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A Word of Advice for Young Bands

Posted by purplemary54 on January 18, 2014

I’m not a musician, or involved in any way with the music business.  But as a lifelong music fan, I feel like I can offer some valuable words of wisdom for aspiring musicians.

Don’t use your band name as a song title.  (It’s also probably not a good idea to name your band after one of your songs.)

It doesn’t really work.  It makes people think you’re unoriginal, or lack creativity.  Most people don’t really understand things like meta-commentary, so if you’re using your songs to be some sort artistic statement on the theoretical underpinnings of identity, stop.  It’ll never make the Top Forty.  It’s probably not catchy enough.

There are cases where using your band name as a song title has (arguably) worked.  Bad Company quite famously did it with the third single from their debut album in 1974.  Many people seem to like this song; I don’t.  To be fair, I don’t really like any Bad Company songs, but I personally find that evidence in favor of my advice.

Big Country used their name in their hit song, “In a Big Country,” but I’m not entirely sure that wasn’t just a coincidence.  Also, it’s probably the one exception to this particular rule.  There are probably those who would argue in favor of Wang Chung’s “Everybody Have Fun Tonight,” which turned their name into . . . something.  It’s never made really clear what “Everybody wang chung tonight” means, which is probably why it’s such a terrible song.

Really, using your band’s name as a song title–especially if it’s going to be a single–is just a bad idea.  You’ll end up like these guys.

Do you remember Living in a Box?

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3 Responses to “A Word of Advice for Young Bands”

  1. Who? What? Huh?

    Mary,
    It annoys me that seemingly all modern pop/rap cookie-cutter artists/groups insert their brand identity in the words of just about any song that gets airplay. I may be overstating or exaggerating the case, but still.

    I hope newer up and comers take your advice.

    Blessings,
    Kina

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