practical sense it is used to create to create 'lightning' or make peoples hair stand up (hairs repels each other when electrically charged). Both practical uses could be seen as helpful to understand the music of the band (attempt at being funny). On the 'The least we can do is wave at each other'-cover the band is depicted inside of the metal sphere of a Van de Graaff generator.

Soft Machine
It is highly likely that the bandname of this English Canterbury band is derived from the novel 'The Soft Machine', by William S. Burroughs (1961). It is a fictional book that describes how 'control mechanisms invade the body', as explicitly mentioned in the appendix. Besides that, the term Soft Machine was perhaps mentioned earlier in scientific circles. As the duality (body and spirit) of humanity started to be debatable again, there was a first generation of biologists and other scientists that saw the body as a complete, intricate and highly sophisticated machine that could be recreated if one would have the proper tools and knowledge. All attributes of human life and consciousness were attributed to the brain. Till this day there is no definitive conclusion in the debate on duality.

Pink Floyd
Though a lot of, especially young people, think of the bandname of this English psychedelic/symphonic progressive rock band as a description of a visual flood in pink, it is actually based on a silly concept. Founding member Syd Barrett had named the band 'The Pink Floyd Sound', after two blues musicians of Piedmont Blues Records named Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. Earlier, the band had chosen 'The Tea Set', but that name was already used by another band. Before releasing their first album the band-name would be shortened to Pink Floyd.


Edited by friso - August 15 2011 at 10:41
Back to Top
Bluekindred View Drop Down
Forum Newbie
Forum Newbie
Avatar

Joined: August 02 2011
Status: Offline
Points: 7
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bluekindred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2011 at 11:21
That's pretty cool - it's always interesting to see where band names come from... and so hard to think up a new, really good name that noone has ever used before - let alone with a good reason / back story for it!

Cheers for posting this... looking forward to your next post in this thread.
Back to Top
chopper View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator

Joined: July 13 2005
Location: Essex, UK
Status: Offline
Points: 12364
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2011 at 06:50
Wasn't the Crimson King something to do with an old French King or something? I seem to remember reading a long piece about this on PA a while ago?
Back to Top
Flavio View Drop Down
Forum Newbie
Forum Newbie
Avatar

Joined: September 20 2009
Location: Italy
Status: Offline
Points: 16
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flavio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2011 at 07:14
Matching Mole
This is a joke on "Machine Molle", which is the french translation for "Soft Machine"
Never too old to rock 'n roll
Back to Top
The Truth View Drop Down
Collaborator
Collaborator
Avatar
Post/Math Rock Team

Joined: April 19 2009
Location: Kansas
Status: Offline
Points: 21790
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Truth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2011 at 11:34
I'd be interested in reading more of this blog.
Back to Top
Andy Webb View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Retired Admin

Joined: June 04 2010
Location: Terria
Status: Offline
Points: 13256
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andy Webb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2011 at 12:02
If you don't mind I'll spew some of my fanboy knowledge: 

Dream Theater, as most people know, were originally called Majesty. The origin of this name was when Portnoy, Petrucci, and Myung were in line for a Rush concert and Portnoy commented that "Bastille Day" was "Majestic," and then Majesty was born (which is also the inspiration for the classic Ytse Jam - Majesty backwards). When the band released their demo album in 1986 under the moniker Majesty, however, a Las Vegas band of the same name threatened legal action if they didn't change their name. The band cycled through a number of different names, such as Glasser, Magnus, and M1 (Glasser was used for a week to the spite of the fans). Eventually, Portnoy's father suggested the name of a small theater he ran in Monterey, California, and modern day Dream Theater was born. 
Back to Top
OT Räihälä View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: August 09 2005
Location: Finland
Status: Offline
Points: 514
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OT Räihälä Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 06 2011 at 05:06
It is also well known that the name Gentle Giant refers to the giant Pantagruel, a figure in François Rabelais's novel The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel.
Back to Top
Dean View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Retired Admin and Amateur Layabout

Joined: May 13 2007
Location: Europe
Status: Offline
Points: 37116
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 06 2011 at 05:58
Steely Dan also took their name from William S. Burroughs.
 
Curved Air took their name from 'A Rainbow In Curved Air' by Terry Riley.
 
Supertramp was taken from 'An Autobiogrpahy of a Super-Tramp' by  by William Henry Davies.
"You know what uranium is, right?
It’s this thing called nuclear weapons.
And other things.
Like lots of things are done with uranium.
Including some bad things.
But nobody talks about that."
Back to Top
Guldbamsen View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Retired Admin

Joined: January 22 2009
Location: Flux Capacitor
Status: Offline
Points: 19042
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 06 2011 at 06:08
Danish band Papir took their name from paper. Originally stems from Egypt where the plant Cyperus Papyrus was made into paper roughly 7000 years ago. Paper comes in many forms, we use it to wipe our backsides with, but in some cases it´s so sharp that it´ll slice you right open, if you´re not being careful. 
“The Guide says there is an art to flying or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”

- Douglas Adams
Back to Top
Icarium View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar
VIP Member

Joined: March 21 2008
Location: Tigerstaden
Status: Offline
Points: 28003
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 06 2011 at 06:43
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

Steely Dan also took their name from William S. Burroughs.
 
Curved Air took their name from 'A Rainbow In Curved Air' by Terry Riley.
 
Supertramp was taken from 'An Autobiogrpahy of a Super-Tramp' by  by William Henry Davies. the name was picked by Richard Palmer-James when he were in the band at the start... he also wrote all the lyrics


Edited by aginor - August 06 2011 at 06:43
Back to Top
friso View Drop Down
Prog Reviewer
Prog Reviewer
Avatar

Joined: October 24 2007
Location: Netherlands
Status: Offline
Points: 1953
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote friso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 08 2011 at 04:15
Krautrock

Popol Vuh
This German progressive/electronic prog group was named after 'the book of council' or 'book of the people' of the Mayan tribes of the post classic Quiché kingdom in Guatemala's. The main features of this book are it's creation myth, it's flood myth and some of it's epic tales. Nowadays the Popol Vuh is seen as the holy book of the Mayans, a reputation it gained simply because of the fact it's the biggest among the scarce amount of surviving Mayan texts.

Amon Düül II
This German krautrock band was part of an artistic and politcal community called Amon Düül. 'Amon' is derived from the name of the Egyptian god of the sun, whilst 'Düül' is said to have been derived from a Turkish mythological character. This community would later split up in two rockbands, Amon Düül I and Amon Düül II. The second formation would became famous with their original psychedelic/avant-garde/space rock.

CAN
This bandname of another famous krautrock group actually has more meaning than the metal cans we use to conserve food. Can is an abbreviation of Cannibalism, Anarchism & Nihilism, as suggested by drummer Jaki Liebezeit. Before the band was named 'Can' it has been called 'Inner Space' and 'The Can' (on the the debut album).
Back to Top
someone_else View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar
VIP Member

Joined: May 02 2008
Location: The Castoreum
Status: Offline
Points: 16864
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote someone_else Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 08 2011 at 15:11
Jethro Tull
This band was named after an English agriculturist who lived from 1674 to 1741. He had some ideas about improving agriculture which were disputed in his own day but practised afterwards. A fitting name for a progressive band...
Back to Top
zappaholic View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: March 24 2006
Location: flyover country
Status: Offline
Points: 2818
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zappaholic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 08 2011 at 21:19
For the record, Godspeed You! Black Emperor were named after a Japanese documentary film about biker culture.

Collecting band name origin stories is an interest of mine.


"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." -- H.L. Mencken
Back to Top
friso View Drop Down
Prog Reviewer
Prog Reviewer
Avatar

Joined: October 24 2007
Location: Netherlands
Status: Offline
Points: 1953
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote friso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 09 2011 at 03:14
Originally posted by zappaholic zappaholic wrote:

For the record, Godspeed You! Black Emperor were named after a Japanese documentary film about biker culture.Collecting band name origin stories is an interest of mine.



Feel free to ad some yourself! I'd be very happy if some-one would concentrate on modern progressive rock.
Back to Top
martinprog77 View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 31 2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 2467
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote martinprog77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 09 2011 at 05:46
shadow gallery took their name from the graffic novel //v for vendetta ''
 
opeth  name was derived from the word "Opet," taken from the novel The Sunbird.  In this novel, Opet is the name of a fictional  city in south africa whose name is translated as "City of the Moon" in the book; the name might be a reference also to the egyptian goddess  taweret also known as Opet.
Nothing can last
there are no second chances.
Never give a day away.
Always live for today.


Back to Top
Thommy Rock View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie
Avatar

Joined: April 22 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 54
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thommy Rock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 11 2011 at 06:07
Here's a quick selective guide to German Bandnames:
 
Novalis
borrowed their name from a romantic 18th Century Poet and Author and actually incorporated some of his poems in their German sung work.
 
Hoelderlin
took their name from another 18th Century Poet and Author, although this band did not use his writings for their lyrics.
 
Eloy
is the name for the descendants of the human race in HG Wells novel "The Time Machine".
 
Grobschnitt
translated means 'rough cut'.
 
Kraftwerk
literally translated means Powerhouse, and generally the term is mainly used to describe a Nuclear Power Plant.
 
Neuschwanstein
is a 'fairy-tale' castle comissioned by King Ludwig II as a retreat to Wagner in the south of Germany at the foot of the Alps.
 
Triumvirat
is the term for three leaders holding (or aspiring to) absolute political power.
 
Wallenstein
took their name from a famous Habsburg monarchy general and politician, who lead the army in the Thirty Years War (1618-1648).
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible" FZ
Back to Top
paganinio View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: November 07 2008
Status: Offline
Points: 1271
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paganinio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 11 2011 at 06:36
Agalloch (also Agallocha, Agallochum) is a soft, resinous wood of highly aromatic smell, and is used as incense and perfume in many Asian countries. The band members themselves actually mispronounce the word "Agalloch".
Back to Top
friso View Drop Down
Prog Reviewer
Prog Reviewer
Avatar

Joined: October 24 2007
Location: Netherlands
Status: Offline
Points: 1953
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote friso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 11 2011 at 08:31
Many thanks for the contributions, keep 'em coming!
Back to Top
Siloportem View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: April 14 2005
Location: Netherlands
Status: Offline
Points: 216
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Siloportem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 11 2011 at 10:26
If I may make requests. Porcupine Tree!
And since they´re gone Pure Reason Revolution
Thanks !! Your topics always so good and informative. I like you talk.
Back to Top
AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Team

Joined: July 02 2008
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 14198
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2011 at 07:48
There is a section on band name origins in Classic Rock presents Prog magazine too. Could post some of those here.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123 5>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.01
Copyright ©2001-2014 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.090 seconds.