'The' bands

An easy topic to close the week, as Fridays should always be easy: bands with two words in their name, the first of which is a bold and resolute ‘The’ – as it was this week back in 1969 when The Small Faces became simply The Faces (and presumably bigger with it, which you can read both ways if you wish but my preference remains for the ‘smaller’ of the two incarnations), upon the departure of Steve Marriott and arrival of Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood. So, as much as I like them, The Pretty Things just won’t do today, neither will The Sex Pistols; but, on the grounds that their names are shorter and snappier, The Move and The Band are welcome and ideally are to be accompanied by a song recommendation or two.

Let’s see how many we can recall.

Here’s some prog for you to carry you through to the weekend: The Nice and their famed arrangement of Leonard Bernstein’s ‘America’… and if anyone can spot the connection(s) between The Nice and The Small Faces, I won’t award a prize but I will be suitably impressed, being an occasional sucker for random trivia.

The Nice were Keith Emerson (keyboards), Davy O’List (guitar), Lee Jackson (bass, vocals) and Brian Davison (drums) – and originally P. P. Arnold’s backing band.

Well, that’s another week gone. However you spend it, have a pleasant weekend, and if you left a message for David to mark his 65th birthday, thank you kindly for the thought.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

54 thoughts on “'The' bands”

  1. Lowestoft’s The Darkness spring to mind.

    We also have the arch miserablists, The Smiths (heaven knows we were all miserable then) and Ska rebels The Specials (who did to much, much too young) and the Cars (ref Live aid) and from a different era, The Animals (House of the Rising Sun) and the Carpenters (Goodbye to Love contains a super guitar solo don’t you think). The Clash were overrated in my view but appear to have earned their place in the hall of fame.

    The Datsuns featured in the chat room this week with their foul-mouthed ways. The Doors spooked me with The End.

    One might have expected The Eagles on your list as they are always front of the F’ed mind and perhaps the Yardbirds also.

    The Fall seemed a big favourite of John Peel, along with The Undertones of course and no doubt the Buzzcocks and The Ramones. The Jam I think led the way in narrow trousered angst.

    The Killers have been popular these last few years.

    I believe David likes The Lemonheads (My Drug Buddy) as well as new chums The Orb.

    The Libertines of course blessed us with Pete Doherty. The Police probably justify a mention and our Scottish friends no doubt find The Proclaimers irresistible. Jack White side-project The Raconteurs are worth checking out and The Verve, of course, who prove that the drugs really don’t work…

    1. For completeness, my music library also yields the following, although I’ll need a big playlist to remind me of most of them …

      The Stands, The Abyssinians, The Almighty, The Cardigans, The Charlatans, The Colourfield, The Commodores, The Coral, The Cranberries, The Cult, The Cure, The Decemberists, The Departure, The Delgados, The Dirtbombs, The Donnas, The Fratellis, The Fugees, The Futureheads, The Gladiators, The Groundhogs, The Hives, The Jags, The Judds, The Korgis, The La’s, The Leaves, The National, The Offspring, The Pretenders, The Prodigy, The Rapture, The Ruts, The Shamen, The Shins, The Shirelles, The Stands, The Streets, The Strokes, The Supremes, The Surfaris, The Temptations, The Tenderfoot, The Thrills, The Used, The Vapors, The Ventures, The Vines, The Wallflowers.

      I now need The Lie-down with The Cold-towel.

      1. The Jam I think led the way in narrow trousered angst.

        Beautifully put, Tim.

        Let’s have a video of theirs – here’s ‘Eton Rifles’.

        Good list overall. I think I’ll play some Hives next, followed by some Charlatans – starting with ‘Tick Tick Boom’.

        Why do I now feel compelled to test drive a Citroën C3?

    2. What a list, Tim. It was quite hard to find something you hadn’t already mentioned. 🙂

    3. Michèle / Alessandra

      It’s a fairly long list but that’s just the boring bit … maybe you could fill in the interesting gossip about all of them. 😀

  2. First and foremost, thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by the earthquake in Japan. The West Coast of the US is bracing itself!

    I think we’ll have a lot of repeats on this topic FEd. My ‘on the spot contribution’ is limited, but here goes:

    The Yardbirds – their cover of Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
    The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony
    The Killers – Mr. Brightside
    The Doors – Peace Frog
    The Who – Behind Blue Eyes, See Me, Feel Me (at the risk of being tried for treason, not one of my favourite bands)
    The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun
    The Cure
    The B-52’s
    The Waterboys – The Stolen Child
    The Eagles – Desperado
    The Cars – Good Times Roll

    Would love to pretend I know what connection(s) there is/are, but don’t so I have some homework to do.

    1. Nah, you don’t have to do any homework. You get a gold star for including an Eagles song with a Don Henley lead vocal.

      What a song that is.

      Henley for President.

  3. In 1967, Davy O’List sat in for some guy named Syd in some weird band one night in London. Reports from that show were that Davy was much better than Syd, and speculation runs that this was the night which cemented Syd’s fate.

    One of my favorite band names — though I’m not very familiar with their work — is The The. Cutting edge and traditional at the same time.

    The Band is generic in the extreme (?), The Who is mysterious and befuddled, The Stones should have toured with Styx, The Wall ain’t really a band at all, The Wailers wailed, The Pretenders pretended to be good (it wasn’t much of a stretch), The Animals were Burdoned, The Monkees monkeyed around, The Coasters were fun and easygoing (they “coasted” right along).

    I’m running out of “The” things to say. So I’ll quit while I’m not too far behind. Thank you, good night and good luck.

  4. I think of Hot Tuna, a band I’ve been listening to quite a bit lately. Two members of the original Jefferson Airplane are in the band and they, simply put, rock.

    Another I’ve been listening to is Widespread Panic. WP has been on the scene, albeit underground to an extent, since the 80’s and has a great sound. Take a gander on YouTube if you will… cheers.

    On a more somber note, my thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan and all other places affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

    1. Well said, Bruce. The sheer volume of its destruction is unimaginable. The videos and pictures seem so unreal, don’t they?

      “She will take it back someday…”

  5. The Nice took their name from a Small Faces song about drugs, called ‘Here Comes The Nice’. Right?

    Oh don’t be impressed, I don’t deserve any prize, I cheated 😉 – Here.

    BTW, isn’t this site very interesting? I also learned about The Small Faces: ‘Inspired by The Who song “I’m the Face”. Face is Mod talk for a “stylish guy” and the band were all short lads.’

    I would mention: The Verve, The Shadows, The Ramones, The Doors, The Yardbirds, The B52’s, The Stones…

    1. Also The Small Faces and The Nice shared the same independent record label, Andrew Oldham’s ‘Immediate Records’. I think they were not very happy with the label.

      Bonus point? 😉

  6. I once read that The Nice’s band name came from a song by The Small Faces called “Here Come the Nice”. I still remember the title because I couldn’t understand why “Come” was written without the “s”. :))

  7. I doubt I’ll be able to redeem myself but worth a try:

    The Animals – House of the Rising Sun
    The Alarm (and they hail from North Wales … any points for that?!)
    The Band – The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
    The Church – Under The Milky Way
    The Clash – London Calling
    The Drifters – Under the Boardwalk
    The Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy… He’s My Brother
    The Kinks – Lola
    The Tremeloes – Silence is Golden
    The Troggs – Wild Thing

    Sadly, I have yet to make a connection between The Small Faces and The Nice other than at one point they shared the same record label (Immediate Records). A bit more far-reaching … The Small Faces sang Here come THE NICE. Best get out while I’m somewhat ahead … 😉

    1. Indebted to you FEd! Thank you. Enjoyed “Strength” … just closed my eyes and listened.

  8. Don’t I remember, of course, a band once called The Pink Floyd and The Floyd? Although you might question my musical taste, I admit that I also enjoy a song by The Cure. The Mamas and the Papas were just before my time, however. The Jimi Hendrix Experience shouldn’t be left off the list. Perhaps I could remember more if I weren’t so tired. I think The Fixx might be a good night’s sleep. 😀

  9. – The Beatles
    – The Creation
    – The Shadows
    – The Crickets
    – The Who
    – The Kinks
    – The Pogues
    – The Chieftains
    – The Melvins
    – The Fireman

  10. OK… the one connection I see between the Nice and the Small Faces. The song “Here comes The Nice”. Though the song wasn’t written about them, specifically, it was more an homage to the “codeword” for getting speed/amphetamines. Hence the rather tenuous connection between the Nice and The Small Faces.

    Also, PP Arnold sang on Tin Soldier (another connection, more concrete than the mere usage of the term “the Nice” in one of the songs).

    How’d I do, FEd?


    1. Thanks for Tin Soldier. 🙂 I used to love the Small Faces and had a further look around YouTube. Have a listen to this. This is on their 1966 album Small Faces.

      What a loss when we lost Steve Marriott.


  11. Hi FEd,

    I looked into my collection. The THE bands are quite a few there:

    The Beatles
    The Bloodhound Gang
    The Clash
    The Cranberries
    The Doors
    The Jimi Hendrix Experience
    The Kinks
    The Mamas And The Papas
    The Michael Schenker Group
    The Pogues
    The Police
    The Raconteurs
    The Rolling Stones
    The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
    The Velvet Underground
    The White Stripes
    The Who
    The Yardbirds

    … and wasn’t there a band called “The Pink Floyd Sound”, which evolved to “The Pink Floyd” before it became the famous “Pink Floyd”? 😉

    Best regards


    1. I did enjoy The Cranberries. Good to see them get another mention here. What a voice Delores O’Riordan has. It gives you goose pimples at times.

      The Cranberries – Ode To My Family

    2. … and after re-reading your post FEd, I found out that I cheated. Please cancel the 2nd, 5th, 7th, 8th and 12th – 15th, which consists of more than 2 words.

      But still: they are great THE bands…


  12. Did anyone catch BBC Radio 6 last Wednesday evening? They aired part of an archive gig from 1971 by Pink Floyd who, of course, were once The Pink Floyd.

    Anyway it was fantastic to hear this stuff through a more decent radio than the one I had back in 1971.

    Oh the days of putting microphones up to the radio in order to record this kind of thing.

  13. Happy Birthday, BTW.

    Just saw P.U.L.S.E for the first time the other day. High Hopes was my favorite… looking forward to another 60 + years.

  14. Thanks for reminding me of Keith Emerson’s talent. I think I remember correctly that he played at a festival where he was strapped down and did a somersault complete with keyboards or piano. Maybe imagining it?


    1. One of my all-time favourites, Dunc.

      Don’t click if you have photo-sensitive epilepsy.

      I also particularly like this one. It truly is a feel-good song.

  15. I remember seeing the The Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood playing in 68 with Blue Cheer and Pink Floyd on the same menu. Then in late 69 I went to see the Faces and, thinking it was still the Small Faces, I was shocked seeing no Steve Marriot but Rod Stewart and Ron Wood. What a great concert though for they really rocked and the people were just going wild.

    I really loved the 60s and 70s, for the music was great until Disco tried to make it, for that’s not music.

    Take care, Thomas

    1. Thank you for the links, FEd. I especially liked The Searchers “Needles and Pins”.

  16. No one has mentioned The Tubes yet. Gotta love these shoes.

    Has The Herd been mentioned?

    The Hollies.
    The Damned.

    So many have been mentioned, it’s hard to believe there are so many bands who’s name is just one word plus “The”.


  17. This has absolutely nothing at all to do with anything other than it’s a really, really great song.

    For those who don’t know, Gov’t Mule is a little detour of sorts from the Allman Brothers Band. It just happens to be the song ‘du jour’ for me and I thought I’d share (don’t want to be the only one with this song going around and around in my head!). The lyrics made me think of another musician who lost the battle with his demons last week — ex-bassist for Alice in Chains, Mike Starr.

    1. The lyrics made me think of another musician who lost the battle with his demons last week — ex-bassist for Alice in Chains, Mike Starr.

      Sorry to hear that, Pavlov. Alice in Chains were a favourite of mine in the 90s. Their music is part of my youth memories and I still like listening to them from time to time.

  18. How about The Specials, The Undertones, The Smiths, The Lemonheads.

    Nothing to do with this subject but I rediscovered this song – it has a goose pimple register of 8… even after all these years.

    It’s good to share!

    1. I remember exactly where I heard it first — Headbanger’s Ball, a midnight show hosted on MTV. I’d be lying if I said I remembered which year — ’89, maybe ’90.

  19. I listened to The Temptations, The Spinners, The Supremes, The Animals, The Beatles of course, The Troggs, The McCoys, The Turtles and so many more growing up. As a kid we always said The Stones instead of The Rolling Stones.

    Great topic FEd. You really brought back a lot of memories. Glad to be back and able to post!


  20. Hey hey, we’re The MONKEES. :v

    Seems like Tim C (aka the hog) forgot to mention that and if anyone else mentioned it, I apologize for the repeat.

  21. Everyone had such terrific lists, hard to measure up, but I’ll add to the list anyway.

    The Shirelles: “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”. The Commodores: “Just To Be Close To You”. The Outlaws: “Green Grass and High Tides Forever”. The Knack: “My Sharona”. The Firm: “Satisfaction Guaranteed”. The Outfield: “I Don’t Want To Lose Your Love Tonight”.

    I realize it’s a bit eclectic, but couldn’t resist, I adore trivia. 🙂

  22. Has anyone mentioned those 80s bands The Cardigans and The Breeders? Both names are intended to make fun of the The thing.

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