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With it being one of the most diverse forms of art in the world, it's only natural that some people come up with ideas for songs, bands or styles of music that sound absolutely insane in hindsight. It's also natural that a lot of these work.
See Trope Names for a Band for a sillier version of the below.
ABBA: Two guys and two girls don't know what the hell they're doing for the first two years, are overly cheery for the next six, and finally go emo in the last two. After their career ends, their music finds its way on Broadway and later the big screen.
ACDC: From the Land Down Under comes a band named after a label on a sewing machine, led by a guy in a silly outfit. Their first singer drank until death, and was replaced by a Geordie with a funny hat. Their music is simple and monothematic, and their singers squawk like parrots.
Back In Black: The first album by the group with the Geordie, devoted to the first singer.
Adele: A pop star that doesn't look like your average pop star sings about a breakup, and sells more than 20 million albums.
Aerosmith: Five musicians from Boston. They have a Roller Coaster at one of the Disney Theme Parks featuring their songs, spent the equivalent of an airplane in drugs, their first #1 was a Disaster Movie theme song, and their leader became a judge on a reality show.
Afro Celt Sound System: A record producer is inspired by a very tenuous anthropology theory to mix the folk music of two continents together. He starts a band, and Peter Gabriel lets them use his recording studio.
Alice Cooper: The spirit of a 17th-century heretic lives on inside a skinny 20th-century preacher's son. She compels him to paint his face, buy a pet snake, and repeatedly fake his own death. Under her namesake, he incites children against their educators.
The Aquabats!: A ska/surf-rock band from California pretends to be a team of bungling superheroes. They sing about such diverse topics as midget pirates, vindictive shark hunters, giant mechanical primates, and friendship.
Rick Astley: Merseyside guy sings a bunch of love songs while sounding like a truck driver.
"Never Gonna Give You Up": His most famous song, commonly called one of the internet's many phenomena even though it's from The Eighties.
Atonal music: A form of music, written mainly by three Austrians, in which twelve distinct pitches are used in a somewhat dissonant fashion.
August Burns Red: A woman immolates a dog, so the dog's owner names a band after the incident.
Avantasia: A German decides to write a fantasy story as a giant excuse to show off his connections among Power Metal bands.
Avenged Sevenfold: A band from California whose members have scary stage names. Many of their songs have lines about death, which lead to several Funny Aneurysm Moments later. Their lead guitarist's dad opens for a ventriloquist.
Aviators: A fan of pastiche pastel horses who shares his stage name with a popular brand of sunglasses and writes music ranging from Doctor Who fan music to soundtracks for theoretical video games to painting whole entire planets various colors.
The B-52s: A band from Athens GA, two of which are female and wear beehive hairdos sing songs about aliens, hot pants, lobsters, and other weird stuff while playing toy pianos, glockenspiels, and even conventional instruments.
The Beatles: Four musicians from Northern England, famous for Silly Love Songs and "recording under influence". After the split, one decided to play house instead of writing music, another one married a one-legged woman, the third produced a Monty Python film and nobody cared about the fourth (he even had drinking problems).
Black Moth Super Rainbow: Pennsylvanian musicians with really weird Stage Names play obsolete synthesizers while one of them sings through a vocoder.
Black Sabbath: After losing two finger-tips in an industrial accident, guitarist switches to playing left-handed, loosens the strings a bit, and develops a new playing style. He joins forces with other guys to write horror fanfic disguised as songs.
Ozzy Osbourne: Singer from said band writes spooky songs while taking every drug in existance - and somehow surviving. Got a new generation of fans by showing how fucked up he and his family are.
Blind Guardian: Four Germans who sing about The Silmarillion and a bunch of other books and like to multilayer their vocals 40 times. They have also sung about Peter Pan with a certain pathos.
blur: British Boyhood friends writing novelty songs about Upper-Class Twit life, Middle Class Twit life, and Working Class Twit life. After first 4 albums became more "alternative" (leading to the one song America knows them for). More famous for their vague feud with a pair of troublemaking brothers and the lead singer eventually becoming a pack of animated apes.
Bowling for Soup: A group of guys from Texas who are more famous for their less serious than their rare but beautiful serious ones. Most of their songs are either about beer, relationships, or humorous past incidents.
A pop-punk band who write sarcastic and sometimes meaningful songs about friendships, failed relationships, getting drunk, and whatever Phineas and Ferb are doing today.
Bob Dylan: An ugly man who can't sing, and plays his guitar and harmonica (and sings anyway). Later he developed a liking for drums, bass, and electric equipments, after which his audience booed him. Many people don't know he wrote some of his songs. He still sings to this day, and his awful voice got worse.
British India: Angsty Melbournites fronted by a singer who can't decide which note to hit.
Buckethead: Masked KFC-enthusiast plays the guitar.
Buffalo Springfield: A bunch of guys from LA and a Canadian who became a One-Hit Wonder with a light Protest Song. Two of them (including the Canadian) joined a folk-rock quartet while another one became a popular singer's partner.
Butthole Surfers: A group of Michael Stipe stalkers come down off of their latest acid trip to discover they've recorded twelve albums.
Can: A group of West German modern classical and free jazz musicians decide to start making rock music instead. Their songs are frequently made up of hours of jamming made up entirely on the spot and then edited down to a still-ridiculous length. Their lead singer during their best years is a mush-mouthed Japanese drifter who screams and mumbles over the beat.
Captain Beefheart: A downright reprehensible human being with no regards for musical convention.
The Cars: Five more musicians from Boston. Their frontman is ugly and has an uncomfortable voice, and they lost their only Grammy nomination to a two-hit wonder disco band.
Enrico Caruso: Neapolitan tenor despised by the composer whose works were best suited for him. Survived many problems on and off the stage.
Catherine Wheel: A band led by a singer with over-expressive eyebrows refuses to be labeled anything.
The Causey Way: A manic revivalist preacher tries to indoctrinate you.
The Chemical Brothers: Two students who DJed under the name "The Dust Brothers", but had to change the name when they got sued.
Chic: Three classically trained session musicians and two session backup singers get together and play their own variety of disco. Two of them are producers and bring that sound to various projects. Their most famous hit (that their French name was mentioned in) was written after they couldn't get into the most inaccessible discotheque ever to exist. They have (indirectly) been responsible for the growth of rap music with their second most famous song.
Chicago: A bunch of guys from Northeastern Illinois perform rock with lots of brass instruments.
Crowded House: A band from New Zealand... and Australia... and the U.S. with several dorks and one self-proclaimed "dictator." They tend to sing about kitchens and meteorology.
The Cure: They're morose, depressing kids from southern England who wear lots of make-up and do up their hair. They started out as happy-go-lucky snot nosed punks, before making three albums full of depressing music and writing lots of dirges. Then they became poppy and almost gleeful, and started making lots of big hit singles, before returning to their inner child and making another morose albumfull of angsty music. They sold out stadiums, and are now middle-aged men who still wear make-up and play angsty music.
Duran Duran: A bunch of young guys, mostly from industrial areas of England, form a glam rock band with punk and disco overtones and wildly incomprehensible lyrics. They become massively successful. Later, as they grow older and less successful (and lose and gain band members), they start making solid alt-pop/rock tunes. Their lyrics also make more sense. They sing about Brazilian cities and starving wild dogs.
The Power Station: Two of the guys from the above band join forces with the drummer of the French-named disco group and a singer who would later become known for his backing band. They had two big hits, a cover of an early-70's song and an original song that took its name from a Marilyn Monroe film.
Arcadia: The other three guys form a band very briefly during a break in the group's schedule, releasing a grand total of one album with two hits, one of which is an American event that occurs every November.
Eagles: A backing band, later one of the most hated bands ever. One of their members starred in a TV show that lasted just one episode, and another only writes songs about the fact that he is aging (and is also a noted opponent of piracy). Sold a lot in their home country, but internationally are a One-Hit Wonder with their song about a travel accommodation.
Eels. A man with a one letter stage name and a large beard writes songs about his incredibly depressing life, only one of which became a hit.
Electric Six: Some sleazy-looking men do Affectionate Parody disco-rock about things like fast-food franchises and preferring women who have venereal diseases.
Elton John: Fat, gay, nearsighted, balding piano player from England with silly clothes and Knight Fever. He writes songs about Marilyn Monroe, weird robot rock bands, The Wizard of Oz, dance steps named after reptiles, and children's music from time to time. Loves to shop, throw tantrums, play tennis and cavort with British royalty.
Elvis Costello: He named himself after a truck driver, although his glasses make him look more like a plane crash victim. He almost destroyed his career by dissing an R&B legend, but he recovered to gain a large cult following by dabbling in many musical genres, when he's not making a spectacle of himself on TV.
Elvis Presley: A truck driver from Mississippi who knew how to sing and dance. Who in his first appearance on TV was shown only from waist up.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer: A hyperactive keyboardist, a bassist who sounds like InuYasha after a stint at philosophy camp and a really good drummer embark on a quest to reinterpret the classics, while pissing off a bunch of rock critics in the process.
Emilie Autumn: A bipolar woman writes music with a violin and harpsichord... then accompanies it with screamed lyrics about how men suck.
Eminem: A white trailer-trash guy named after chocolate enters a largely black music world and makes songs about drug use, suicide, violence, killing family members who pissed him off, and all sorts of things that piss off the Moral Guardians.
Enigma: A Romanian producer gets his German wife to fake an orgasm over loops of ethnic singers and Catholic priests.
Entity Paradigm: Two bands from Pakistan join forces to combine thestyles oftwobands with some of the most obnoxious fanbases in music history.
Einstürzende Neubauten: Some Germans confuse the music shoppe with the local hardware store. It takes them around fifteen years to realize their mistake.
The Equals: Interracial rock group consisting of twins from Jamaica, a Guyanan, and two white Brits.
Eddy Grant: Guyanan starts solo career with protests over riots in London and anti-apartheid music.
ES Posthumus: Symphonic rock with a much bigger emphasis on the "symphonic" part. Also did a few songs with Jay-Z and the fat guy from D12.
Evelyn Evelyn: Amanda Palmer pretends that she helped bring Siamese twins out of sexual slavery and get them a record deal. The Siamese Twins are actually Palmer and Jason Webley dressed up in crip drag.
The Fall: One controlling, slightly megalomaniacal madman from Northern England. A giant cast of supporting chara— er, musicians, including one ex-wife, one ex-girlfriend, and one (as of now) current wife. THEY MAKE MUSIC! What kind of music? All kinds, mostly of the post-punk vein but with other interesting elements rolled in. Famously made an influential radio DJ faint the first time he played one of their singles.
Fatboy Slim: The ex-bassist from an eighties indie band mixes up songs from his record collection.
Finn Troll: A bunch of Finns dressed up as trolls blend black metal with polka (complete with accordion) while singing in Swedish about eating Christians.
Fleetwood Mac: The best rock and roll soap opera of all time. Most of their best known hits are the two American singers literally singing about their real-life breakup on stage. Their female singer looks like a goat.
Gorillaz: A band consisting of a blue haired childish The Casanova with both eyes pressed into his head, a Satanist who owns Satan's own bass (El Diablo), a 15 year old Japanese Super Soldier guitarist, and a drummer who has been possessed by multiple spirits. (The actual members are a hyperactive musician and a guy who wrote weird comics.)
Gotye: Belgian-Australian writes weird music, scoring a hit by performing naked.
The Grass Roots: Band of nobodies created by a record company executive who gained a ton of success at a time when pop music was usually about sticking it to The Man. Best known today because their guitarist was on The Office (US).
Green Day: Band named after drugs led by bisexual, who started with simple songs about masturbation and insanity, only to shift into long,long songs complaining about how fucked up their country became.
Grinderman: Nick Cave angsts about how he can't get laid.
Helloween: A band of German guys doing over-the-top, faster and happy songs who are responsiblefor what the European Power Metal scene is nowadays. They've left a singer and a guitarist, who were key members of their classic lineup, but are still doing music.
Gamma Ray: A band formed by the former guitarist of the above band, which talks about life in general, space and science themes and plenty of other themes. Oh, and this same guitarist nowadays is also the singer.
Iron Savior: A friend of the same guitarist forms a band which talks about the story of a sentient starship built by the inhabitants of a tribe of the ancient Earth. Later, they'll sing about freedom and perception of reality.
Intestinal Disgorge: Dwindling group of Texans who won't stop screaming.
Iron Butterfly: A nice little pop group emerges with a really long hit tune after one of the members gets wasted and are mistakenly crowned as heavy metal pioneers. Unfortunately, they had no success aside from said tune.
Michael Jackson: Former Child Star from Indiana singing with an impossibly high voice about either dancing and/or paranoid songs, while showing moves that make him appear to walk backwards while walking forwards.
Or: Some dude from Indiana sings in a falsetto voice. Eventually fatherhood and various personal problems distract him from music.
Carly Rae Jepsen: Canadian girl most known for her song about maybe calling her. Popularized in America by a massively hated celebrity, she later had a hit duet that nobody remembers.
Japan: Two brothers from London who were physically abused by their brutish father channel their dysfunctions and sadness through music, along with some childhood friends who are perfectly fine with the lead singer brother's fixation with an Asian country. One of these friends was born in Cyprus and succumbed to cancer at the beginning of 2011.
Jefferson Starship: Several members of the above band stop tripping out in the 70s.
Starship: The second band above minus one of its members.
Jellyfish: A drummer and a keyboard player, both childhood friends and music students from a town near San Francisco, form a melodic pop/rock band with a revolving lineup which at one time includes the keyboardist's brother on bass. They write and play a lot of music that has their own unique style, but reminiscent of music from The Sixties and The Seventies. The drummer sings lead in front of the stage while playing drums standing up. They play vintage instruments, can sing nice harmonies and are known to go overboard in the studio. They have an aquatic name and wear colorful, loud, outdated clothes, also from The Sixties and The Seventies. Once wrote a mini-Rock Opera about Super Mario Bros. for a Nintendo tribute album.
Jethro Tull: A very hairy, hopping woodwind player in silly clothes forms a band with lots of lineup changes, writes rock operas about disgruntled boy poets pondering the meaning of life and the metaphysical adventures of dead train riders, names homeless people after oxygen tanks, and sings about living in a farm in Scotland. His band's music is eclectic and the lyrics very literary for rock music. He and his band, whose name is often confused with the singer's name itself, play lots of concerts, and they even unexpectedly beat the band of Californians and a Dane mentioned later for a prestigious award in The Eighties.
Jimi Hendrix: Ex-paratrooper who played his guitar upside down. Did covers of the US national anthem and a song from a folk singer. One of his most popular songs was misheard so many times he started actually singing it instead.
John Peel: Radio DJ, and Liverpool Football Club supporter, who often played records at the wrong speed, and used a fancy stage name.
And who began his radio career by convincing some Dallas natives he knew the most famous band in Liverpool. Also helped to break said band in Texas and covered the JFK assassination before moving onto Oklahoma City, then back to England and pirate radio before becoming one of the first BBC Radio 1 DJs.
John Zorn/Naked City: A saxophonist can't decide what kind of music he wants to play.
John Williams: A composer who writes music about space battles, adventurers, and sharks with a taste for raw soylent.
Tom Jones: Welsh singer named after an eighteenth century novel. Famous for singing a song about how mad love is and singing two screen songs, one for a film with Peter Sellers and the other for a film with James Bond.
Joy Electric: A man with keyboards who started recording in the 90s but apparently wishes he was born a decade or two earlier. He has a home studio full of different synthesizer models, but for a significant chunk of his career he refused to use more than one per album. He also enjoys the challenge of writing pop songs without chords.
Judge Dread: A fat, white British guy who re-writes nursery rhymes, fills them with innuendo and sings them over reggae beats.
Justice Yeldham: Australian beans self with plate glass hooked up to contact mic.
Kaizers Orchestra: Six guys from Norway channel Tom Waits and write rock songs about war, the Mafia, and mental hospitals, adding a pump organ and oil barrels to the standard guitars-bass-drums-vocals setup. One guy wears a gas mask.
King Crimson: A bunch of Brits combine rock with a bunch of other genres. The cover of their debut album, which has a similar name as a piece in the Peer Gynt suite, was designed by a person who died right after he finished it.
Kiss: Three New Yorkers and an Israeli paint their faces and wear weird costumes to play while putting basically everything on stage. They also sell out big time, and everyone loves them for it. Later on, they appear in a comic book that you might want to wash your hands after reading.
Kitchens of Distinction: A fat, nerdy, balding man with a monotone voice sings about death and how much love sucks.
Kokusyoku Sumire: Two Elegant Gothic Lolita s play opera-polka-cabaret. One of them sings in an incredibly high voice.
Kool Keith: A New York rapper with a bizarre and often puerile sense of humor who performs under several thousand aliases, calling his music "Pornocore" and "Horrorcore".
Kraftwerk: Four German dudes pretend to be robots (when they aren't singing about how they're Autons).
Kyuss: Several stoners from the California desert, named after a Dungeons & Dragons character. The guitarist was a lanky ginger kid who played his guitar an octave lower 'cos it sounded cool. He later started another band with some nutter who liked to play bass naked.
Lady Antebellum: Country group most known for their song about a booty call.
Lady Gaga: Millionaire who gets her clothes from a dumpster is paid to sing about monsters.
Mario Lanza: American tenor whose parents were immigrants takes up a common Italian name (predating a plumber by at least thirty years) with his mother's maiden name. Portrayed the Neapolitan tenor above on the silver screen.
Lapfox Trax: Canadian furry makes electronic music using TONS of aliases.
The Living Tombstone: A guy from Israel who got popular by remixing My Little Pony, as well as songs pertaining to various months, cupcakes made from firearms, and lab rats.
Liz Phair: Indie artist whose famous album included songs about fellatio and sexual promiscuity. Later hated by critics and indie kids for making a pop rock album.
Lonely Island: That weird guy from Saturday Night Live and Hot Rod gets together with his two buddies that wrote and produced for both of those works to create weird joke songs about jizzing your pants and being on a boat.
Lordi: Finnish members of the KISS Army dress like a Nordic version of GWAR, perform catchy hard rock, and TAKE OVER THE WORLD! Or, rather, the Eurovision Song Contest, which is usually the provenance of safe soft pop music.
Macklemore: A pug-faced nobody from Seattle somehow tops the pop charts by rapping about wearing old people's clothes and homosexuality. Always gives credit to his producer even though nobody cares about him.
Madness: Seven guys from Camden town who wrote songs about buying condoms and their school uniforms.
Gustav Mahler: German-speaking Bohemian Jew writes pieces nearly twice as long as Beethoven's.
The Mamas and the Papas: A man (who will later molest his own daughter) leaves his wife for a bratty teenager. They team up with a fat lady and a drunken Canadian to drop acid and take turns breaking each other's hearts in four-part harmony. They sing about a day of the week and a state.
Man or Astro-man?: Some guys from Alabama pretend to be aliens and play instrumental songs.
Giacomo Meyerbeer: German-Jewish composer who sucks at writing operas in his native tongue goes to Italy, changes his name, and rips off Rossini. Later he moves to Paris, where he stages operas in a style for which he is synonymous.
Midori: A Japanese girl wearing a schoolgirl uniform screams while her band plays jazz-punk fusion.
Midnight Oil: Some angry Australians shout a lot about environmental and aboriginal issues, and use lots of big words.
Miley Cyrus: A thirteen-year old girl moves from the country to Hollywood, gets a TV show with her father which resembles her real life (at least, the one she has after the show becomes popular), and sings songs about leading a normal life in Hollywood. Her mistakes become fodder for the tabloids, and growing up in public becomes controversial. She soon dresses like a Winged Humanoid, dates a handsome Australian boy, decides to become a sexualized/insane party animal and rides on construction equipment naked.
Mindless Self Indulgence: A quartet from New York who can't decide what genre their playing. The original bassist left and was replaced by Gerard Way's wife.
Moby Grape: Five guys from San Francisco sing about girls on two-wheel road vehicles, cities in Nebraska, characters from French literature and other weird stuff while apparently attracting a cult following of stoners.
Modest Mouse: An indie rock band fronted by a guy who has the same name as a British army officer who died in the War Of 1812, sings like Brak with a lisp, and tends to write Word Salad Lyrics. Kidz Bop covered their most famous song (which shares its name with a one-hit wonder song from 1977), and their most famous member joined pretty late in their career and is known for playing guitar in some British band from the eighties.
The Monkees: Fake Band formed for a TV show that consists of a TV actor whose career involved the circus, a British guy who gave up horse racing for the musical stage, a folk singer from the East coast, and a Texas hillbilly who wears a thick green piece of winter clothing.
The Monks: American ex-GIs in Germany start a rock band and try to become the antithesis of their contemporaries, the Beatles. Only recorded one album before they broke up, and they only got away with that album because their German audience didn't know or care what they were actually singing about.
Monte Cazazza: A misanthrope who likes to gift his friends with dead cats on fire releases two albums within a 45 year career of avoiding attention. He is credited with naming a genre that no longer resembles his music at all.
Mott the Hoople: Five Brits who had their first album's title changed by their record company, then almost broke up before the androgynous rock star above gave them one of his songs.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: A boy flirts with an ill-fated princess while his father takes him on tour. When he grows up, he writes about harems, seducers, and birdcatchers.
Muse: A British guitarist with an interest in space and the paranormal writes over-the-top alternative/progressive rock and plays it with two of his friends.
Murray Gold: A composer who writes music about time travel.
Modest Mussorgsky: Russian alcoholic whose most famous works include a musical depiction of a witches' Sabbath, a museum exhibit, and Russian history.
My Bloody Valentine: Two Irish guys, one with an unpronounceable name, and two British girls form a band. They play at ear-shattering volumes, mix everything into a huge wall of sound, and stare at their own shoes.
My Chemical Romance: Four guys from New Jersey create music tangentially related to their LARP campaigns.
"My Jeans": A song by a 12-year-old girl who feels a great urge to buy a pair of pants. The video features her driving a car even though she isn't the right age to do so.
New Order: Four nightclub owners from Manchester. They were in a band with a really charismatic singer, but he killed himself. One of them asked his girlfriend to play the keyboards, and they decided to keep playing since they weren't qualified to do anything else.
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds: A stick-figure man angsts about God and love for twenty-seven years while musicians constantly join and leave his backing band.
Nine Inch Nails: Former junkie gets mad and decides to play lots of instruments in a way that makes them sound like factory machines. He wins a Grammy for saying "fist fuck" and an Oscar for composing about a geek who got sued a lot. One of his songs is now more associated with a guy much older than him.
Oingo Boingo: Eight Southern Californians spin paranoid, often psychedelic musical fantasies in a vaguely multicultural style. Their leader later becomes a movie composer often collaborating with a specific director.
The Only Ones: A squeaky-voiced heroin addict, a balding punk rocker, a relic from the sixties and a man who looks like a vulture perform songs about love, drugs, a love of drugs and drug-addled love.
Oomph!: An industrial metal band of 40-something Germans. They wear lots of dark make-up and write songs about hide-and-go-seek and jumping off the roof while sleep walking. Their music videos are often either fairy tales or obscure with no relation to the lyrics see the music video for "Traumst du".
Operation Re-Information / Wizard Master: A programmer and his friends play music using computer keyboards with straps so they can be worn like guitars.
Opeth: Five Swedes decide that what death metal really needs is more Hammond Organ and jazz guitar and make many music videos that appear to be set in abandoned Victorian mansions.
Pearl Jam: A bunch of Washington musicians, led by a singer with a distinctive and at times incomprehensible style. At a certain point, decided to alienate their fanbase. They had a number 2 hit with a cover of a 60s one-hit wonder.
Peter Frampton: A big-haired ginger who became famous for a talking guitar.
The Pillows: Three Japanese guys try really hard to make 90's grunge sound upbeat, although before that they made jazzy lounge-pop.
Pink Floyd: First: British musician gets stoned and writes songs. Then: Another British musician thinks about past and present annoyances and writes songs. Finally: A third British musician tries writing happier songs.
The Police: A drummer with a large ego forms a three piece, recruiting a bassist with an even larger ego, and a quiet but nice guitarist. They make songs about prostitutes, social inequality and Soviet Russia.
Stewart Copeland: The drummer from the said band goes on to make soundtracks with a synthesizer. Better than it sounds. Made a lot of gamers happy.
Sting: Said bassist with a huge ego writes weird music and decides to give his money to other people.
The Ramones: An authoritarian Republican, baseball card collector and horror movies fan, a left-wing six-feet-ten Jewish geek with OCD, a bipolar German heroin addict and their Hungarian high-school friend become models for generations to come (by making two-minute songs about sniffing glue and hitting people with bats) while not achieving commercial success until the band broke up... 20 years later.
Relient K: a rock band that sings Silly Love Songs and the occasional Christian rock song. They've lost all but two of the original members over the years, but ever time someone quits, they're quickly replaced.
REM: Band named after a type of sleep. Took their most famous album name from the sign on a local restaurant. Has a hit where nobody understands the lyrics. Sang songs about a radio station, rivers, train drivers, a dead comedian, and were generally so melancholy that the singer in another band had one of their CDs in his stereo when he shot himself.
REO Speedwagon: A bunch of college students from Illinois get together to make power-ballads.
The Residents: Four anonymous guys from Louisiana wearing eyeball masks and making music that is both funny and a test to your endurance.
Alternatively: A group of people nobody knows make music so obscure even they sometimes forget it exists.
Rod Stewart: A hard rocker makes increasingly mellow music until he becomes a standards singer full-time. Married a woman much younger than him and (according to an urban legend) had semen pumped from his stomach.
Scooter: Techno with singing chipmunks and a German guy screaming random English phrases.
The Servotron Robot Allegiance: A group of robots hate you and are afraid of Radio Shack.
Sex Pistols: Band managed by a London shopkeeper, who hired the singer because he liked his t-shirt. Had a hit with a song named after the British National Anthem. The only reason that song never became a number one hit was to avoid controversy, so the chart was rigged to keep them out of that position. Bassist couldn't play at all and tended to have his amps turned down. Toured America but it was a bit of a disaster so they broke up.
The Shaggs: Four sisters with no musical talent whatsoever.
Showbread: Two brothers form a worship band for their church youth group as an excuse to play terrible Nirvana covers, get way into weird punk and theology and change their sound so much they alienate all the fans who thought they were a Metalcore band, along with most of their members. Had two lead vocalists for a time, one of whom was a black guy named Ivory.
The Sisters Of Mercy: A snarky British polyglot with a leather fetish implies at length that he really likes drugs, girls, and guns.
Slipknot: An 8 person band from Iowa that believes Halloween should be celebrated all year long. Met their lead singer in a porn shop.
Stone Sour: The lead vocals and one of the guitarists wear normal clothes occasionally.
Skrillex: A long-haired, bespectacled, pale man who performs for entire stadiums with nothing but a MacBook and a drumpad, and is somehow famous.
Skyclad: British man who sounds like orc barks out generally angry, misanthropic lyrics that somehow resembles Shakespearian poetry to thrash metal with violins. Also had to cancel tours once because guitarist felt like it was a good idea to jump over the nearest fence while wearing sunglasses.
Regina Spektor: Russian girl who sings songs about lost wallets, whacks her piano bench with a drum stick, and pronounces 'better' as 'betow'.
Spiritualized: Psychedelic shoegaze complete with trumpets, a gospel choir, and lyrics about life, love, and heavy usage of drugs.
Bruce Springsteen: A guy sings about cars, New Jersey, poor people, and people driving cars to deal with the fact that they're poor and in New Jersey. For almost 40 years and counting.
Starflyer59: A truck driver lives his dream of starting a rock band, then fails to become a famous rock band. The music is melancholy because the truck driver can't sing fast enough to make happy music. After four albums, he ran out of stuff to write about, so he's been singing about his own life ever since. He's currently up to album number 13.
Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam: The British son of a Greek man and a Swedish woman starts off writing pop songs in his teens, then gets sick and becomes a folk singer, making his comeback with an album bearing a phrase used to refer to his penis. In his late twenties he converts to a religion that he takes up as his surname, taking nearly thirty years off in doing so while devoting himself mainly to his faith.
Talking Heads: Three guys and a girl from New York. The lead singer wrote a song about a piece of paper and once sang a song to a lamp.
Tame Impala: Some Australian kid's home-recording project becomes a band of five people who play music that nobody has listened to in nearly fifty years. They mostly sing about losers.
TAS-1000: Canadians find cassette full of messages in their answering machine and decide to make music with it.
Tatu: Russian child psychologist hired two fourteen-year-old girls to masquerade as lesbians and make out in the rain. Their biggest international hit was the English version of a song that was originally in Russian.
Tears For Fears: A pair of emo British teenagers write synthesizer-heavy political songs.
Ted Nugent: A very conservative guitarist with a cowboy hat who spends a big part of his concerts talking about politics. Despite being a rocker, he has never taken drugs in his life. He is known to piss off his own fans. He was a member of a one-hit wonder band in the 60s and another popular band from the early 90s.
Tenacious D: Well-known Hollywood actor and his bald friend play pastiche rock'n'roll songs, mostly on acoustic guitars.
They Might Be Giants: A rock band consisting entirely of nerds named either John or Daniel, except for the one guy named Marty. They've got an accordion, a guitar, and a drum machine. Their songs make no sense. It's awesome. Eventually, they started making kids music.
Two coffee-addicted nerds write intentionally cryptic, catchy songs, a majority of the narrators of which are probably insane. They leave the meanings of their songs up to the fanbase to argue about.
Tom Waits: An empty soup-can full of wet, rusty nails gets behind a piano and sings.
Ol' 55: A man annoys busy morning freeway traffic by driving way too slow.
Tool: A bald man from Uncanny Valley, a long-haired drug addict, a man interested in the occult, and another long-haired man who likes to play crotch-bass get together to perform songs about such topics as drug abuse, child abuse, and transcendence. They also make insanely disturbing and mind-screwy stop-motion music videos for some of the songs.
Or: Four talented musicians spend most of their career not releasing albums or doing interviews.
A Perfect Circle The aforementioned bald Uncanny Valley guy starts a new band with his other band's guitar tech. They're Lighter and Softer than the other band, but still have a whole album about drug abuse. The current lineup also includes a drummer who will play with absolutely anybody, a guitarist who was a founding member of a famous nineties rock band but barely played anything on their commercial breakthrough album, and a bassist no one's ever heard of with the word "Junk" in his last name.
In both cases, the bald guy also had a wrestler take his stage name from part of his.
The Tornados: A bunch of British guys, one of whom is the father of the alternative/progressive rock guitarist above, and a German perform songs without words. Their most famous song, which is named after a satellite, was written by a gay record producer who had no real talent for music.
T. Rex: A band fronted by a guy in a top hat and glitter. Its style devolved over the course of its career, going backwards from long psychedelic songs to Chuck Berry-esque three-minute pop songs. The band is considered to be one of the main influences of Hair Metal. Their biggest hit was revived by a mid-80's supergroup.
Toto: A band that played on hundreds of hit records, some of which were their own. They are named after a famous dog and are best known for singing about a continent with mostly black people.
Twiztid: Two guys who love horror movies, comics, toys, marijuana and cigarettes rap about being serial killers and wear face paint.
Ultravox: English art students perform a quirky mixture of glam and proto-punk rock in the mid - late 1970s. They lose their leader and are directionless for a spell before picking up a former member of a Scottish boy band. They become a cool synthpop/New Romantic quartet who make iconic music videos and symbolize The Eighties.
Alternatively: British band with no definite genre, led most famously by a short, moustached Scotsman who shares his name with an insect. Their most famous discography includes a song about a nuclear meltdown, a hymn about looking for answers, and a song that has the accolade of being Britain's favourite number two.
Ritchie Valens: Teenager from California combines rock 'n' roll with Latino music, recording one of his most famous songs, originally the B side of a single with another song about his then-girlfriend, entirely in Spanish. Was the youngest person killed in a plane crash that took two other musicians' lives.
Van Canto: 5 people make guitar sounds with their mouths instead of playing instruments.
Van Halen: A pouty-lipped Jew, a Polish-American, and two biracial immigrant brothers revolutionize pop music with watered-down heavy metal. Their guitarist channels Johann Sebastian Bach by twiddling his fingers really fast. Later on, the pouty Jew is replaced by a guy who doesn't mind getting speeding tickets. Also, the Polish-American's eventual replacement was a teenager. The group denies that they ever did an album with a third singer.
Giuseppe Verdi: Opera's greatest composer who tried retiring three times — the first after his second opera failed — and just came back. His operas include cursed jesters, replications of famous assassinations and Ancient Egypt.
Wall of Voodoo: First line-up: Henry MancinimeetsNew Wave. Second line up toned down the Mancini aspect, and added more Country. Their only hit was probably a number one hit in the country south of the United States.
The Wanted: British-Irish boy band whose only American hit was about being happy that a girl orgasmed. Once their rivals arrived Stateside, it was all over for them.
Ween: Two misogynistic, homophobic, racist middle-school buddies get high off household cleaning products and use an 8-track to record songs about tropical fruit and fellatio.
Weezer: Four musicians, one of whom is a soccer-loving geek who took 10 years to graduate from Harvard and the other three of whom nobody knows. Originally opened for a band led by Keanu Reeves. Their music videos are mostly famous due to the celebrities in them.
Wesley Willis: A diagnosed schizophrenic backed by a Casio drum machine wails nonsense.
Whitehouse: Three Englishmen make loud noises and shout offensive things. The frontman cited Yoko Ono as his primary influence.
Sutcliffe Jügend: A spinoff group lead by a man whose biggest claim to fame was being in the above band for about three years.
Wintersun: Absolutely epic and high-energy album follows the musings of a man lost in the wilderness as he slowly freezes to death.
The White Stripes: This rock band has two band members (any rock band worth its salt would have at least three) who were married until 2000. Their last name takes the name of the band. The main singer and instrumentalist does almost all the work, with the girl just bashing drums loudly. They enjoy butchering songs done by other artists. Their most famous song's title can refer to an international military alliance.
Wire: Four English art students have fun noodling around with musical instruments, making all kinds of tuneful noise in the process. Suffered a disgraceful pop music period in the late 1980s. A female-led alternative band from The Nineties famously ripped off their sound.
X: A couple of poets, a rockabilly musician, and a drummer form a punk band. The poets get married. The band plays songs about their hometown, being broke, and being married. The poets then break up. The band makes a metal record now considered Canon Discontinuity, the rockabilly musician leave, the rockabilly musician returns, and the band keeps playing live shows.
X Japan: An effeminate pianist writes speed metal songs about drugs, sex, and murder, sometimes all three at once. The band spent 29 minutes singing about the drummer's Heroic BSOD, and that was before the lead guitarist killed himself in a bizarre incident involving a towel and a doorknob.
"Weird Al" Yankovic: A man known primarily for parodies of other people's music. His Top 40 hits are from the perspectives of (in order): A parent trying to get the kid to eat, a grunge rocker who'd rather not enunciate, a card-carrying nerd, and a grammarian who's letting off some steam.
The Yardbirds: A bunch of guys from London, although most people only remember three guitarists, one of whom formed a band named after a milky substance while another formed the band who screwed up old blues songs. The bassist produced several albums by the British religious convert.
Yes: Five Englishmen write songs about vaguely religious gibberish that never end, best known for having a keyboard player who wore a cape and eventually wrote music about dead kings and their wives.
Yuki Kajiura: A Gender BenderExpy of the deaf German man up above, pre-deafness, who even grew up in his hometown despite being originally from another continent.