The Top 10: Bands Named After Films

<p>‘The Searchers’, the 1956 classic, has already featured in Top 10 Opening Shots of Films</p>

‘The Searchers’, the 1956 classic, has already featured in Top 10 Opening Shots of Films

Thanks to ’Scope Davies for suggesting this one, and starting us off with numbers 5 and 7.

1. The Searchers. Founded as a skiffle group in Liverpool in 1959 by John McNally and Mike Pender, the band took their name from the 1956 John Ford western film. Nominated by Peter Russell, Alwyn Turner and Roger the Saurus. Graham Fildes added: “Worth mentioning that one of John Wayne’s lines repeated several times during the course of the film – ‘That’ll be the day’ – appealed so much to Buddy Holly he wrote his song of that title.”

2. Them. Van Morrison’s band, formed in 1964, taking their name from a 1954 science fiction horror film featuring giant irradiated ants. Thanks to Adam Behr.

3. Black Sabbath. Aston’s finest were named in 1968 after the 1963 low-budget Boris Karloff horror anthology of the same name. From Alasdair Brooks, Robert Boston and Graham Sutton.

4. The Misfits. New Jersey punk band formed in 1977, taking their name from the 1961 film starring Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift and Clark Gable. Nominated by Sara L, Roger the Saurus and Steven Fogel.

5. They Might Be Giants. Formed in 1982, taking their name from a 1971 comedy mystery, in turn taking its title from Don Quixote, when he mistakes windmills for hostile giants. One of ’Scope Davies’s.

6. My Bloody Valentine. Shoegaze band formed in 1983. Co-founder Kevin Shields claimed he was unaware of the 1981 Canadian slasher film of the same name, but it’s a bit of a coincidence. Nominated by Steven Fogel and Sara L.

7. All About Eve. Band formed in 1984, taking their name from the 1950 drama starring Bette Davis. Another from ’Scope Davies.

8. Fine Young Cannibals. Formed in 1984, taking their name from the 1960 film All the Fine Young Cannibals. I did not know that. David Hughes and James of Nazareth did.

9. Faster Pussycat. American glam metal band formed in 1985, named after the 1966 Russ Meyer exploitation film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Thanks to Alasdair Brooks.

10. Swing Out Sister. The group’s name came, in 1985, from the title (with a comma in it) of a 1945 musical comedy starring Arthur Treacher.

Honourable mentions for Andy Walden, Richard Graveling, Mark Hobbs and Elliot Kane, who nominated Duran Duran, named after the bad angel in Barbarella; and for Alasdair Brooks and Simon James, who suggested Godspeed You! Black Emperor, a Canadian post-rock band named after Mitsuo Yanagimachi’s 1976 motorcycle club documentary, Goddo supiido yuu! Burakku emparaa.

Next week: Fictional clergy, such as the school chaplain played by Michael Gove in A Feast at Midnight, 1995.

Coming soon: Perfect gaffes, that is, something that is true but highly embarrassing and unwise to say, such as Boris Johnson saying that devolution had been a disaster north of the border.

Your suggestions please, and ideas for future Top 10s, to me on Twitter, or by email to

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