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DR. SPIN
Who, Them? Yes!
A look at the best and worst names for a band.

by Dr. Spin
December 27, 2004

Who, Them? Yes!_Dr. Spin-A look at the best and worst names for a band
Doctor Spin,

Which do you consider to be the best Oscar nominated songs to have received an Oscar? I have noticed some of the songs that have won in the last few years are not really worth listening to.
 
Dear Oscar,
 
Wow. Come to think of it, I can’t even remember what songs won Oscars. I think that crappy Celine Dion song from “Titanic” won. Oh, and Annie Lennox won for some song from “Return of the King” that I don’t even remember being in the movie. Other than that, I’m at a loss. I think Randy Newman must have the record for the most nominated songs (he finally won after 17 tries!) Did “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” win? That was a good song but really had nothing to do with the movie.
 
It’s hard to judge which songs are the best of the Academy Award winners, especially when you know some of the nominees that didn’t win are much better. There is a CD boxed set of Academy Award winning songs, from 1934 to 1994, available. From that list most of my choices for best Academy Award winners would be on the pre-Rock era (1934 to 1965). Since 1965, the song I would consider best Academy Award winner (and this is based only on the songs listed in this compilation) would be “Fame.” Baby, remember my name.
 
 
Dear Doctor Spin,

I was wondering, what are the most unusual names bands have given themselves? Lately, it seems the names are becoming weirder and weirder.

Perplexed
 
Dear Perp,
 
When Rock started, bands began giving themselves “the” names (the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Byrds, etc). These names paralleled a sort of street gang mentality, a group of four or five young lads taking musical “chops” at rival bands. In the mid-sixties, perhaps due to the introduction of mind-altering drugs, bands began forming more obscure names like Buffalo Springfield, Credence Clearwater Revival, and Jefferson Airplane. Even “the” bands were coming up with psychedelic names like the Strawberry Alarm Clock, the Chocolate Watchband, and the Electric Prunes.
 
In the 70’s, place names were all the rage (Boston, Chicago, Kansas, etc). In the 80’s, abbreviation names like U2, INXS, and REM became big. Some bands named themselves after obscure pop culture references like Duran Duran and T’Pau. Nowadays, we have nonsensical named bands dominating the charts, like Switchfoot and Hoobastank. 
 
The best name for a band ever is the Who. Forget the Who’s music; the name alone makes them the coolest band ever. Runner-up is Them, Van Morrison’s first band. Some of the weirdest names are those mentioned above, but to add to the list; Oingo Boingo, Bow Wow Wow, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Captain Beefheart, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Spooky Tooth.


About the Author:
Dr. Spin was once in a band called the Sludgemothers. Sadly, we never recorded.


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