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Take our band names quiz

Would the Beach Boys have sounded the same if they had been called Carl and the Passions? Does On A Friday convey the same passion as Radiohead? Would teenagers have found as much to scream about had The Executive not evolved into Wham?

How much do you know about band names? Take our quiz and find out.

1.    Which UK band, a staple of the Britpop scene, began life as Seymour, before changing their name to the more familiar one?

a) Blur
b) Oasis
c) The Charlatans

2.    Which of these band names comes from a term for an unidentified flying object?

a) U2
b) Sigur Rós
c) Foo Fighters

3.    Which of these bands chose their name because it expressed an international way of expressing recognition, with positive connotations?

a) A-ha
b) The Wanted
c) The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

4.    Which of these bands took their name from an implement of torture?

a) Iron Maiden
b) The Mars Volta
c) Lynrd Skynrd

5.    From which language does the band name Nirvana come?

a) Spanish
b) Sanskrit
c) Latin

6.    Which band reputedly took their name, which refers to a phase of sleep, randomly from the dictionary?

a) Deep Purple
b) REM
c) Coldplay


And to be in with a chance of winning a selection of music-based books from our Very Short Introduction series, simply answer the question below:

What punctuation mark links the band Vampire Weekend with Oxford University Press?

Email your answer to


This competition is closed.

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