Saturday, October 13, 2007

Naming Bands

OK, it's pretty obviously Throwing Muses, not the Throwing Muses, since the band is all about tossing the muses rather than being the muses, and I'm not sure what a throwing muse would be. Some kind of pitching coach, I guess. And my copy of The Real Ramona clearly says just "Throwing Muses."

And it's Counting Crows, not the Counting Crows, even though I've heard them called that. My copy of August and Everything After makes that clear as well.

On the other hand, my copy of Siamese Dream, although it says Smashing Pumpkins on the cover, says THE Smashing Pumpkins on the inner sleeve, and I think we have to take that, since bands are allowed to drop the "the" on the front cover, a la Beatles for Sale. By the time of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Album Title, they had even started to put the "The" on the front cover.

My recollection is that they started out as Smashing Pumpkins (there's no "the" on Gish), with the gerund rather than the participle. Smashing Pumpkins were featured on the first-ever Rolling Stone New Faces page, way back in 1991, and I was pretty sure at that point they were about the smashing, rather than being the pumpkins themselves. I could be wrong, though.


MJN said...

And even though it's not "The" Talking Heads, I think of the band members as the Heads themselves.

a long december is a nice song said...

I vaguely recall Annie Lennox testily insisting it's "THE Eurythmics" in their 1983 RS cover story. I also remember seeing Rob Halford on MTV talking about "The Judas Priest" and thinking that made no sense at all.

tony s said...

If you wanna have fun with this, check out the history of Pink Floyd (the 1970s band) verses THE Pink Floyd, that 1960s band that Syd Barrett once fronted.

There's also Shoes, the 1970s/early 1980s power pop band ("Tomorrow Night," "Too Late"). They never had a preposition on LP titles or in that Billboard Top 100 book, where they get a lone entry with the latter song I mentioned. Still, people call 'em "THE Shoes."