Top Sports-Inspired Album Titles & Band Names
Album titles and band names often have mysterious origins. No one really knows where Biffy Clyro got their name, and the band themselves have offered many background stories.
Album titles can be equally confusing; sometimes offering a clue to the music within and at other times plucked out of thin air. At other times, there is a clear inspiration for an album or band name, as is the case with our selection here, which looks at four sport-inspired musical projects.
Crazyhead exploded on the UK music scene in the late 1980s. The band was part of the short-lived grebo rock scene, which featured popular bands including Pop Will Eat Itself, the Wonder Stuff, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Carter USM, and Jesus Jones. The music mixed elements of punk, dance music and hip-hop and was soon displaced by grunge, industrial metal, and Britpop.
Crazyhead named their debut album Desert Orchid. Not after a flower, but after a famous racehorse. If you are the type of person who keeps up to date with the latest horse racing betting odds, you’ll know all about Desert Orchid, affectionately known as Dessie. He famously won the King George VI Chase on four occasions and was also a winner at the Cheltenham Gold cup. In total, he won 17 major races. The band chose the name after a successful day at the races when the steeplechase legend was first past the post again.
Another band that enjoyed success in the late 1980s was the Wedding Present. They formed part of the C86 scene, named after a compilation cassette, released by the British music magazine NME. The cassette featured the best new indie bands of 1986. The Wedding Present song “This Boy Can Wait” was the final track on the compilation. In 1987, they released their debut album titled George Best. There are no prizes for guessing that the album was named after the legendary Northern Irish football player. Best is also featured on the album cover.
“If there’s anything I’ve always loved it’s soaring guitar bands and George Best is the kind of album that does that better than anything.”@AndyBurnhamGM on The Wedding Present – George Best https://t.co/B1ljPEdL9m pic.twitter.com/yRVhwcukrk
— The Quietus (@theQuietus) March 3, 2022
Football hipster vibes
A few years after the Wedding Present and Crazyhead burst on the scene, another UK Indie band was on the rise. London’s Saint Etienne was formed in 1990 and became key players in the 1990s UK indie dance music scene. Their debut album Foxbase Alpha was nominated for the Mercury award, and they scored their biggest hit with “He’s on the Phone” in 1995. However, they have a huge back catalogue of critically acclaimed work and are still going strong today.
The band took their name from the French football club AS Saint-Etienne and even included samples of French football commentary on their debut release.
A British tradition
We have already featured an album inspired by horse racing, but what about the British tradition of greyhound racing? Well, back in 1994 when Britpop was dominating the UK music scene, Blur’s Parklife was released. The album featured two greyhounds racing at the Romford dog track on the front cover, and a selection of photos taken at the Walthamstow track, a favourite hangout of the band members, on the inner booklet.
The album title is a made-up word inspired by watching everyday people go about their business.
Blur performing ‘Parklife’ with Phil Daniels at Glastonbury in 2009. pic.twitter.com/192NxMuS7A
— blur (@blurofficial) June 22, 2022
These are just a few sports-inspired album titles and band names. Honourable mentions should also go to the Kaiser Chiefs, who took their name from a South African football team. And French band Astonvilla, who did a reverse Saint Etienne and took their name from the English football team.