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Vitamin Q: the book!

~ Monday, February 10, 2003

39 bands who shortened their name:

1 Santana Blues Band > Santana
2 Arabacus Pulp > Pulp
3 Balaam and the Angel > Balaam
4 Chicago Transit Authority > Chicago
5 The Silver Beatles > The Beatles
6 Tripsichord Music Box > Tripsichord
7 Wah Heat! > Wah!
8 Ambrose Slade > Slade
9 X Mal Deutschland > X Mal
10 Generation X > Gen X
11 The Fatback Band > Fatback
12 The Easy Cure > The Cure
13 Hawkwind Zoo > Hawkwind
14 Southern Death Cult > The Cult ^
15 Tyrannosaurus Rex > T.Rex
16 The Leyton Buzzards > The Buzzards
17 The Nipple Erectors > The Nips*
18 The Moody Blues Five > The Moody Blues
19 The Guildford Stranglers > The Stranglers
20 Silmarillion > Marillion
21 The Staple Singers > The Staples
22 Pogue Mahone > The Pogues *
23 Clan of Xymox > Xymox
24 Kajagoogoo > Kaja
25 Spirits Rebellious > Spirit
26 The Count Bishops > The Bishops
27 The Cranberry Saw Us > The Cranberries
28 The Merseybeats > The Merseys
29 The Glitter Band - The G Band
30 Nitty Gritty Dirt Band > The Dirt Band
31 J Geils Band > Geils
32 The Heavy Metal Kids > The Kids
33 Mott the Hoople > Mott
34 The Special AKA > The Specials
35 The Jazz Crusaders > The Crusaders
36 Dalek I Love You > Dalek I
37 The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band > The Bonzo Dog Band
38 Sweetshop > The Sweet
39 The Troglodytes > The Troggs

There are many reasons to change a name - the original was too long or silly or pretentious (note the large number of glam and goth bands on the list). Some bands changed due to the too-rude-for-radio factor of the original name (* mostly bands featuring Shane McGowan). Some even changed twice (^ SDC becoming DC becoming The Cult). Other name changes (see Kaja, Mott) seem to be due to a last gasp attempt at staying on the pop map, or perhaps a legally caused adaptation of a debated name. Here are six further types of name-shortening which I ignored when making the list:

1 Name changes where the band essentially, aesthetically became a new band eg The Small Faces to The Faces
2 Changes due, perhaps, to the band not exactly being the band it was eg The Rollers, The Tops, later versions of The Bay City Rollers / The Four Tops
3 Official adoption of comon abbreviations eg OMD, NKOTB
4 Shortenings used for legal reasons in other countries eg Yazoo, Comsat Angels (Yaz, CSAs in the USA)
5 'XY and the Zs' becoming just 'The Zs' or, say, Patti Labelle and the Bluebells changing to Labelle
6 Shortenings caused by personnel changes eg The Jacksons, S Club (The Jackson 5, S Club 7)

Source: various; by RcL (originally Roderick Chalmers Lumsden)

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